The Hot New Sound on the Scene? Oh, Yes, It is the Clarinet
Since the end of the big band era, the clarinet has taken a backseat to its sexier woodwind cousin, the saxophone. But in the Bay Area, thanks to a fertile environment of classically trained clarinetists with experimental sensibilities, the oft-overlooked instrument is having a moment.
I can't imagine a better time for clarineting in the Bay Area," said Ben Goldberg of the New Klezmer Trio. There are so many wonderful players here now. And it's only getting better, baby."
Talented clarinetists such as Cornelius Boots, who after graduating from music school in 1999 wanted to form a bass clarinet quartet, have had their ambitions squelched by the limited repertoire and passion for their beloved instrument. But upon arriving here in 2003after getting a tepid reception from potential band members in ChicagoMr. Boots quickly got his bass clarinet quartet, named Edmund Welles, off the ground. Within a year and a half Mr. Boots had received a composition grant from Chamber Music America. Now, as far as Mr. Boots knows, Edmund Welles is the only contemporary composing bass clarinet quartet in the world.