Thorens Xmatic, harp videos
FJM asks about the valve-less condition of that Thorens
chromatic, and Jack Ely comments that it's not very good. The two
facts are probably related.
You can pull all the valves out of an Autovalve without impairing
its performance, but a valve-less chromatic will leak like a
sieve. BandMaster chromatics - a valveless type made in the
former East Germany - were bad for this reason.
A half-valved chromatic can be really nice, however. If you
remove the valves from the blow reeds, it allows the blow reeds
to be activated when the draw notes are played. This gives a
fuller, more diatonic-like bending sound and response to the draw
notes on a chromatic. The blow notes will bend, too, but in the
attenuated way they do on the chromatic anyway.
Brendan Power half-valves his chromatics (he has them in several
keys) this way. He let me play one when I visited him in London
on Saturday, and it was a gas to get such juicy bends out of the
draw notes. His new Irish CD is being picked up by Green Linnet
in the US, and he may get to come over and tour behind it.
While in London I saw HIP for sale at Tower Records in Piccadilly
Circus (just one copy left, but I don't know what they started
with), and I visited with several other resellers to get a feel
for the retail climate over there. Looks very interesting.
As far as harmonica videos, the man to get in touch with is
Flackman (David Flack) at 74444.2037@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx He has an
incredible, ever expanding library of everything mentioned in
yesterday's posts, and more. He's very keen to expand his
collection through trades.
By the way, film of Little Walter does exist, but without sound
(!) TV clips of Sonny Boy in England exists, as does early
Butterfield (on a bill with Howlin' Wolf in excellent voice),
quite a bit of Walter Horton, and at least three films (as
opposed to Letterman, Sanborn and Carson guest spots) of Toots,
including one in French (Toots Suite) that has some footage of
him playing guitar in a European big band in the early fifties.
A lot of footage of the Borrah Minnevitch Harmonica Rascals
exists, as well as some rather weird novelty shorts of the adult
Leo Diamond (the musical brains behind Minnevitch and a
beautiful, violin-toned chromatic player).
Footage of Larry Adler must exist - in the '30s he was in some
major motion pictures that he mentions in his autobiography - The
Singing Marine and one other, as well as wartime stuff, and, I
imagine, plenty of British TV from the '50s onward. The 1989
Trossingen Festival video has extended sets by both Adler and
Toots, as well as by Charlie Musselwhite.
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