As a percussionist, I always thought George Hamilton Green was the paradigm of the xylophonists, the virtuoso par excellence. His book is the Bible of the instrument, containing concepts I have incorporated to my playing (keeping wrists very low, using the edge on the accidental bars...). He was a prolific composer, a magnificent player and a successful teacher.
|© Meredith Music|
Apart from George Hamilton Green, my "xylophonistic radar" engaged George Lawrence Stone, Bob Becker, and few others. Recently, and thanks to the magic of the Internet, I have discovered a fantastic player: Teddy Brown.
Abraham Himmelbrand (that was his real name) was a man of rotund appearance, multi-instrumentalist, with an extraordinary musical talent, who played xylophone extraordinarily well.
A few videos:
See the ease on his playing, the use of the edge on the accidentals (magnificent that lateral shot), how low he keeps his wrists, those one handed scales.. A true virtuoso!
On this last video, he makes difficult things look easy, so confident... This song is quite cheesy, but makes me want to sing "walking in a winter wonderland".
Apart from being a terrific xylophone player, he was an amazing snare drummer. See his left hand on 0:25 onwards!
Here he is playing both instruments:
Teddy Brown: a natural talent and, sadly, not known among percussionists. Maybe, it was his premature death at 46, together with the fact that he left no legacy in the form of a book (something George Hamilton Green did) that condemned this player to oblivion.
…et in Arcadia ego.
© David Valdés