[Dixielandjazz] Juba Plays the Fluba in Aruba.

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Apr 18 12:25:46 PDT 2004

Start of a new limerick?. No, the "Fluba" is a "Tuba-Flugel Horn"
combination. Welded together, the sound comes out of the front, not the
top. You can see a picture of one in the May Issue of "Jazz Times".
Sounds perfect for Dixieland. MUST READ for all Tubists on the list.

Who'll be the first to play Fluba in an OKOM band?

Steve Barbone


With 1100 film scores, hundreds of TV shows, and recordings with
everyone from Mel Torme to Don Ellis, the award-winning multi-genre
musician’s own latest Basset Hound Records release is up for
consideration in 15 Grammy categories

Jim Self is the most famous tubist you may or may not have ever heard
of. Either way, you have definitely heard him. This “Voice of the
Mothership” from Close Encounters of the Third Kind has a massive list
of other accomplishments, as well, working on the upcoming film scores
to Brother Bear and The Cat in the Hat. His mellifluous solos have added
color and texture to Grammy winning composer John Williams’ scores for
Jurassic Park, Home Alone, its sequel, and Hook, along with James
Horner's Casper and Batteries Not Included, Marc Shaiman's Sleepless in
Seattle, plus The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Chicago, Finding Nemo and
Catch Me if You Can.

Self and his 13 tubas (most of them from Self-endorsed Yamaha) have
performed in 1100 other film scores, hundreds of TV shows ? currently
Enterprise and JAG ? and recorded with Mel Torme, Maynard Ferguson,
Randy Newman, Bette Midler, Barbara Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Don Ellis,
the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Pasadena and Pacific Symphonies, and
the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.

NARAS conferred upon Self the Most Valuable Player Award for Tuba three
times, but for this Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of
Southern California where he teaches tuba and chamber music, where size
really matters is in his FLUBA and his latest Basset Hound Records
release, My America.

The FLUBA? Yes, the FLUBA; a Self-designed instrument that’s actually a
tuba-sized flugel horn that artisan Robb Stewart built from Yamaha parts
two years ago. “Peg,” as Self calls the one-of-a-kind melody maker that
rests on a monopod for ease of playing, is one of the instrument voices
on the musically expansive My America.

Its imaginative selection of 17 tracks, arranged, conducted and produced
by Kim Scharnberg (Laura Branigan, Linda Eder, Mark Isham), is a diverse
landscape of genres, built on a solid foundation of jazz that resonates
with the depth and breadth of the FLUBA itself. And to play jazz on a
FLUBA or a tuba is an unusual achievement unto itself, as their very
nature dictates contexts such as an orchestra or marching band. But just
as Self-evident tunes “Tennessee Waltz,” “Camptown Races,” the “Dean of
Jazz DJs” Chuck Niles-narrated “Juba Plays the FLUBA in Aruba,” and the
others are completely unexpected, sophisticated and yes, often
danceable, leave it to Self to eliminate long-established instrument
boundaries, as well.

As to the wherefore and why of his FLUBA, Self explains, “I wanted a
solo instrument that would be a tuba player’s flugel horn, hence the
FLUBA. It looks cool and it sounds great.”

Self rounded up a cadre of jazz-oriented musicians to join him in
America, where players such as pianist Michael Lang (Herb Alpert,
Cannonball Adderley, Chet Baker), drummer Bernie Dresel (The Brian
Setzer Orchestra), guitarist Tim May (Sarah Brightman, Rosemary Clooney,
The Carpenters) violinist Joel Derouin (Harry Connick Jr., David Benoit,
Christina Aguilera), and other greats explored country, blues, pop and
classical elements.

“A lot of the songs have improvised jazz solos,” points out Self, whose
My America is up for consideration in 15 Grammy categories, including
Album of the Year and Best Jazz Instrumental Album. “’Bill Bailey,
Please Call Your Service’ has jazz solos by everybody.”

It’s important to note that “Juba Plays the FLUBA in Aruba” may be the
only Grammy-considered Song of the Year in NARAS history that features
basset hounds on vocals, thanks to the harmonizing duet of Gus and
Stanley Self.

Self is co-conducting the 28th annual TubaChristmas concert and
sing-along, Dec. 7, in front of the Alex Theatre, Glendale, Calif.,
where 250 tubists and thousands of participating spectators will
converge and commandeer Brand Boulevard, the city’s main drag, for this
unique holiday celebration. Self has organized the Los Angeles chapter
of this national event since its inception in 1976.

This private pilot and basset hound lover has released six other albums,
and just completed his latest instrument hybrid in which size still
matters: a baby sousaphone called ? what else? ? the Selfone.

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