11 November 2014

Post 144: 'DEAR ALMANZOER' (TUBA SKINNY)

Sometimes you come across a great tune on YouTube but can't for the life of you think of its title. That happened to me with a recent one from Tuba Skinny.

The person who put up the video didn't know it either.

Well, a blog-reader (James Buck) very kindly put us both out of our misery and told us it is 'Dear Almanzoer', written and recorded in 1927 by Oscar Celestin. He's right!
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO.

Listen to Celestin's version and then Tuba Skinny's. You will find the musicians of Tuba Skinny have kept faithfully to the original, even though their instrumentation is slightly different from Celestin's. The structure of Tuba Skinny's performance is as follows.The entire piece (which comprises three themes) is played in the key of Eb:

Theme A (played once): 16-bar theme like a Verse of a Song. Typical of verses in Eb, it ends on the chord of Bb7, leading perfectly into the tonic at the start of Theme B.

Theme B (played once): 32-bar theme (like a Chorus of a song).

Theme C: a 12-bar blues theme (played 5 times: i. clarinet against offbeats - exactly as on the Celestin version, ii. clarinet against stop chords - again exactly as on the Celestin version, iii. cornet, iv. trombone leading, v. trombone leading - with decoration from cornet).

Theme B: the 32-bar theme is played ensemble again to finish (again as in the original Celestin performance).

Thanks as so often to the great video-maker digitalalexa for recording this performance for us.

Since I wrote the above, another very good YouTube video of this tune played by Tuba Skinny has appeared. It was made by Dave Mann in October 2014:
Click here.