Flyin’ High

I’m in need of a bit of a pick-me-up today, because it’s wet and gloomy outside and we’re all busy making the final push to get our STFC consolidated grant application together. I found this on Youtube the other day and it definitely does the trick for me. It’s by the marvellous Jazz clarinettist Edmond Hall. I always thought he was very underrated, but judging by the superbly detailed wikipedia page devoted to him, someone out there rates him very highly indeed! Ed Hall’s clarinet style is immediately recognizable for the incisiveness of his tone, which made him one of the “hottest” jazz clarinet players of all time. He’s also pretty much unique because he stuck with the old Albert System (aka “Simple System”) clarinet; the vast majority of practitioners prefer the Boehm System. In fact I don’t even know if it’s possible to buy an Albert System clarinet these days.

Anyway, whatever clarinet he played, he played it beautifully. I love the way he keeps changing gear throughout this performance, especially around 2.42 when he pulls out all the stops and shifts into the higher register for a sizzling last set of choruses. Wonderful.

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