=====Nick in the UK asks about Howard Levy. Ringing him up won't help
right now as he's on the west coast.
Howard has only one recording under his own name, called
Harmonica Jazz. In the UK, you could probably get in from Norman
Ives, who has a mail order business specializing in harmonicas
and related stuff.
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Caister On Sea
Norfolk NR30 5DD
Most of Howard's stuff is with other people.
You should check out the albums by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.
He is NOT on "three flew over the cuckoo's nest - that was after
he left them, but he's on UFO TOFU, Flight of the Cosmic Hippo
and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones (he's not on the pre-Flecktones
Bela Fleck stuff, either).
He is on a new album called Trio Globo, playing world music with
cello and percussion.
He's also on two albums by mandolinist Paul Glasse, who plays a
mix of bluegrass, newgrass, western swing and string band jazz,
and his contributions.
He's also on the Kenny Loggins "Live from the Redwoods" album.
He's touring with Kenny right now, as a matter of fact.
These are all recent albums you'd be likely to find in some of
the larger Tower or Virgin stores (don't know about HMV). Check
out the jazz, world music, folk, and bluegrass sections.
For a (fairly) complete discography, and two long interviews with
Howard, get Issue No. 4 of HIP - the Harmonica Information
Publication. If you live in London, Tower in Picadilly has it (at
least they ahd one copy left a couple of weeks ago when I looked.
If not, you can get it from Norman Ives for L5.50 (Truth in
advertising - I'm the publisher).
=====Nick also asks about the top octave - bending and pucker vs.
Bending high blow notes through a tongue block is rather
difficult. Even dyed-in-the-wool tongue blockers like Mark Hummel
will switch to a pucker when bending up there. You say you
already bend unintentionally anyway when you pucker up top. Why
not strengthen it and learn to control it? Once you don that, you
may gain enough control that you can turn it off when you don't
You should definitely learn both embouchures; they are both
Don't avoid the top. It has too much too offer. There's an
article on it HIP No. 2 (Norman has that, too).
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