[Dixielandjazz] Re: High Notes - World's Best Clarinetist?

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Tue Mar 23 12:20:30 PST 2004

List mates:

I don't think I've ever heard anything higher than Davern's double high D and
wonder if that is what Tony Scott's Web site refers to. Personally, I can't get
above the A, 3 notes below Davern's D. I think Artie Shaw was the one who got
to Double high C & D first, in the late 1930s. I think Eddie Daniels gets up
there too, as does Allan Vache.

Last time I spoke to Davern he was using a Van Doren  #4 reed with a Van Doren
5JB (wide lay) mouthpiece. I use the same mouthpiece, but with a # 2 & 1/2
reed. Not strong enough to make the stiffer reeds sound. I believe Kenny was
the designer of that 5JB and one has to push a lot of air through it. Changes
the way you phrase, and/or forces you to expand your lung capacity. Otherwise,
you run out of air before the idea/phrase is finished.

Damn all those years of smoking, regular or weed. ;-) VBG.

Isn't Scott's web site a treat? I believe his Italian wife designed it. One
could spend several hours with it and be surprised at every click. I first saw
him in the 1950s in NYC and he was tearing up the place with his ideas and his
execution. He is much appreciated in Italy. (and Europe) but not here except
among a small group of reed players and jazz fans.

Steve Barbone

Tom Duncan wrote:

> Steve Barbone writes on Fri, 19 Mar 2004 18:03:43 (snip):
> >>For all the clarinetist's on the DJML. For a treat see:
> http://www.tonyscott.it/home.htm
> <<
> What a well-conceived and presented website. Thanks, Steve, for this tip. I
> will also thank you or anyone who can elaborate on the following description
> of Scott's high range playing contained in the Bio information:
> "In his high range he was able to reach 8 notes higher over the highest C on
> the clarinet"
> Does this exist? I think Goodman peaked at a "double high C" on "Sing, Sing,
> Sing". I heard a tape that Dan Levinson has of a memorial service at St.
> Peter's in NYC where Kenny Davern reached and sustained a beautiful, very
> soft "double high D".
> I thought those were limits. Is the above quote saying there is another
> octave above what I thought was the altissimo range?
> Tom "Wondering What Reed Could Take You That High" Duncan
> PS - before any wags jump on it, that is reed with an "r", not a "w"

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