MARSH CRABBITTS & His CLAPFOLD PLATUNE
Mind-Numbskull Trip-Bombastic Classical Chamber
 
[1972 ~ 1973]


OFFICIAL BAND MATES
Larry Miller: Composer, Bb Clarinet
Ben Miller: Composer, Alto Saxophone
Julian Catford: Composer, Alto Saxophone and Flute
David Swain: Alto and Tenor Saxophone
Mackey Ives: Bb Clarinet

 



A group of hooligans seen here below, heading off to a grand start leading the 1st ANN ARBOR OZONE PARADE Fall 1972
 An odd cross breed mix of members from both MARSH CRABBITS and David Swain's CRUZONIC JAZZ ENSEMBLE

                  Andy Overmyer      Larry Miller    David Swain   Ben Miller  John Harris

      Seen here below The Cruzonic Jazz Ensemble         performing at The Battle of the Bands circa 1972.                      We actually won the first match.

      Ben Miller     Larry Miller    David Swain


                                 David Lizard



 

BELOW
[ 3 short video snippets from the Ozone Parade event ]



__________________________________

BELOW
[ two original compositions performed on Ann Arbor Cable Television Network's FIRST EVER broadcast - August 1973 ]



BRIEF HISTORY

Laurence first began writing music note for note on manuscript paper in the summer of 1972.  He was 18 and had no conventional idea as to what he was doing.  This came as a great relief.  Sure he'd written songs before, but these weren’t songs.  These were compositions which didn't follow traditional format and were in fact jam packed chock full of the absurd.  Instrumental and solo breaks were not in the form of chord progressions (yawn) but rather hallucinogenic noodling drawn to inspire the player.  "Why not?"

Laurence formed MARSH CRABBITTS & HIS CLAPFOLD PLATUNE in August 1972 comprised solely of clarinetists & saxophonists -- good friends and family of his.  Although some had been formally trained, none were particularly proficient on their instruments, nor was he.  With no composition theory, Laurence began a wonderful time composing bombastic numbers with complete naivete. Several of his band mates pitched in with equally interesting compositions. Good times.

This experience lasted thru the summer of 1973 where MARSH CRABBITTS & HIS CLAPFOLD PLATUNE again merged with David Swain's CRUZONIC JAZZ ENSEMBLE for Ann Arbor's Community Television Network broadcast production. [Note: THE CRUZONICS was a wild horn based Ann Arbor band lead by good friend David Swain 71-74. One might argue influences ran along the lines of Sun Ra, Frank Zappa, and Albert Ayler. David still performs today as bandleader for his more down-to-earth big band, The II-V-I JAZZ ORCHESTRA.]

Although purely instrumental at it's initial inception, MARSH CRABBITTS & His CLAPFOLD PLATUNE eventually saw lyrics enter the arena near the end of it's hay day. A vast collection of similarly absurd material written and recorded in the mid '70's, was released decades oater under the radar on FarFetched Records in 2002 as a collection called TURN A LEFT AND DOWN THE HALL.


Fact is, with attention paid to THE FOURTH WORLD QUARTET from Cuneiform Records in 2021/22, both Laurence and Benjamin have began a new project based on many of the compositions written from these daze. An amazing brand new double CD is in the wings for release in 2023. Stay Tuned!


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Roger Miller

"I saw Marsh Crabbitts and his Clapfold Platune at Ann Arbor's People's Ballroom in
October of 1972. 
That was the only time I saw a full set by Marsh Crabbits,
and I was knocked out!"

Benjamin Miller

"Marsh Crabbitts had a significant influence on me"

Laurence Miller

"...Marsh who?..."


                                                THE STOLEN GULF
                                                   (c) 1972 Laurence Miller 
FEAR
(c) 1972 Tom Grimes

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