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The Clarinet
clarinetist, playing with an attack and warmth that some critics found lacking in De Franco.
Others who have flirted with the clarinet in recent years in­clude John La Porta, the only leading exponent of the instrument who is also identified with avant-garde atonal experiments in composition; Rolf Kuhn, an import from Germany and one of the best De Franco disciples; and Jimmy Giuffre, a saxophonist whose recent inclinations have brought a new approach to the clarinet. GiufEre may be said to use only one of the two instru­ments that give the clarinet its dual personality, for he has confined himself mainly to the lower register, developing within this self-imposed limitation harmonic and melodic ideas that are, in effect, a remarkable feat of miniaturism.
Sweden must be credited for giving jazz two outstanding clarinetists. One, Stan Hasselgard, was the only man ever to rise to the paradoxical role of featured clarinetist with Benny Goodman. His bop-inspired work, heard alongside Goodman's mainstream improvisations, produced some of the most remark­able music of the day (1948), but Hasselgard, who never had a chance to record with Goodman, was killed in an automobile accident later that year. Putte Wickman, the foremost clarinetist in Sweden today, ranks with De Franco and Scott among the instrument's few true masters in contemporary jazz.
Occasional jazz use has been made of the bass clarinet, a colorful instrument with a deep purple, often sinster sound. Its range is an octave lower than that of the regular clarinet. The ablest and best known exponent is Harry Carney, the Ellington baritone saxophonist, who has contributed in this role both on his own LP (Ghost Of A Chance) and with the Duke on Mood Indigo and others. Bass clarinets have been played by Al Cohn (with Freddie Green on Victor and Urbie Green on Bethlehem) and Tony Scott (with Milt Hinton on Bethlehem). Benny Good­man used the bass clarinet on an early session with Red Norvo (now on an Epic LP). The most practical use for the bass clarinet, however, has been as a member of an instrumental group, as one of the lower voices in a passage by four clarinets, strings or woodwind combinations.