Discussion:
Bass Cano - real instrument or what?
(too old to reply)
Tubaman
2007-05-17 17:59:15 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Hello, (long time lurker, first time poster)

I am a DJ on KFJC, did a long running show that featured mostly older
jazz, jug, blues, novelty and etc. Often when I played blues from the
1930s some listener would call or write to ask about the "instrument"
listed as "Bass Cano," especially in reference to Alfred Elkins
recording with Big Joe Williams in 1941.

Ever since then I have been researching this instrument - some
musicologists (and others) say it was a very simple one-string bass
guitar (not a wash-tub bass) while others say it probably was "Vocal
Bass" sung to imitate the sound of a string bass (like the Mills
Brothers often did.)

I have asked this question on several other groups and lists without
much conclusive evidence - anybody have a clue?

David Richoux
Joel
2007-05-18 19:59:36 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Tubaman
listener would call or write to ask about the "instrument"
listed as "Bass Cano," especially in reference to Alfred Elkins
recording with Big Joe Williams in 1941.
Ever since then I have been researching this instrument - some
musicologists (and others) say it was a very simple one-string bass
guitar (not a wash-tub bass) while others say it probably was "Vocal
Bass" sung to imitate the sound of a string bass (like the Mills
Brothers often did.)
David Richoux
Nobody else has tried, so I'll offer a bit of odd information that may
or may not be related. "Cano" is Latin for 'I sing'.

Joel Shimberg
David Sanderson
2007-05-19 14:35:40 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Joel
Post by Tubaman
listener would call or write to ask about the "instrument"
listed as "Bass Cano," especially in reference to Alfred Elkins
recording with Big Joe Williams in 1941.
Ever since then I have been researching this instrument - some
musicologists (and others) say it was a very simple one-string bass
guitar (not a wash-tub bass) while others say it probably was "Vocal
Bass" sung to imitate the sound of a string bass (like the Mills
Brothers often did.)
David Richoux
Nobody else has tried, so I'll offer a bit of odd information that may
or may not be related. "Cano" is Latin for 'I sing'.
Joel Shimberg
Well, it's actually "canto," "I sing," or "cantare," the infinitive "to
sing." I now find myself thinking of "cano" = "cane," as in the flutes
made of cane that were traditional. This doesn't help with recording,
which I haven't heard anyway, but may provide some glimmer to research.

Speaking of cane, I am similarly perplexed by the set of Clifford Hayes
(Dixieland Jug Blowers and others) recordings that feature what is
referred to as a "walking cane flute." This sounds like a wooden flute
or pipe, has a fair range, and sounds like it's played straight, not
transversely. The performer is playing hot jazz, a real virtuoso, but
I've never found out any more about it.

A while back there was discussion somewhere, and I put their 1930 "Tiger
Rag" on my Web site. Go to http://www.dwsanderson.com/music.html and
scroll down; click on the title for RealAudio playback.
--
David Sanderson
East Waterford, Maine

***@adelphia.net
http://www.dwsanderson.com
Joel
2007-05-21 02:01:42 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Sanderson
Well, it's actually "canto," "I sing," or "cantare," the infinitive "to
sing." > David Sanderson
East Waterford, Maine
The third word of the Aeneid, usually translated as "I sing", is
"cano".

Joel
David Sanderson
2007-05-21 19:00:17 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Joel
Post by David Sanderson
Well, it's actually "canto," "I sing," or "cantare," the infinitive "to
sing." > David Sanderson
East Waterford, Maine
The third word of the Aeneid, usually translated as "I sing", is
"cano".
Joel
Yes, indeed, now that you mention it; glad someone's paying attention to
these important details. It's hard to beat a newsgroup where people
correct you for misremembering Virgil.
--
David Sanderson
East Waterford, Maine

