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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Tonight's Blue Note: George Braith - Two Souls in One

George Braith (soprano sax & stritch); Grant Green (guitar); Billy Gardner (organ); Donald Bailey (drums).
(Review by Lance).

When one thinks of playing two reed instruments at once Roland Kirk is the name that springs to mind. Closer to home, Dick Heckstall-Smith also picked up the trick and, even closer to home, Nigel Stanger was known to stick both an alto and a tenor sax mouthpiece into his gob and blow some down home blues through the attached instruments.


However, to the best of my knowledge, apart from Kirk, George Braith is the only one I know of who played simultaneously on a sax and a stritch which is actually a straight alto sax. To make things easier, he redesigned both soprano and stritch, re-positioning the keys to make it possible to almost finger the complete range of both horns using one hand on each thus enabling him to produce harmonies and, ultimately, resulting in an instrument he invented and named The Braithophone.

Although Blue Note dropped him after only three albums his career continued, locking horns with Trane, Sonny's Rollins and Stitt and many more titans. He's still around - he's even got a Facebook page and also a website where you can purchase a Braithophone for $6,900. He turns 81 on June 26 - there's that date again! 

Talk about longevity, their can't be many of the classic era Blue Note musicians still around - and on Facebook!
Lance
Listen to Braith-a-way

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