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THE INSTRUMENTS, THE SOUNDS, THE PERFORMERS
Apex Club as he wove blues and fast legato stomps into well conceived and cleanly played patterns. The Noone tradition was perhaps best upheld by Marsala, a greatly underestimated musician.
Teschemacher was one of the intense members of an informal cabal known as the Austin High School Gang. Originally inspired by the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, he shared RapohVs poignancy, bis tendency to bend and crush high notes until they screamed in pain, and a thin-toned but warm sound that was, one hears, at its least effective in the recording studios.
Pee-Wee Russell is the clarinetist most closely identified with what has been called the "dirty" tone. His smeared notes, gMs-sandi, choked-up effects, sometimes producing a sound that was half B Flat and half saliva, had much in common with Tesch". This capricious spirit and odd phrasing, which at times resembled the stammering of a woman scared by a ghost, compensated for whatever may have been his technical problems. Russell is still wailing today in the same sweet-and-sour manner.
The King Oliver band was the incubator for a series of fine clarinetists of the liquid-toned, blues-grounded school, among them the magnificent Barney Bigard, who went on to fame with Duke Ellington in the '30s; Omer Simeon, who spent most of that decade in Chicago with Hines; Albert Nicholas, whose 730s were spent chiefly in the Luis Russell band; and Sidney Bechet, who had been with Oliver in 1916 and spent much of the post-depression decade with Noble Sissle, later gaming international fame as a soprano saxophonist.
In a different class (though also an Oliver alumnus) was Buster Bailey, an academically trained musician who shared Benny Goodman's teacher. Bailey, in a full decade with Fletcher Henderson and another with John Kirby, played in an adroit style with a correct tone, somewhat thin and reedy when compared with Noone's, but masterfully fluent,
Jimmy Dorsey, in his years as a fledgling jazzman, was one of the better clarinetists; such early solos as Prayin* the Blues reveal a degree of passion never heard in the later years of comfortable financial success. Though never a major influence, Dorsey was admired and respected by many musicians.