Category Archives: Articles

Classic Jazz Music Stations – USA

Came across this. There are several streaming radio stations that do jazz. Good stuff. Click the source link for more stations.

Classic Jazz Music Stations – USA:

Here are around 30 of the best full time Classic Jazz” radio stations in the USA. They are broadcasting “live” from various locales across the country.  All these stations have been very carefully selected based the on quantity and quality of the jazz they play.   Just click on the station’s name and it you will go directly to the music.  Enjoy… 


(Via Jazz Radio Online)

Comparing many oboes!

Robindeshautbois has a great post up about going and comparing a LOT of oboes. Very informative stuff.

There is SO MUCH that can be said about the event – especially a striking concert by all professionals who participated – that it would be too easy to ramble on for hours. For this post, I’ll limit myself to a precious opportunity afforded by the event: trying and comparing over a dozen oboes! Gary Armstrong Woodwinds of Toronto came over to offer repair services and exhibit some of their stock for sale. These consisted of mostly Lorée (used and new – including 1 Royal), a good number of Howarths (new – including 1 XL), a used Strasser, a used Buffet Green Line, a used Covey and 2 new English Horns, a Fox and a Lorée and even 2 oboes for youngsters!

Crack Prevention

Found at Wise words to protect your wooden instrument. Edited to make it a little more clean (type-face wise)

Alvin Swiney
Because of the drastic weather fluctuations during the past month, most music shops are overwhelmed with Oboe crack repairs right now. Would you please forward these suggestion to any woodwind musicians who might find them beneficial.
Alvin Swiney

Basic Crack Prevention
Here are a few suggestions for wood care and crack prevention that my repair teacher, W. Hans Moennig recommends:

  • Never buy a new instrument during the cold winter months as extreme temperature fluctuations will increase wood cracks by 100%. The great oboists, Marcel Tabuteau, would only buy instruments during the months of June and July. He felt that this would give him a chance to gradually break the new instruments in over the Summer and allow them to acclimatize naturally. When instrument are shipped during cold weather, they can sit on loading docks and shipping carts under freezing conditions for long periods of time. This exposure dries out the already unstable wood and causes the pads to detach from the key cups. After delivery, the player deposits large amounts of moisture inside the bore which causes the internal wall to expand against an external wall which has contracted due to dehydration. These opposing forces against the fragile wooden instrument wall will inevitably result in one or more major cracks.
  • Use a humidifier to supplement the moisture of the horn. Suspension humidifiers work better than dampets as they do not come in direct contact with the wooden instrument body thus causing stress.
  • Always store the horn in a wooden cabinet or desk drawer to insulate it from outside humidity changes.
  • When Traveling store the instrument in an ice chest to prevent temperature exposer. (No ice please)
  • If using orange peelings (A natural humidifier) Please allow the peelings to dry at least 12 hours before use. Never allow peelings to touch the keys as citrus acid will cause plating to oxidize, corrode or even flake off. Store peeling in a reed slot and not on wood as mold can occur.
  • Never store the instrument near heaters, air conditioners, or even air vents as this will dry the wood to quickly and add even more stress.
  • Use a wooden instrument case with a heavily insulated case cover.
  • Never leave your horn idled out of the case for more than two hours as this will cause the outside wall to dry faster than the inside bore. (Stress)
  • Never leave your horn on an instrument stand as the bore will not dry on the peg and the tenons corks will compress and become loose.
  • Leave the swab in the case and NOT in the bore. The extra moisture will help. And the horn will dry internally. Pull through silk swabs are recommended instead of the stick type.
  • Use a light bore spray or Almond oil and not the gummy commercial bore oils from music stores.
  • Blow the tone holes dry with compressed air before placing the instrument in case as swabs do not remove water from tone holes, only the bore.
  • (CLARINETISTS) Coat the Barrel and upper joint with wood conditioner such as Bore All to maintain stability in bore dimensions and tuning. This should be done every 3 to 4 months for best results.
  • (OBOISTS and CLARINETISTS) Use wood wedges to prop open trill and G# keys. This will allow the horn to dry more evenly and reduce wood stress. This suggestions is from Arkansas State University Professor, Dan Ross.
  • Play the instrument every day for at least 30 minutes to keep moisture in the wooden body!!!!! Most important rule of all!!!!!

For an illustrated brochure on crack prevention, please send a self addressed, stamped envelope(legal size) to:
A. Swiney
3126 W Cary St #237
Richmond, VA 23221

Redesigned Oboe

I think this would be a GREAT idea for all makers of Oboes to do.
“For the last two years I have been working with the oboe maker Howarth of London on the redesign of some of the key-work of the oboe. The aim has been to develop an oboe which is specifically designed for the performance of contemporary repertoire. The photos here and the description below offers an overview of the new instrument.”

Orchestras Play TOO Perfectly?

Via the Guardian
“But there’s something missing in our orchestral culture, at least according to many musicians based in Europe: a vital spark of intensity and engagement. British orchestras have an unimpeach-able reputation for speed and accuracy. Talking to Simon Rattle ahead of his London residency with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, he told me that one of the principal players in Berlin had a stint as a section leader at one of London’s orchestras. He was amazed at the brilliance of the British musicians in the first rehearsal of a complex piece by Bartók.”

Interesting article. I think that we could learn something from the world of recording, where we do everything digital. They have plugins that add warmth and analog qualities to recordings. Perhaps a little imperfection would be a good thing in an orchestra?

Figuring Out What Bach Wanted

This is an older article I starred in Google Reader. From the Wall Street Journal:

Gonzalo Ruiz is always on the lookout for another piece to add to his repertoire. Because he’d already mastered most of the finest Baroque music composed for oboe, Mr. Ruiz—a faculty member at New York’s Juilliard School and one of today’s most sought-after woodwind soloists—decided to look through J.S. Bach’s music for pieces originally featuring other instruments to transcribe into new versions showcasing his oboe. In the flexible practices of the 18th century, flutes were often substituted for oboes—Mozart himself once tried to pass off a rewritten oboe concerto as a “new” flute concerto—so Mr. Ruiz turned to Bach’s flute literature, which led him directly to one of the most famous flute-centric works in classical music, “Orchestral Suite No. 2.” How would it sound, he wondered, if transposed to an oboe-friendlier key?

Great read.

Bolling Suite 2 For Oboe

The second Bolling suite, re-arranged for Oboe.

  Affectueuse (82.4 KiB, 62 hits)
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  Amoureuse (106.2 KiB, 34 hits)
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  Entr Amis (145.5 KiB, 33 hits)
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  Espiegle (164.4 KiB, 31 hits)
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  Intime (104.6 KiB, 27 hits)
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  Jazzy (135.1 KiB, 78 hits)
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  Pastorale (144.6 KiB, 28 hits)
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Holcombe Jazz Flute Concerto…..for Oboe

Sadly, there is like NOTHING out there for Jazz Oboe. So, I took on a task of transposing and rearranging Bill Holcombe’s Jazz Flute Concerto to work for Oboe. Seems to work out fairly well. The only thing that sorta sucks is that I only have a TAPE of the backgrounds and the piece. When I transfered it to digital, I guess the tape player was slower and caused the whole recording to be about 9 cents flat. So, a little bump in the Amazing Slowdowner fixed that.
But still, it’s TAPE. It’s all stuffy sounding. I searched for a CD version of the Concerto, but they seem not to have it anymore (any version).
Bill Holcombe is an amazing guy. He is like a billion years old, and plays the snot out of flute, clarinet and saxophone. Dunno about Oboe, but he probably could hang on that too.