All my life I have taught people a blessed miracle of music, that whence the passion of creativity resides within one, an orchestra can be painted from a pallette of only three colours.
This is one reason I prefer the ten hole Blues Harp over the grander twelve hole Chromatic Harmonicas.
At least it certainly has become so ever since I discovered ‘Country Tuning’, a gentle change in pitch of the 5 draw to a sharp note, creating a Major 7th chord in 2nd position. Miraculously, this simple change in the pitch of a single reed actually harbours, unto the dedicated artist, a whole library of jazz chords and phrases.
Yet the reason I am writing today, is to spread the word about a fabulous company in the USA, Turbo Harp, who, amongst their many revolutionary innovations in harmonica evolution, created the Turbo Lid, a specially shaped ergonomic cover lid for your ten hole blues harmonica.
These lids are amongst the only kind in the world designed to provide not only a comfortable, smooth and sonorous playing feel, but to specifically accommodate the longer reed lengths in the lower register, thus eliminating reed rattle.
They are made from durable poly-carbonate, which is virtually unbreakable, they are airtight in design, have very smooth edges, are both hypoallergenic and non-toxic, and… look absolutely awesome!
They are available in myriads of different colours or designs, including various comb combinations and even different brand model modifications. Furthermore the Turbo Lid actually only makes up a very small part in the entirely greater, innovative Turbo Harp product range.
Now, familiar readers of my blog will know I am also a Pianist, who in my life have performed in bars, lounges and even royal buildings abroad.
However, those of you will also have worked out by now, that my pursuit to find a small acoustic instrument to substitute the inconvenience and expense of the beloved Piano, has been a very long and painful endeavour.
You see, a Harmonica, at the very end of the day, isn’t quite a Piano. I don’t mean that in terms of capabilities, for as I have said many times, an instrument’s capabilities are truly only purely of the beholder.
I mean its face.
Aye, when at the end of the day you are looking for the best quality budget range harp, the Hohner Special 20 Country Tuned is, regardless of anything else I have played, thence the most beautiful harmonica in the world. Indeed anyone who has spent a real good time meditating with this harp will know its tuning art born of jazz.
Yet its dress sense is not at all, shall we say, Gershwin?
And so… I was browsing the Turbo Harp store and flicking through the various designs when, all of a sudden I smiled. It wasn’t a usual smile. It was a smile from within, but yet which mysteriously I hadn’t yet somehow felt. It was like a premonition, as if I was about to smile instead, but already somehow knew why.
I flicked back. Pink. Yes, a fine colour, very jazzy. Did you know it was once boys who wore pink, instead of girls?
Then, like a cascading waterfall of flattened fifths and augmented ninths all wrapped up in a star sprinkled cosmos of majestically clashing major sevenths…
… I saw my Grand. Looking. Straight. At. Me.
Aye, a good black comb and a pearly white body. A deep powerful baritone and a sweet profound soprano. All singing together within the grandiose chest of a seemingly living instrument.
So, behold now the angelic awesome wonder of modern day jazz harmonica. Get down on your knees and hail the ancient masters of jazz history… for today, Gershwin really has come to town.
Aye… a Vanilla Grand, in ya pocket.