My Vintage Bb Clarinets

Leblanc 176 1949
Leblanc L7 1971
Leblanc VSP c.1983
SML King Marigaux 355T c.1972
SML King Marigaux 350 c.1970
1952 Selmer Centered Tone
Couesnon Monopole c.1930
V. Kohlert Sons Graslitz Bb LP c.1930
1937 Pan American (hard rubber)
Penzel Mueller Soloist
Penzel Mueller Brilliante c.1950
Penzel Muller "pre-Artist"
Penzel Mueller Dyna-Tone (plastic)
G. Penzel Pacemaker
Jean Barre
Conn 16 c.1960 (plastic)
(also have a Martin Freres Eb clarinet)

(BTW, most of these are for sale if anyone is interested)

Here are some tunes I monkeyed around with, some years ago, ranging from the raucous Cabaret to funky Alley Cat, to some Andrew Lloyd Webber music.

Long ago and far away, in my high school years, I played clarinet and bass clarinet in the band.  After graduation in 1956, I didn't touch a horn until I succombed to a wild hair in October 2009, and bought an inexpensive clarinet.  Even though this horn far exceeded my skill level, a Selmer grenadilla wood clarinet found its way into the house late that year.

Shortly after that, I bought a Penzel-Mueller Brilliante that was so cruddy I feared I had bought a lamp.  But I sent it to Phil Fields for his "Spa Treatment", and after his magic touch, it looked and played like new.  Check out Phil's web site, it's very interesting, especially if you like vintage horns.

Since then, I have acquired a small collection of vintage horns, the pride of which was a 1952 Selmer Centered Tone. Recently Vytas Krass refaced a 1950s Selmer HS in Oval mouthpiece for the Centered Tone, and wow!  What a difference a perfectly matched mouthpiece makes!  Also, not long ago, I acquired an SML King Marigaux 350 and a Leblanc 176, which are fantastic clarinets! Vytas considers all three of these horns "diamonds in the rough". And then - (drumroll please) - a Leblanc L7 - best finger fitting and playing horn yet! My bent left index finger gives me no trouble at all on this one.

My goal is to be able to handle Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue for the clarinet with piano accompianment, but I have a long way to go.  So far, my favorites on the left are Old Man River and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, with Harlem Nocturne a close third.  These are all old renditions, one of these days I wll update.  And don't miss the Christian music page.

Although I will never be mistaken for a real musician, I really enjoy noodling around on the clarinet, and play in two community bands. I am without doubt the worst clarinetist in both bands, but they put up with me - nice people!

Bored with listening to me toot the clarinet? Tune in to son Ron's internet radio station, Bop City for the best in vintage jazz.  But be sure to turn off any music playing here first!

"Everyone discovers their own way of destroying themselves, and some people choose the clarinet."

- Kalmen Opperman   

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