Clarinet Thing | Agony Pipes and Misery Sticks

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United States - California - SF

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Jazz: Weird Jazz Blues: Jazzy Blues Moods: Mood: Virtuoso
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Agony Pipes and Misery Sticks

by Clarinet Thing

Beth Custer's Clarinet Thing is a quintet of the Bay Area's clarinet improvising virtuosos including Ben Goldberg, Sheldon Brown, Peter Josheff, and Ralph Carney. They tear it up on originals and tunes by Duke Ellington, Eubie Blake, John Carter and more.
Genre: Jazz: Weird Jazz
Release Date: 

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1. Echoes of Harlem
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2. Vou Vivendo
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3. Akeem the Dream
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3:03 $0.99
4. Sweeping Staircase
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3:19 $0.99
5. Fired Manager Blues
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6. Touchy
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7. Sticks and Stones
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2:41 $0.99
8. Memories of You
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3:16 $0.99
9. Das Lied von den braunen Inseln
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1:25 $0.99
10. Oberek Krakowski
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1:11 $0.99
11. Song of the Unsung
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4:26 $0.99
12. The Lips That Kissed the Paper
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4:27 $0.99
13. Primitive Southern Brass Band Piece
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2:21 $0.99
14. Family Heap
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3:18 $0.99
15. Mountains of the Moon
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16. The Mooch
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Album Notes
Clarinet Thing 'Agony Pipes and Misery Sticks'
CD notes
There is nothing like blowing a horn. It oxygenates the body, clears the mind, and causes mood responses from meditative to giddy, ecstatic, to contemplative. I come from a long tradition of groups of horns blowing together in harmony and dissonance, both in and out of tune. From my marching band at Fredonia High School, (go Hillbillies!) to symphonic bands at Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY and Michigan State University in East Lansing; from the 1980 Olympics Awards band in Lake Placid (54 national anthems!) to the large clarinet choirs at San Francisco State University; I've been blowing with the best for many decades. This led me to form Clarinet Thing. In 1990 I sought out four of my favorite Bay Area clarinetists, Ben Goldberg, Ralph Carney, Sheldon Brown, and Peter Josheff, for their unique sound and approach to the instrument, for their musicalitiy, friendship, and sense of humor. It was essential to me that the group have a lot of variety in compositional styles. Each member is a composer and ensemble leader in their own right. Thus scheduling is a nightmare and we've only performed sporadically. This is a smattering of those performances in cafes, bars, churches and concert halls from the past 14 years. Enjoy! And blow your horn. -Beth Custer


to write a review

Dave Lantz

Loose - relaxed - fun! You'll be amazed at the superb musicianship each time you play it.

Jeremy Tavan

Interesting, different, and musical
I heard some of this on the radio and had to pick it up. Fun music on fun instruments, well-played and nicely recorded. People may look at you strangely for listening to a clarinet quintet, but the music speaks for itself.

Tamara Turner, CD Baby

So you're looking for something out of the ordinary. Something to wake up your ears from the popular trends and fads. If you have a taste for jazz, dixieland or music with sass and spunk, stop here and give "Agony Pipes and Misery Sticks" a long listen. This clarinet quintet from the Bay Area has as much personality as full jazz combo and what they lack in diversity of instruments they make up for with dynamic expression and delivery. From the lumbering bass clarinet to the laughing, snickering lines of the others, this quintet brings this versatile instrument to a new audience.