budtuba at aol.com
Mon Jan 8 10:36:07 PST 2007
My wife and I went to the Rochester Philharmonic Holiday Concert this winter and 'twas a fine concert end-to-end led by Jeff Tyzik, a trumpet player with mean chops of his own. As a gimmick, the annual visit by Santa Claus was set up this year because "he always wanted to play with an orchestra". After some small talk, he pulled his instrument out of the pack on his back and proceeded to play a jazzy Stephan Grappelli version of "Santa Claus is Coming To Town". What was interesting was the construction of the brass violin. It had the expected neck and bridge assembly, but was amplified not by a wooden body, but a brass neck that hooked up from the bottom of the strings aiming up at a 45 degree angle away from the player and bell that looked like it could have been from an old alto horn. Not great sound, but still violin-nish. Could this have been an instrument from the early days of acoustic recordings when sound level was a premium, or just a construction thrown together by Santa's elves?
Roy (Bud) Taylor
Smugtown Stompers Jazz Band
"We ain't just whistling dixie!"
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