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Thread: Brilliancy by sam bush

  1. #1
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    would be wonderful if you have them
    My mandolin is my boyfriend

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    check on www.mandozine.com

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    Originally done by Eck Robertson.
    Bill Foley

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    Jonathan James jjboone101's Avatar
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    one of my all time favorites....seems pretty challenging to play up to speed but I haven't really focused on it yet.

    anyone else have it done cold?

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    Registered User James P's Avatar
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    I've got it dialed at 76 bpm.

    I was playing it faster but then I moved on to other frustrations. #
    Tabs are here.

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    i can play it up to the speed that sam plays it i believe. It's not one of those fiddle tunes played extremely fast, it sounds very nice at slow and medium speeds. Make sure you play the b part slow and make sure all the positions shifts are very clean. great tune.

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    Violins and Mandolins Stephanie Reiser's Avatar
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    There are also two versions in mandolincafe's tablature library. I memorized one of them.
    http://www.stephaniereiser.com then click mandolins

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    Quote Originally Posted by (a12 @ June 25 2007, 15:58)
    Originally done by Eck Robertson.
    Is that true? I know he recorded a "Brilliancy Medley" and as far as I've been able to determine, it is exactly that, a medley of mostly well-known tunes like
    Bill Cheatam. Others have claimed
    that this medley is the same as the one
    played by Fairport Convention - I've heard it on YouTube. I have no way of confirming or refuting that claim.

    At least that latter version has nothing
    in common (except the key of A)
    with the 3-part tune known as Brilliancy, which has two parts
    coming from Trafalgar Hornpipe, and another part from Passaic Hornpipe
    (these tunes were annotated in the classical collection 1000 Fiddle Tunes).

    I learned Brilliancy in 1965
    from Howdy Forrester's LP Fancy Fiddlin' Country Style
    (CUB records)
    which also had Rutland's Reel (by Robert "Georgia Slim" Rutland). I'm pretty sure
    that Sam Bush, Bobby Osborne and Blaine Sprouse, amongst others,
    got a lot of inspiration from that LP (recorded in 1960 with piano,
    except harmonica on one piece, which makes me suspect the player was
    Jimmie Riddle).

    In a recent interview for a British magazine I learned that Sam Bush's father
    was a friend of Roy Acuff's, which gave Bush the opportunity to learn
    a thing or two first-hand from Forrester. So he may have gotten the tune
    that way (although the tabbed version deviates from what I heard on slowing
    down the turntable to half speed).

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    Quote Originally Posted by (jjboone101 @ June 25 2007, 16:03)
    one of my all time favorites....seems pretty challenging to play up to speed but I haven't really focused on it yet.

    anyone else have it done cold?
    I recorded it in 1969 with a bluegrass band (of sorts). I'm pretty sure that's the first recorded version that has (two parts of) the tune in "melodic" banjo style.

    I later changed the second part as I forgot the second half of it:


    http://www.huthyfs.com/music/Brill2.mp3


    Now that I know so much more about music I wish I had the technique
    I had 38 years ago, this is not very clean, I'm afraid.
    I think this is around 90 bpm, shouldn't be
    done much faster than that.

    I hope to get a CD copy of our recording later.

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    Sam did indeed cover a bunch of Howdy's material (from the Fancy Fiddlin' Country Style and another whose title escapes me) on the great (but unreleased on CD) "Sam and Alan Together Again (For the First Time)" on Ridge Runner Records. That album was a major roadmap for me when I started getting serious about mando back in the day. I was lucky enough to find those two Howdy albums and got to compare and contrast Sam and Howdy's versions of the tunes, as well as check out a bunch of other Howdy tracks.

    It's always fun to see where your heroes came from...Sam led me to Howdy and Bobby Osborne (and Ozzy too but I won't mention that )
    John McGann, Associate Professor, Berklee College of Music
    johnmcgann.com
    myspace page
    Youtube live mando

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    So maybe I should add jmcgann to my list.

    I still recall hearing Brilliancy on radio in '60 or '61; it was featured
    in a gramophone hour on Swedish radio with the program
    (including record label and number) printed in the newspaper.
    I thought it was the prettiest tune I'd ever heard, looked up the
    LP in the Schwann catalog and ordered it through a store in Stockholm -
    took several months. The tunes on that album
    (transcribed with the turntable set to half speed) determined
    much of my vocabulary when I got staretd on the mandolin in 1966.
    Another source was a Flatt and Scruggs songbook that had faithful transcriptions
    of the fiddle solos on some of Scruggs' instrumentals. Didn't realize at the time that the fiddler on these numbers was Forrester!

    No mandolin content, and off topic , but right now you can hear Forrester's
    High Level Hornpipe on YouTube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MoBSLipiJU

    That tune, too, was on Fancy Fiddlin'.

  12. #12
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    jmcgann recorded "High Level Hornpipe" in a version combining elements of Howdy and Michael Coleman on an album called Upslide (Green Linnet/Redbird) 1995. Supposedly being reissued by Mel Bay sometime in this millenium...also on the same album is "Doc Harris Hornpipe" again influenced by Big Howdy.
    John McGann, Associate Professor, Berklee College of Music
    johnmcgann.com
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