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Dan Worrall

New Jody Kruskal Cd

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There is a new anglo concertina recording ("Naked Concertina") by Jody Kruskal, who many of you may remember hearing on the Anglo International CD. Jody plays in a harmonic style, with a lot of verve and energy. These tunes are all ones he has written for contra dance playing. It is a very enjoyable recording; finally he has put some of his solo anglo playing out there.

 

I don't remember hearing about this CD when Jody taught at the Button Box's concertina workshop last April, so it must be fairly new. There are several extended length sound clips on the website. Enjoy!

 

http://cdbaby.com/cd/jodykruskal

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Thanks for providing the link. The samples to hear on the link were excellent. So much so I ordered a copy of the cd for myself. As someone who is not leaning toward any style of playing at this time because I like both the "Irish" and "English" ways of playing this cd will be a nice counter point to my Noel Hill cd, which I listen to over and over. Thanks again.

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Dan and CaryK,

 

Thanks for your kind words about my Naked Concertina cd. Yes, it is brand new. I just got it back from the manufacturer two weeks ago and it's only been up on cdbaby a few days.

 

The tunes on the cd are all published in my book Feet in the Clouds (available from me or http://www.cdss.org/sales/american_dance.html).

 

A number of folks got the book at the Button Box Northeast Concertina Workshop last April. Comments from them, along the lines of “The tunes are fine but what I really want is to hear them...” spurred me on to make this recording. So really, the book and the cd go hand in hand.

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Jody if it is anywhere as near as good as what you did on Anglo International it will be great.

Al

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Jody if it is anywhere as near as good as what you did on Anglo International it will be great.

Al

 

Al,

 

Thanks for your endorsement and thanks for helping to put Anglo International together... what a fine collection it is!

 

Naked Concertina is another kettle of fish for me, in that there is no band to support the concertina, or cover it up, depending on how you see it. That’s why the cd is naked. In this truly solo recording, I picked the tunes that could sustain an exposed view. What I mean is that I’m playing melody, high harmony, bass notes and full accompaniment all at once... all elements that the rest of the band usually supplies.

 

The link I provided previously for my tune book seems to be defective, perhaps this will work better:

 

http://www.cdss.org/sales/american_dance

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There is a new anglo concertina recording ("Naked Concertina") by Jody Kruskal, who many of you may remember hearing on the Anglo International CD. Jody plays in a harmonic style, with a lot of verve and energy.

 

I recommend Jody's music heartily. Years ago, his group's "Grand Picnic" cassette (now a CD) was one of the things that drew me to the Anglo...nobody else playing contra dance music was playing like this guy.

 

His own compositions are interesting, complex tunes, but written for the concertina; every one I've learned has been a joy to play.

 

What I've always liked about his music -- the factor that also drew me to Morris music -- is the way it uses the unique attributes of the instrument for melody plus chords/bass runs/harmonies. Single note playing can be great, but to my ear there's nothing special about it on concertina; played in the harmonic style, the concertina sounds totally unique.

 

Dancing to Grand Picnic is a real experience , and the way Jody drives the band with that concertina of his is a big reason why.

 

As one who has tried to decipher his music for years and recreate it in my own inadequate way, I am looking forward to a whole new bunch of tunes to learn.

Edited by Jim Besser

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Jody,

 

Would you kindlly tell me what concertina(S) you are using on the new CD and the key systems

 

Thanks

 

 

Jeff

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Jody,

 

Would you kindlly tell me what concertina(S) you are using on the new CD and the key systems

 

Thanks

 

Jeff

 

Sure Jeff. I’m playing a Jefferies G/D 38 button Anglo for some of the cuts and a Dipper G/D 40 button Anglo on the others. The two instruments have a slightly different sound and response. The Jefferies is buttery and smooth in feel and can leap forth from ppp to fff in an instant, with a sound that is strident. The Dipper requires a more robust playing style to sound at it’s best and feels like more work to play though in the recording there is not a huge difference in how the two sound, except that the Dipper’s bass notes really pop with a sharper attack. The extra two buttons on the Dipper give me a low A above the lowest note, which on a G/D is G, the button plays C/A, push/pull. I love that low A and use it all the time. The right hand extra button gives me a high A# which is missing in the standard Jefferies 38 layout. That button is A#/G#. The Dipper sounds smoother and richer to me.

