Chromatic players

TO: internet:harp-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Ralph Rosen asks for a list of non harmonica band recordings by
chromatic players.

This would be a huge list. Rather than name individual records,
let me run down some names of players in various fields.

Toots Thielemans has recorded with everyone from Benny Goodman to
Billy Joel, and has a number of excellent jazz recordings out
under his own name. His recent records have been with Braziliian
accompaniment (the Brasil Project I and II). He is the jazz
improvisor par excellence on chromatic.

Other jazz harmonicists include Henkrik Meurkens (4 albums out
and counting) William Galison (soundtrack to Baghdad Cafe, other
obscure stuff, including his own out-of-print Overjoyed on
Columbia) and Mike Turk, whose self-produced "Harmonica Salad"
(highly recommended) is available from him direct at

The popular music arena hosts Stevie Wonder (read posts from
earlier this month for more info) and Chris "Hammer" Smith, who
has his own record out, and can be heard with Rickie Lee Jones
and Akria Jimbo. Tollak Ollestad can be heard on the theme from
TV show "Northern Exposure" and a quasi-jazz album by soprano
saxist Boney James.

A unique, hard to classify player (pop-trad
Irish-country-rock-blues, sort of) is Brendan Power, a New
Zealand native curently resident in London, who was heard on a
couple of cuts on Sting's album Ten Summoner's Tales. he has 3
records of his own out, reviewed in the upcoming HIP No. 4. These
are available by mail from F&R Farrell PO Box 133 Harrisburg OH
43126, phone 614-877-3678. Brendan has a completely unique sound
on the chromatic.

Classical players include Tommy Reilly, who has several albums
out on Chandos, Robert Bonfiglio, who did an album of Villa Lobos
on Angel a few years ago (and whose recent work is more likely to
be filed under New Age in record stores), Larry Adler, who has
recorded a lot over the years (classical and American song
standards), and John Sebastian the elder, whose work is hard to
find but worthwhile - it was he who commissioned the Villa Lobos
concerto, which has since been recorded by Reilly and Bonfiglio.
This stuff tends to appear in large stores cyclically, a few
records at a time, disappearing for several months then popping
up. Also haunt used record stores - if you know who to look for,
you can find a lot of things over time.

ANother good player, who plays classical but also specializes in
the music of his native Norway, is Sigmund Groven, who has
several CD's out. I bought mine directly from him at a rare San
Francisco appearance. You could probably find them for sale by
checking ads in AHN or Harmonica Happenings.

Chromatic is also used in Chicago blues, and some players
specialize in its use. These include William Clarke, Rod Piazza,
Bill Tarscia, George Smith and Little Walter, the latter two
deceased legends and fathers of the style.

There's much more, but this will give some places to look initially,
with a high probability of finding something good.

Winslow Yerxa
Publisher, HIP - the Harmonica Information Publication

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