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Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: Race records

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  • Dan Van Landingham
    When I taught myself clarinet,I ultimately,learned how to repair them.I took this several steps further when I started to play sax as well as trumpet and
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 1, 2009
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      When I taught myself clarinet,I ultimately,learned how to repair them.I took this several steps further when I started to play sax as well as trumpet and trombone.I could not af-
      ford to take my horns into the shop so I learned how to repair them what I hung around
      a couple of musicians who did repair for a living.As for the corks,I would like to know what
      using a lighter to cause the pads to swell.I've heard of such a thing.I used a match along
      with an alcohol lamp to loosen the pad or pads to replace them.I've been guided by the need to do my own work out of financial reasons.What I never got into was how to repair a
      badly mangled bell of either trombone or trumpet.I used an old drumstick to take creases
      in the bell or to remove dents that were nearer to the bell.I didn't know that kidskin was
      used on clarinet.Every clarinet I've ever owned had a thin membranous fiber that was
      clear.The pad itself was a white felt like wafer.That,of course,held true with flutes as well
      as those of the double reed instruments such as the oboe and bassoon.I also learned,on
      my own,to do my own repair work on both violin and guitar as I play those instruments as
      well.Some of it wasn't "kosher" as I had to use carpenter's glue rather than animal hide
      glue which I can't get here as this area is a bit out of the way from the large cities such as
      Portland,Oregon or San Francisco.At any rate,that's how I do it.Call it doing what I do as
      "Necessity being the Mother of Invention".

      --- On Tue, 3/31/09, fearfeasa <fearfeasa@...> wrote:

      From: fearfeasa <fearfeasa@...>
      Subject: Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: Race records
      To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 8:43 AM






      "What was the question?" On Thursday, February 19, 2009 David Brown
      wrote in this thread:

      >There was a large market in Chicago for the proto-urban
      > blues of Broonzy et al. Odell Rand and Arnett Nelson worked in this
      milieu
      > but Dodds never did. /I wonder why. /[My emphasis]

      Maybe that's not expressed as a question, but I was providing a possible
      solution to the source of your wonderment, David. Everybody struggled
      for work in the 1930s; most suffered humiliation as a result, Music in
      the 1920s had been Dodds' sole occupation. Fortunately for him, he was
      thrifty and got himself not one but two sources of income outside music.
      I certainly did not say he was affluent, nor even that he "had achieved
      any degree of finanial security". His apartment building, in which he
      lived himself, would have provided some income from the flats that were
      rented out (probably no more than two of them), as long as the tenants
      could pay their rent; his taxi would have provided other income,
      provided he could maintain it and get enough customers for a small
      profit. His music - what there was of it - would have occupied him on a
      part-time basis for one. maybe two nights a week, provided he could get
      the rate for the job.

      This report of his lighting matches under his clarinet "to swell the
      cork gasketting" is interesting, but confusing. I suspect that Fred
      Ramsey was not himself a clarinettist. I have a 1930 Selmer clarinet in
      good working order. I've maintained it myself for 30 years, because I
      can't see the point of wasting good money paying someone to do a job I
      can do myself, usually better. Personal pride and thrift born of
      necessity taught me all the tricks of maintaining an ageing instrument
      in playable condition. You can bet that Dodds did the same, through a
      mixture of pride, thrift and, by the mid 1930s, financial necessity.

      I don't know precisely what Ramsey meany by "cork gasketting."
      Certainly Dodds would not have applied a match to the cork seals in the
      joints of his instrument. Cork is inflammable - such a procedure would
      have only acerbated the situation. A temporary measure (how long is
      "temporary"? ) would have been to wrap strips of paper around the tenon
      of the leaking joint.

      Except possibly for the pad on the register key (which is only very
      rarely made of cork. and then only on cheap instruments - and Dodds
      played a Selmer himself, judging by the available photographs) , all the
      pads on Dodds' clarinet would have been covered with leather - probably
      kid. Oldtime New Orleans clarinettists used to make their own
      replacement pads, cutting the covering from from old kid gloves. Dodds'
      teacher, or older clarinettists no doubt taught him how to do this.

      The pads were (and still are on my instrument) held in their seats by a
      resinous adhesive. I have often, on a job, applied a lighted match to
      the outer side of the metal cup to loosen the pad in order to reseat it
      if I thought it was leaking, and to dry out the pad temproarily. If the
      pad is taking in water, blotting-, news- or lavatory-paper can be good
      to soak up some of the moisture, too. If a spring goes, use a rubber
      band. These are all run-of-the-mill temporary measures that any
      clarinettist worth his salt will apply until he gets a chance to do a
      proper maintenance job. No big deal. Perhaps Ramsey's report smacks of
      white middle-class romanticism?

      Another reason why Dodds didn't work with Broonzy /et al./ is the simple
      one that perhaps they weren' t the crowd he hung out with. Who got him
      the job in the 'One Cent Club'? Was the owner/manager a friend of his?
      Or was it just his way of keeping in practice during a period when he
      was scuffling for a living in areas of employment outside music and
      didn't have time nor energy to do all the depressing doorknocking and
      throw all the tiresome sales pitches required to make money out of his
      music? Did Ramsey or any of his mates organise a real music job for
      Dodds at union scale?

      David Brown wrote:
      >
      > What was the question ? We have seen how Dodds struggled for work in
      > the 30s
      > and the humiliation he sustained as a result, including the super sleazy
      > 'One Cent Club'. Fred Ramsey describes in 1938 'Dodds' old clarinet was
      > falling apart at the joints and much of the time instead of playing he
      > kept
      > lighting matches under it to swell the cork gasketting.' ( Klatzko) This
      > does not sound as if Dodds had achieved any degree of financial
      > security let
      > alone affluence.
      >
      > Dave
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: RedHotJazz@yahoogro ups.com
      > <mailto:RedHotJazz% 40yahoogroups. com> [mailto:RedHotJazz@ yahoogro
      > ups.com <mailto:RedHotJazz% 40yahoogroups. com>]On
      > Behalf Of jtdyamond
      > Sent: Montag, 30. März 2009 13:56
      > To: RedHotJazz@yahoogro ups.com <mailto:RedHotJazz% 40yahoogroups. com>
      > Subject: [RedHotJazz] Re: Race records
      >
      > The answer is a simple one: Johnny Dodds was a respectable man of
      > fastidious
      > personal habits. His outlook on life was careful and thrifty. He had
      > invested the money he made from the boom times of the 1920s wisely. He
      > owned
      > an apartment building and was involved with his brothers in running a taxi
      > company. He had no need in the Depression years of playing music for kitty
      > contributions in sleazy non-union bars. Like many others, in middle age he
      > drifted out of music, earning his living by more regular means. Nelson on
      > the other hand was a spendthrift who liked his liquor and enjoyed the
      > company of less reputable individuals.
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >

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