First Clarinet – Plateau
And then, the clarinet came along. My father imported again from a from Paris, a clarinet for me, a Plateau clarinet. A Plateau clarinet, it’s a covered hole instrument because my fingers were too skinny it could not cover the holes of a regular clarinet. So, I learned with a covered hole clarinet, the Plateau clarinet.
But then later on, a year later or something, he gave me this clarinet. A wonderful instrument called the Selmer Centered-toned, from 1957. For some reason they still make this wonderful instrument. But this is a special instrument, it a full Boehm, seven rings, seven rings and an extra key here Eb Ab and this other articulated G# C#. A very comfortable instrument. Al Gallodoro played this instrument, the fantastic Al Gallodoro as well as Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw they used the instrument for a little while. Pete Fountain played this instrument is a bit easy.
It (Selmer Centered-toned) didn’t get popular for some reason, but it is very comfortable. You can do, there are a lot of possibilities playing this system.
(Playing Selmer Centered-Toned clarinet)
I told the great Buddy Deranco. Hey Buddy, there several things here you can not play with your clarinet. You can only play only with this system. You can not play this for example:
(Playing Selmer Centered-Toned clarinet)
He said to me “Okay, let me play something else” that was very funny. Buddy was such a… even with a clarinet with no keys he can play beautiful.
Well, well, sometimes I use this, they call a tuning barrel, it is very good for doublers. Sometimes when you pick up from saxophone or flute and pick up the clarinet, it’s too flat – ay, ay, ay. Then you can use the tuning barrel, they don’t have the click barrels anymore but they have other brands, the German’s made one of them. It is convenient to have, you know, handy a tuning barrel, you never know what going to happen with the temperature.
Talking About Clarinets
I discovered the Rossi clarinet (L. Rossi Bb Clarinet). Thanks to the Caracas Clarinet Quartet, a fantastic group from Venezuela. A few of them play with the Rossi clarinet. I met Luis Rossi, the Luthier and clarinet player, who made this instrument. I asked him, “Luis, you think you can make for me a clarinet with the full Boehm system with the seven rings and the articulated G#? I can not play without it can you make one for me?” He said he would do some research and get back to you. And, he made them for me, I have like five of them, very good instrument. I like the lighter wood, the rose wood, cocobolo, or even, I don’t know, this one made out of a Cuban wood.
(Playing the L. Rossi Bb Clarinet)
The sound of the light color wood for some reason is sweeter. Some clarinet players, especially orchestral players, they complain that doesn’t cut as much as the ebony. Okay, blow harder, blow more and you are getting paid for that, no? But the sound is so beautiful.
An A Clarinet by Rossi
One day I was supposed to play one of those Brahms pieces, a quintet with an A clarinet. So, I called Rossi. “Rossi, can you make me a seven ring, an articulated G# A clarinet?” He said sure! He made one for me and I am more than happy.
(Playing the L. Rossi A Clarinet)
Beautiful A clarinet.
A Clarinet in C by Rossi
There is one more toy I want to show you, the C Clarinet (L. Rossi C Clarinet full Boehm system.) Luis Rossi gave me this instrument. In Providence, Chile, I was playing a concert there with Alon Yavnai on the piano, and Edmar Castaña on the harp. And then, Luis Rossi he lived in Chile, so he came and gave me this wonderful instrument. It is a C clarinet, a full Boehm system. For me to play violin parts and flute parts, and things like that.
I wrote a piece for Violin and piano, commissioned by the Library of Congress, it’s called “Fiddle Dreams” for Regina Carter, the violin player. Then I recorded the piece with a C clarinet.
Finally, this is an instrument I play only with Jamie Aebersold which is the baritone horn. Ha, ha, ha.
Always people ask me, what type of reeds I use. For some reason, I use Vandoren reeds in all my instruments, number 3. But with the clarinet, I use Vandoren number 3 but “White Masters” (Vandoren #3 “White Master”) which is especially is made for German mouthpieces. But for some reason, years ago, my son who is a clarinet player, my son Franco, he told me “when you play with those German type reeds, you won’t go back to the regular reeds.” And that happened to me. And you know who also plays those reeds too? I am not alone in this world, Ken Peplowski. He played beautiful!
Okay so, see you next time. Bye
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