The biographies of “Bass clarinet” heroes(1)

April 27.2017

Bass clarinet appeared  in jazz bands in the early nineteenth century.

First we need to talk about Omer Simeon.

Omer Simeon was the most important bass clarinetist because he had played one of the earliest jazz bass clarinet solo.

Photo above of Omer Simeon by courtesy of Jazz Lives(July 6, 2013)

Omer Victor Simeon was born  21 July 1902 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

He learned clarinet from the New Orleans master Lorenzo Tio, Jr., and started playing professionally in 1920.

Please refer to about Lorenzo Tio, Jr. Go here

In 1926 he began playing with Jelly Roll Morton, and made some recordings with Morton’s Red Hot Peppers and smaller groups.

Photo above of Jelly Roll Morton by Image Ownership: Public Domain

The Red Hot Peppers are as hot as the best King Oliver and Louis Armstrong recordings, while the colors and subtlety of tone are as good as the bands of Bix and Tram.

Omer Simeon took the clarinet part for the very first set, recorded in Chicago on September 15, 1926.

Morton instructed Simeon to switch from clarinet to bassclarinet.

So “Someday Sweetheart” had one of the earliest jazz bass clarinet solo by Omer Simeon.

Omer’s tone is much more beautiful than many post-bop bass clarinet solos.

Louis Armstrong standing beside King Oliver. Photo courtesy of neajazzintheschools.org.

Bass clarinetは19世紀初めにジャズ界に登場した楽器です。
Omer Simeonは最初にBass clarinetのソロを演奏した。
Omer Simeonは1902年7月21日ルイジアナ州ニューオーリンズで生まれた。
彼はLorenzo Tio,Jr.からクラリネットを学びました。
彼の師匠Lorenzo Tio、Jrについてはこちらをクリックして下さい。
1926年、彼はJelly Roll Mortonに出会い、歴史的な録音に参加しました。
Jelly Roll Mortonは”Someday Sweetheart”の録音に際し、ClarinetからBass clarinetへの切り替えを指示しました。
Simeonの音色はバップ以降のBass clarinet奏者の音色より遥かに美しいです。
Jelly Roll Morton and Red Hot Peppers の演奏はKing OliverやLouis Armstrongらの録音と比較しても劣っておらず、音色やアンサンブルはBix and Tram バンドと同等レベルでした。

Here is Jelly Roll Morton and Red Hot Peppers “Someday Sweetheart”.
Victor 20405-A matrix 37254-2

Here is Jelly Roll Morton and Red Hot Peppers “Someday Sweetheart”.
disc BRS 1001 matrix 37254-3

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