Albert clarinet [was: [Dixielandjazz] Another one gone

David W. Littlefield
Sun, 02 Jun 2002 12:32:57 -0400

I played in a trad band specializing in Oliver '23, Hot 5/7, etc.
Clarinetist transcribed and studied Dodds solos, switched to Albert system,
to give the band a really authentic sound. He said that the fingering made
possible (or perhaps necessitated) (or perhaps had a "natural" stylistic)
"percussiveness" not attainable on the Boehm system. He said he'd been
trying to emulate that feature in Dodds' playing, and it took him a while
to conclude that it probably was the fingering system, which switching to
Albert confirmed. 

Whatever it was, playing with this guy for several years sensitized me to
Dodds, so when JRT Davies CDs made the Olivers listenable, I came to
appreciate Dodds greatly, if not fully *enjoy* his style. 


At 01:45 PM 5/31/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>on 5/31/02 10:02 AM, at wrote:
>He was convinced that, though the Albert system was harder to play, the
>Albert clarinets had a bigger sound.
>He was right about both--if you go from the Boehm TO the Albert as an
>adult.  But if you start on the Albert (as I did), it's no harder
>than--well--than learning to play clarinet!   And some of the Albert
>fingering series (the above staff B, C, Db, D, Eb) are much simpler than on
>the Boehm.  Once you get used to the right hand F-F# sequence, you're in
>good shape; but there's no question these take some practice.
>   I switched to Boehm at age 14 and now wish I had not.  I own a very fine
>playing Eb Albert--and can't play the damned thing without a week's
>practice, if then!  Must be like learning, say, Hungarian: simplicity for a
>2 year old; murder for an adult!
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