[Dixielandjazz] Re: Clarinet vs. Soprano

Harold Smith s3856lpa at webtv.net
Tue Jun 7 05:54:32 PDT 2005

I've tried my hand at playing sporano, or as Groucho would have said, I
even tried two hands.  I agree with Charlie (the Lurker) Hooks in that
the soprano has a more projectable sound outdoors.  I've played several
times with Ted Butterman's Cubs Band at Wrigley Field, too.  (I referred
to that gig as the musical version of the Bataan Death March.)  I played
clarinet there, and Butterman cautioned me a few times that it was too
loud  Heh, Heh!  The revenge of the reed.

In the tender care of the really great players, the soprano can be a
most wonderful and warm instrument.  I ain't one of those, so I quite
carefully laid the horn in my storage locker forever to be entombed.
I'll take Mr. Davern as the paragon for just plain old sound and
intensity on that instrument, not to mention musical creativity and

As for Charlie's use of a wad of chewing gum in the clarinet mouthpiece
to enhance projection, I say, "Ha!  Big deal!".
People keep saying my playing's been gummed up for years.

Regards,   Harold Smith

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