 

There... is that more than you wanted to know?

 

Jody

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Hi Jody,

 

Thanks for the info....

 

My ear prefers G/D

 

Almost makes me wish I had kept my Jeffries 38 button Ab/Eb and had it retuned to G/D...

ah.. hindsight

 

Now if only Morse would make a 38 or a 40 ......

 

 

One other question... same as before but what instrument(s) keys on Grand Picnic ?

 

 

Thanks again

 

Jeff

Edited by Jeff H

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Hi Jeff,

 

Yeah, G/Ds sound rich. I like the sound of C/Gs too, and I like how quick their response is, but with my technique of harmonic playing, I would not be able to play much of my repitoire in the proper keys on a C/G. What I gain in fullness of sound and texture, I loose in versitility.

 

Too bad that one got away, those Jefferies 38 G/Ds are rare all right, and nothing is like them. If I were to order a new 30 button instrument, I would ask the maker to add one button (that is really 32 counting the air button). The left hand thumb button is easy. Most endplates already have the hole, so it's not an entire reworking of the scrolling. On a G/D the button would play C push and G pull giving you the all important lowest pull G on the instrument. I use it all the time and really miss it if it's not there. The push low C is useful on occasion but not essential.

 

I'm not sure if Morse would customize for you, but I think Edgley would.

 

One other question... same as before but what instrument(s) keys on Grand Picnic ?

 

Jeff

 

On the Grand Picnic cd I use the very same G/D Jefferies 38 on all but Smart Young Man, which I played on a C/G Jefferies 32, like what I just described.

 

Good luck Jeff.

 

Jody

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Jody,

 

Is "harmonic" concertina playing similar to the "duet" style of mandolin playing.. example Evan Marshal??

 

Jeff

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Hi Jody,

 

Put in simple terms it's a method of playing

Bass, melody and chords at the same time

 

Called "duet" style I believe because it sounds like more than one player.

 

Slight of hand really and few can do it .

I mentioned Evan Marshall... he does it and well. He does have a CDout and a book out on the technique.

 

I'll see if I can find a link.

 

 

Jeff

Edited by Jeff H

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Called "duet" style I believe because it sounds like more than one player.

 

Slight of hand really and few can do it .

I mentioned Evan Marshall... he does it and well. He does have a CDout and a book out on the technique.

 

 

Jeff

 

Hm, a mandolin buddy just had me listen to a cut from a new CD produced by Dave Grisman with a number of guitar and mandolin luminaries playing a rare Martin and Lloyd Loar respectively.

 

The cat on this cut was playing duet style varriations on the Ode to Joy theme from the 4th movement of Beethoven's Symphony #9. It was almost enough to give me religion. I'll give him a call and see if it was this Evan Marshall. Whoever it is, I would like a copy on his solo CD. I was slack jawed.

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Hi Jody,

 

Put in simple terms it's a method of playing

Bass, melody and chords at the same time

 

Called "duet" style I believe because it sounds like more than one player.

 

Slight of hand really and few can do it .

I mentioned Evan Marshall... he does it and well. He does have a CDout and a book out on the technique.

 

I'll see if I can find a link.

 

 

Jeff

 

Hi Jeff

 

Evan Marshall is truly amazing. You can hear him play the William Tell Overture here:

 

http://www.3oh5.com/Evan_Marshall/

 

Thanks for telling me about all of this.

 

I guess you could make a case for duet style on the mandolin being analogous to harmonic technique on the Anglo concertina. If nothing else, apples and oranges both taste sweet.

 

Concertinas in general, are known for playing single line with occasional harmony notes, just like the mandolin. To hear all those bass notes and interior lines and upper harmonies being played surely stretches the general concept of what the instrument can do for both concertina and mandolin. So there is a similarity there.

 

Harmonic playing has been around for a long time on all the various concertina systems and is even the norm, I think for many, so I don’t think that it is used as a slight of hand sort of trick in any way. I think of harmonic playing as just a full use of the instrument and very effective particularly for solo playing.

 

Boy Howdy, that picker is fast!

 

Jody

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