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 Playing Advice: 4-String (Jazz, Blues & Other Trad Styles)
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Tenor banjo on spotify

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Randrew - Posted - 05/26/2020:  11:30:28

Hey folks. Still being pretty new to tenor banjo I have been trying to listen to as many different players as possible to get a better sense of the instrument. I use spotify as my main music player and I was wondering what albums/players people listen to. So far my favorites on spotify are Don Vappie, Jimmy Mazzy, Milk Crate Bandits Jack Ray) and Marvin kimball. I'm looking for more artists in the jazzy and blues style but I'm open to any tenor banjo (except Irish, nothing against it, it just doesnt do anything for me personally).

JRay136 - Posted - 05/26/2020:  12:30:35

Hey Andrew,

Don and Jimmy are amazing players and I'm so glad you like the Milk Crate Bandits stuff!

Some other people you should have a listen to are;
-Elmer Snowden his record 'Harlem Banjo' is on Spotify and something of a holy grail of single-note jazz tenor banjo playing.
-Lawrence Marrero. Check out his work with Bunk Johnson and the George Lewis Bands. His brother John Marrero was also revered as one of the greatest New Orleans banjo players. There are a few recordings of John Marrero in 1925 with the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band
-George Guesnon. He's on a lot of Kid Thomas Valentine's records and he has an interesting solo record called 'Plays, Sings & Reminisces
-Ikey Robinson. He was the leader of the band at the time but the band is now known as Jabbo Smith's Rhythm Aces.
-Emmanuel Sayles. Played with a lot of the New Orleans bands. You can hear really early examples of his playing on Jones and Collins Astoria Hot Eight but there's a lot of him playing in the revival period.
- Fred Guy in Duke Ellington's early bands.
- Arthur Taylor in King Oliver's Bands in the late 20s and early 30s

There's another world of tenor banjo playing with players such as Harry Reser.

Some tenor players from more recent times are Eddy Davis, Tyler Jackson and Howard Alden.

Happy listening!


hobogal - Posted - 05/26/2020:  12:52:57

Great suggestions. Some other players I like are Spats Langham, Seva Venet (mostly guitar banjo but some tenor), Arno Hagenaars and Casey Connor with Rattletrap Ruckus and solo (a bit different).

Edited by - hobogal on 05/26/2020 12:54:54

pasdimo - Posted - 05/26/2020:  12:57:29

Tyler Jackson !!!

Randrew - Posted - 05/27/2020:  18:41:55

Thanks for all the listening advice folks. Love the Harlem Banjo album Jack, and George Guesnon! Havent made it much further than that so far :).

Omeboy - Posted - 05/27/2020:  20:39:11

Here's another guy you can check out, Buddy Wachter. But one little caveat: he's not playing a tenor in these clips. He's playing a plectrum: 22 frets tuned C G B D.


ElBonzo - Posted - 06/01/2020:  18:39:08

Great recommendations, thank you all!

jazzbanjoman - Posted - 06/02/2020:  10:41:14

I have a modern jazz tenor banjo recording called “Not your average banjo” on Spotify and iTunes.

Stephen DiBonaventura

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