***@adelphia.net
http://www.dwsanderson.com
carlbaron
2007-05-21 13:57:14 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Sanderson
Speaking of cane, I am similarly perplexed by the set of Clifford Hayes
(Dixieland Jug Blowers and others) recordings that feature what is
referred to as a "walking cane flute." This sounds like a wooden flute
or pipe, has a fair range, and sounds like it's played straight, not
transversely. The performer is playing hot jazz, a real virtuoso, but
I've never found out any more about it.
I have three volumes of "Clifford Hayes and the Louisville Jug Bands"
(RST Records JPCD-1501-2, JPCD-1502-2, JPCD-1503-2) and the only flute
like sound is in bands appears to be Buford Threlkeld (as known as
"Whistler" like in "Whistler and his Jug Band) who plays, according the
CD notes, nose-whistle. I don't see any other entries for flute-like
sounds. By the way, back in the 1950s, Jean Sheperd would often play the
nose-flute on his radio show.
Carl
David Sanderson
2007-05-21 19:12:07 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by carlbaron
Post by David Sanderson
Speaking of cane, I am similarly perplexed by the set of Clifford
Hayes (Dixieland Jug Blowers and others) recordings that feature what
is referred to as a "walking cane flute." This sounds like a wooden
flute or pipe, has a fair range, and sounds like it's played straight,
not transversely. The performer is playing hot jazz, a real virtuoso,
but I've never found out any more about it.
I have three volumes of "Clifford Hayes and the Louisville Jug Bands"
(RST Records JPCD-1501-2, JPCD-1502-2, JPCD-1503-2) and the only flute
like sound is in bands appears to be Buford Threlkeld (as known as
"Whistler" like in "Whistler and his Jug Band) who plays, according the
CD notes, nose-whistle. I don't see any other entries for flute-like
sounds. By the way, back in the 1950s, Jean Sheperd would often play the
nose-flute on his radio show.
Carl
Yes - what I'm talking about is in fact on Volume IV, JPCD-1504-2, all
later recordings from 1929 and after, including the 1931 cuts backing
Jimmie Rodgers. The walking cane flute appears on the Phillips'
Louisville Jug Band cuts, in the person of Charles "Cane" Adams, cuts
made in August/September 1930, apparently with personnel separate from
but likely connected with the Hayes musicians. Try listening to the
"Tiger Rag" on my Web page for a sample; Adams was quite a musician,
whatever he was playing.
--
David Sanderson
East Waterford, Maine

***@adelphia.net
http://www.dwsanderson.com
carlbaron
2007-05-21 22:36:33 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Sanderson
Yes - what I'm talking about is in fact on Volume IV, JPCD-1504-2, all
later recordings from 1929 and after, including the 1931 cuts backing
Jimmie Rodgers. The walking cane flute appears on the Phillips'
Louisville Jug Band cuts, in the person of Charles "Cane" Adams, cuts
made in August/September 1930, apparently with personnel separate from
but likely connected with the Hayes musicians. Try listening to the
"Tiger Rag" on my Web page for a sample; Adams was quite a musician,
whatever he was playing.
Have been trying to buy Vol IV from Hatton when I go to Clifftop, but he
hasn't had it (I got the other three from him).
Carl
r***@ku.edu
2014-03-26 02:41:20 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Tubaman
Hello, (long time lurker, first time poster)
I am a DJ on KFJC, did a long running show that featured mostly older
jazz, jug, blues, novelty and etc. Often when I played blues from the
1930s some listener would call or write to ask about the "instrument"
listed as "Bass Cano," especially in reference to Alfred Elkins
recording with Big Joe Williams in 1941.
Ever since then I have been researching this instrument - some
musicologists (and others) say it was a very simple one-string bass
guitar (not a wash-tub bass) while others say it probably was "Vocal
Bass" sung to imitate the sound of a string bass (like the Mills
Brothers often did.)
I have asked this question on several other groups and lists without
much conclusive evidence - anybody have a clue?
David Richoux
A little late to this party, but recording sheets from Bluebird in late 1930s list "cano improvised st. bass," which would imply a one-string bass - and further state "not considered a musical instrument"!

Roberta Schwartz

Loading...