Kjeld Brandt’s ‘New’ Clarinet

In October 2002 Kjeld Brandt, leader of the ‘New Orleans Delight’ jazz band, obtained a ‘new’ clarinet on an eBay auction: a Silver KING made by the H.N. White Co. of Cleveland/Ohio, USA between 1940-45. Kjeld is very happy with it because this 99% pure silver lined Boehm system clarinet produces a better and bigger tone than any other Boehm clarinet he has played so far, no matter whether metal or wooden ones. One can say that now Kjeld has found – like George Lewis in the late 1930s – the clarinet of his life. As Kjeld’s ‘new’ metal clarinet is a two-piece model with a detachable bell and barrel it comes apart like a wooden clarinet in a shorter case unlike most of the one-piece metal clarinets that need a very long case, which is not easy to carry. We know nothing about the history of this Silver-KING, i.e. we do not know who played it, but I’m sure this metal clarinet will make history while it is played by Kjeld Brandt and it will bring him joy and greater satisfaction.

- Eberhard Kraut

PHOTO: The best metal clarinets ever made are the Silver-KINGs in the Boehm system (left) and the PEDLERs in the Albert system (right). Both instruments, identical to Kjeld Brandt’s respectively George Lewis’, have not only a beautiful appearance and precision workmanship, but also best sounding qualities. Their durable solid built construction, rich tone and accurate intonation have all combined to achieve for them the same superiority over wooden clarinets that have resulted in making the wooden flutes obsolete.

The silver clarinets
pictured here, are from
Eberhard Kraut's