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Who plays Contra-Bass (or alto)? Any good jazz recordings?

#1
First, is it contrabass or contra bass? I would think contra bass since you can't do contraalto,(my spell checker says contralto is okay) perhaps contra-bass and contra-alto?

Anthony Braxton is one. He has a ton of recordings so if anyone can steer me towards the tracks with contra-bass or contra-alto I would appreciate it.:-D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUUQqpudBZ0
He does a lot of squawking on this one but it is interesting to see how he holds it. I don't feel comfortable playing a paperclip with a strap and no peg.

It would be nice to hear someone play the contra bass (or alto) melodically.
:)
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#3
I used to play Bb contrabass. I wouldn't exactly qualify it as a "solo" instrument.

FWIW, "contra-" is a prefix that means "against", so "contrabass" would be more correct than "contra bass", but as long as it's close to the correct spelling, that's good enough for me.

Now, I do think that the Eb contralto should be called that and not "Eb contrabass", but people sometimes disagree with me ... and then I ban them ... er, I mean, "I respect people's different opinions".

:D
 

Heckelphone

Double Reed CE
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#5
First, is it contrabass or contra bass? I would think contra bass since you can't do contraalto,(my spell checker says contralto is okay) perhaps contra-bass and contra-alto?

Anthony Braxton is one. He has a ton of recordings so if anyone can steer me towards the tracks with contra-bass or contra-alto I would appreciate it.:-D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUUQqpudBZ0
He does a lot of squawking on this one but it is interesting to see how he holds it. I don't feel comfortable playing a paperclip with a strap and no peg.

It would be nice to hear someone play the contra bass (or alto) melodically.
:)
I play the Bb contra on a weekly basis with the San Jose Wind Symphony (and sometimes Eb contra, if the part falls better -- sometimes you can just tell that the part was written for Eb contra, and the Bb contra is only a transposed copy).

As for recordings, jazz and otherwise, I have a discography (in sore need of updating) at http://www.contrabass.com/pages/dis-cbcl.html

Enjoy!

Grant
 
#6
I play the Bb contra on a weekly basis with the San Jose Wind Symphony (and sometimes Eb contra, if the part falls better -- sometimes you can just tell that the part was written for Eb contra, and the Bb contra is only a transposed copy).

As for recordings, jazz and otherwise, I have a discography (in sore need of updating) at http://www.contrabass.com/pages/dis-cbcl.html

Enjoy!

Grant
Hi Grant (he says 6 months later):oops:

Thanks for putting up all the great contrabass articles.
I found them easily with google years ago when I first started researching the contrabass.

There isn't much contrabass on you-tube so I've been putting up a lot of my playing. I'm still learning to get around it. It's so much more squawky then the contra-alto.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZh6efi7dvU
Do you have any pointers?
I also have a student (in your area) that I can't teach anymore due to scheduling problems.
Do you teach or know a good teacher?
--bob
 
#7
I looked in the discography posted and I recommend the CD Trio De Clarinettes - Live. All thre players play soprano and bass clarinet, and one also plays contrabass clarinet. On that website it says it is "free jazz" but I woudln't call it that. It's many things and many styles and very unique, and a great CD.

I also recommend the CD Double Trio - Green Dolphy Suite. It is the same clarinet trio as the other CD, but also with Arcado String Trio. It has the contrabass clarinet on one track.

These are some of the best clarinet CDs regardless of type of clarinet.
 
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