[Dixielandjazz] World's Best Clarinetist?

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 19 18:03:43 PST 2004

For all the clarinetist's on the DJML. For a treat see:


Click on all the side bars to the right of the home page to see the
story of Anthony Sciacca who IMO is the absolute top jazz clarinetist
the world has ever produced.

This man has played with, and wowed more people in Jazz than anyone I
know. From Paul Whiteman, to Bobby Hackett, to Dizzy and Bird and Billie
Holiday, Art Tatum, Charlie Christian, Nat Cole, Trummy Young, Tommy
Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Claude Thornhill, etc., etc., etc., etc.

Yet he is virtually unknown in the USA, and not well known except in
Italy where he now lives. Yes, he started in OKOM, played some updated
Dixieland however eventually ended up as an avant garde player. But make
no mistake, this cat can play and has been doing so since about 1940.

If fellow reed players have never seen him, or heard him on record, get
out there and buy some of his genius. He blew us all away on the NYC
jazz scene in the 1950s. Typical of the chestnuts on this site are
excerpts like:

"Dick Hyman was playing with me at Cafe Society in 1949 with Art Tatum
listening. Dick came on and played like Teddy Wilson, and Art leaned
back in his chair and clapped his hands, 'Yeah, Dick.' He played like
Earl Hines...'Yeah, Dick.' he played like Errol Garner. I said, 'Play
like Art', but Dick Hyman shook his head, he said 'Tony, there are five
things I know how he fingers. I can't play them. there are 50 things I
don't even know how he fingers them." (Tony Scott)

Steve Barbone

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