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Old 10-14-2007, 07:44 PM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Join Date: 01-18-2007
Location: Perkasie, PA
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Cool More on the Gagliano..

This is a beautiful and sweet sounding Bass. There are many generations of the Gagliano family with the founder having worked with both N.Amati and Strad before returning to Naples. This one I thought was attributed to Joseph Gagliano because of the Scroll but I just recently learned that Homer considered it to be the work of Ferdinand. The other Bass like it I have seen has the same Scroll but different FFs and was not cut down. That I think is a Joseph. Actually, this one sounded better to my ears. Having played both I prefer Homer's that was cut.

This Bass has been on more recordings with the bow then probably any other single Bass. If not, my statement is close. Homer was the #1 Studio call for DB for decades in NY. Jaws theme was one recording that this Bass has been heard on.

I have played many cut down Basses in my life and this one is about average. Neapolitan instruments in general are usually on the crude side. Here is Homer's Bass along side my Loveri which was cut as well. Carlo Loveri was the maker for the last generation of the Gagliano's. Also, both Basses were used in the NY Philharmonic as well.

And from the front view (notice the FFs how they both hook inwards at the upper eyes);

If I didn't have the Basses I currently have, I would most likely wanted to bid on this one. The previous asking price in a NY shop for this Gagliano was 200k. Even with a needed costly restoration, anything under 100k is a great price for this Bass and the history that goes with it.

I don't know when the Gagliano was cut but possibly before we were all born. It's been like that as long as I can remember. The Loveri was cut in 1937 and labeled within. My Gilkes was cut around 1870 and my former Prescott is estimated to have been cut before 1840.

The sound of this Gagliano has always been known in its 'cut' shape in our lifetime. I suspect that he bought it that way. He had another Italian Bass attributed to Goffriller. The Goffriller, now owned by a former student of Homer's was cut down decades ago at Homer's request. The Gagliano was his main and favorite Bass used for just about all his playing gigs.
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