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MMD > Archives > September 2000 > 2000.09.24 > 04Prev  Next


B.A.B. vs. Wurlitzer Band Organ Music
By Matthew Caulfield

I'm going to keep my preference in the B.A.B. vs. Wurlitzer question
a deep secret.  But reading the two excellent responses to Jeff
Alterman's query in 000918 MMDigest moves me to mention that the sound
you get out of a given music book or roll depends to a degree on the
organ it is played on.

I realized this most clearly on hearing Wurlitzer 150 rolls played on
John and Jeanne Malone's Wurlitzer 165 band organ.  Those 150's sounded
so much richer and fuller on the 165 than on a 146 or even a 153 --
solely because of the pipe complement they were driving in the 165.

Conversely, it is probably not fair to B.A.B. or to J. Lawrence Cook,
the company's only arranger, to judge their musical quality from the
B.A.B.-to-Wurlitzer transcriptions that Play-Rite made.  I'm told that
B.A.B. rolls played on an organ that Borna, Antoniazzi, and Brugnolotti
[Messr's B.A.B.] converted to play their B.A.B. roll system are things
of breathtaking beauty.  I have heard the Coney Island Bruder organ,
which is such an organ, in person and also some tapes of other B.A.B.
organs.  My breath stayed with me, but I do admit hearing an improvement
over the transcription rolls.

So keep in mind that there is a symbiosis between the punched holes and
the instrument they drive.

Matthew Caulfield


(Message sent Sun 24 Sep 2000, 14:42:35 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  B.A.B, Band, Music, Organ, vs, Wurlitzer

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