[Harp-L] Fwd: Re: Afro-American chrom players

JOSEPH LEONE 3n037@xxxxx
Sun May 30 07:49:05 EDT 2021

Phillip is British..Came to play at spah 2002. He was about 18 at the time. Nothing to write home about. He has come a long LONG way. Had a good teacher (in England), who, in turn, had studied under Tommy Reilly. Don't get much better than that. :)

> ---------- Original Message ----------
> From: phyllis731--- via Harp-L <harp-l at xxxxx>
> To: rickdempster33 at xxxxx, harp-l at xxxxx
> Date: 05/30/2021 5:53 AM
> Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Afro-American chrom players
> Rick, check out Phillip Achille, an incredible chromatic black harpist. Blues Girl PhyllisCuriosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.Samuel Johnson    In a message dated 5/30/2021 1:16:44 AM Eastern Standard Time, rickdempster33 at xxxxx writes: 
> Almost impossible to use words that don't offend anyone these days!(Referring to 'subject' here)Anyway, having taken up the chromatic harp only in the last four years orso (only messed around with it before) I have frequently pondered the factthat I did not take it up, because, generally speaking, it didn't appeal tome. That's not to say I haven't appreciated some chrom playing over theyears, but the only one that really pressed my buttons (no pun intended!)was Stevie Wonder. That is not because I dislike jazz (which is where thechrome usually finds a home) and am attracted to Stevie's pop-soul only,but because of his particular attack, which makes it, for me, a very'human' sound, with every note shaped in a particular way.You could say Larry Adler shapes his notes, but to me, Adler's playingsounds overly dramatic, and, sorry, corny, no matter how technically goodit is.I also felt that in imitating Stevie (as I have heard a few people try) youjust end up sounding like a poor imitation.Then recently, it occured to me that Stevie is the only Afro-Americanchromatic player I have ever heard of.I know Walter and George Smith and other blues players use it in 3rdposition, no button; that is not chromatic playing, really.I think the chrom does not appear in older jazz, or R'n'B because it is notloud enough, and even amplified, the chrom does not seem to make it. It'sjust not 'brutish' enough, like an electric guitar or tenor sax.It is usually used in 'modern' jazz, and is popular in countries like SouthAmerica and India, where the customary musical styles seem to suit it,probably because of strings being the main accompaniment, and the wholesound less aggressive.Stevie Wonder was using the instrument in a form of 'pop' (ie Motown soul)that is light and breezy. It is clear why the instrument works here.So then it occurs to me that Stevie is the only Afro-US chromatic player,and that is part of what makes him stick out.So, here's my question: who have I not heard?Thanks, in anticipation!RDPS So why did I take it up? Having messed with overblows for over 30 years,I decided I can't stand the sound ( I'm sure it loosened my fillings) andhave been using customised Sub30s to deal with tunes that go VI-II-V-I andthe like.Zombor Kovacs, in Hungary does the custom work; he's in Hungary, I'm inAustralia. Why didn't I just take up the trumpet??

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