Gypsy jazz reed player-what to study?

PolkatPolkat Chico, CANew
edited December 2011 in Woodwinds Posts: 119
Most of my background is in swing jazz violin. I'm doing...well, okay in that regard, but have a new interest in playing this music on a reed instrument (in this case clarinet). But who (or what) to study? I guess what you like counts as well. Post bop players certainly had something to say, but does that help with GJ? I've always loved the comping style of Zoot Simms, but would studying that help any? Not much written material out there for GJ clarinet I guess...or am I wrong?
Violin's swing the best!


  • AmpsmasherAmpsmasher Oakland, California✭✭✭ Christelle Caillot
    Posts: 52
    I would recommend starting with any of the early swing guys, artie shaw, benny goodman, woody herman. I also noticed you are from Chico... and am shocked I don't already know you.. or maybe I do.
  • IMO one could spend time with Sidney Bechet. Not GJ but great chops and many of the GJ swing standards are from his era

    Both Rostaing(cl) and Fols (sax) have some very nice chops both with Django and on their own as well
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Ken BloomKen Bloom Pilot Mountain, North CarolinaNew
    Posts: 164
    If you already play swing violin you might just try doing on clarinet what you do on the vioin. Lines are lines and good ideas can translate to any instrument. You are just substituting your embouchure and breath for the bow. Listening to the great players of the era can certainly help, but your own style will come through no matter what. I started on clarinet and came to the guitar years later. I find that many lines I play on the guitar come right from my clarinet playing. All the suggestions that have been made are excellent. I'm just suggesting that you add your own resources as well.

    Ken Bloom
    Ken Bloom
  • PolkatPolkat Chico, CANew
    Posts: 119
    Yea Ken, that's what I've been doing. Just wasn't sure of that approach. Ampsmasher, where are you in Chico?
    Violin's swing the best!
  • When another player plays a short phrase that I resonate with I try to get it down til it becomes part of my vocabulary. Usually a bar or two in length.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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