Monday, August 1, 2011

The hot & spiky clarinet of Edward Inge

An almost forgotten man, at least as far as jazz criticism is concerned, Edward Inge played reeds with some of the greatest jazz bands of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. His clarinet playing is especially idiosyncratic, featuring strings of eighth-notes unleashed with piquant fury.

Inge, like William Thornton Blue, Edmond Hall, Omer Simeon and Raymond Burke, imbued his solos with an old-fashioned 'hotness' that really shows where the metaphor 'hot jazz' came from: spice, not temperature. These players also give the impression they could make your ears bleed if they chose - I call this sort of playing 'spiky clarinet'.

Here's Edward Inge with the latter-day McKinney's Cotton Pickers:



And here are two records from his long stay with Don Redman's underrated orchestra of the 1930s:



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