Re: [Harp-L] Toots preference for Eb & Bb

It's true that due to the influence of saxophones, trumpets, and clarinets, much jazz is in their home keys of Eb and Bb.

But if those keys had laid awkwardly on the C chromatic, I think you'd find that Toots would have chosen another key of harmonica to play.

Earlier in his career, he did sometimes play chromatics in other keys, mostly to take advantage of Db position (8th position) in other keys, such as when he recorded East of the Sun in Ab using a G chromatic. After about 1960, though, he decided to stick with the C chromatic.


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 From: Bob McGraw <harpbob@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: Steve Baker <steve@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> 
Cc: "harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx> 
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 4:15 AM
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Toots preference for Eb & Bb
I think that's right; if you're going to play jazz tunes in the keys they were written in, you're going to be playing in Bb, Eb and F quite a bit...F more than Eb, probably. All three of those keys lay out well on the C chromatic, by the way.
WVa Bob

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 14, 2012, at 5:40 AM, Steve Baker <steve@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I assume Toots likes those keys because he's a jazz musician who was massively influenced by (and worked with) sax players. Many jazz tunes are written in those keys as they lay out well on the sax.
> Steve Baker

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