The Book Of Jazz - online reference book

Its Nature, Instruments, Sources, Sounds, Development & Performers

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into jazz acceptance. Though many saxophonists began to double on flute during the 1940s it was not until late 1956, when the number of jazz flutists of merit probably outnumbered the clari­netists, that a separate flute category was assigned in the annual Down Beat readers' poll. Wayman Carver, in the Chick Webb band, was heard on one or two records in 1937, but this pioneer attempt was shrugged off as a novelty. The next solo jazz flute on record was that of Harry Klee, a West Coast studio musician, whose Caravan with Ray Linns orchestra was released about 1944.
The thin sound of the flute, the difficulty of keeping it perfectly balanced at a microphone, and the paucity of demand for the instrument in jazz circles, delayed its full-scale advent until 1953-4, when Frank Wess with the Basie band and Bud Shank in West Coast jazz circles began to use it often, as a solo vehicle and as a voice in providing new tonal blends. Both showed themselves qualified to display in this unlikely medium all the elan and virtuosity they had already demonstrated as modern jazz saxophonists. Around the same time others appeared: Jerome Richardson, Herbie Mann and Sam Most in the East (Richardson extended the principle to become a first-rate piccolo soloist); Buddy Collette and Paul Horn (heard successively with the Chico Hamilton group) in the West; and a freshly inventive young saxophone soloist from Belgium, Bobby Jaspar, heard doubling on flute with the Jay Jay Johnson Quintet.
The oboe and English horn still remained almost complete strangers to jazz, though there have been commendable solo at­tempts on the former by Bob Cooper in Los Angeles and Phil Bodner in New York. The bassoon, played by Frankie Trumbauer in 1929 on a Joe Venuti record, apparently thereafter embarked on a thirty-year war against participation in jazz.
The French horn, an instrument that seems clumsily incapable of lending itself to academically perfect improvisation, has rested mainly in the hands of John Graas, a former symphony musician who has developed rapidly as a jazz soloist, composer-arranger and recording bandleader in California, always close, in style and associations, to the Shorty Rogers clique; and of Julius Watldns, a well-schooled performer who has lent his movingly