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Jim Besser

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About Jim Besser

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    Heavyweight Boxer

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  • Interests
    Contra and English ceilidh dance music, Morris music, traditional French dance music, playing for any and all dancers.
  • Location
    Washington DC metro area

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  1. You know how you hear a tune on a CD and don't think anything of it, and they a year later you hear it and think "OMG, this is great?" That's the way it was with this tune, Unanimity. I heard it on one of the Leveret CDs a while back, and maybe because their CDs are so full of good tunes, I didn't pay any attention. Then, yesterday, I heard Andy Turner's version on his previously mentioned blog, and I was gobsmacked. So this morning I worked my way through it. It's rough, but it seems to me to be one of those tunes that's uniquely suited to the Anglo concertina. Now I have to go back and see what Leveret did with it. https://soundcloud.com/concertinist/unanimity-march-29
  2. It's a weird time. I have a LOT of time to play, but that'll end next week when the grandkid and his parents come to stay with us for the duration. With gigs canceled for the foreseeable future, I'm getting to work on tunes I never had time for.
  3. Here it is - another tune for the times: The World Turned Upside Down.
  4. Craig - I didn't think about that one. Foggy Bottom Morris does a dance ' Cavalier' to The World Turned Upside Down. Maybe I'll record it today.
  5. Yes, it was Skeeter Davis . I worked this up a couple of years ago at the Northeast Squeeze In - for a session called "Pity Party, " tunes / songs of doom and gloom - and then forgot about it until yesterday. Reading the morning news about hoarding toilet paper and crashing stock markets, it suddenly came to mind. I can't imagine why. It's fun trying some of these old pop songs on concertina. One I worked up a while back: Blame it on the Bossa Nova. Maybe that will be today's quarantine project.
  6. With so much free time thanks to our new social separation, I've been recording a few things. Here's a set of French tunes - Rondeau des Chiens Battus, by Stephane Delicq, and Bourree D'Aurora Sand, traditional.
  7. Hearing the news today - stock market crashes, quarantines, disease, politicians doing their politician thing - this tune came to mind. Those of you over a certain age may recognize it.
  8. So: It's a strange time for musicians, with so many events canceled, gigs disappeared into thin air, sessions on hold. So why not come together despite our physical isolation and share tunes through the medium of Facebook? (I'm doing this on FB and not c.net because this isn't restricted to concertinas, although I'm hoping lots of concertina friends will participate) Here's the idea: record (video or audio) a tune or a set you're working on during these quarantined times. Any genre, any instrument, and we're not looking for perfection. Just fun stuff that you're working on. What do you think? Let's give it a try and see what happens. https://www.facebook.com/groups/670435983731956/
  9. Thanks; that's interesting. I keep thinking of Jeffries as scarce, but it occurred to me that I really don't know what that means.
  10. As a matter of curiosity, I'm wondering if anybody knows how many Jeffries - all systems, or just Anglos, all the different iterations of the company - were built?
  11. My experience : the Morse C/G is a fast and very playable instrument; I can play it interchangeably with my good vintage instrument and don't see much of a difference when playing fast reels. Every hybrid G/D I've played, including the Morse, is a little harder to play fast than a really good vintage box. I feel a significant difference between my G/D Morse and my Jeffries. That said, I've played many contra dances and ceilidhs with the Morse G/D. So strictly in terms of playability, I don't think you'd gain very much. Sound, of course, is a different matter entirely.
  12. As always, a work in progress. It's maddening, how slow progress comes these days!
  13. Wonderful tunes and wonderful playing, Felix!
  14. Concertina and piano accordion. And a lot of craziness.
  15. Here's my version in Bm on a Jeffries 30 button GD Anglo. Still playing around with the chords. And, like with so many mazurkas, I have a hard time playing it with the smoothness it requires. Bill N - I've never tried it in Bm on the CG. I would think that limits one's chording/bass options, but I'll give it a try and see what comes out! jb
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