Strucel / Minick Bass Horn in CCThe realization of this bass horn was simply a process of imagination. Having a contrabass trombone and a contrabass trumpet, Roger Bobo believed it was only logical that he should have a bass horn as well. He proposed the idea to Howard Lockie of Lockie Music Exchange in 1970, and the parts for the instrument; bell, cylindrical tubing, a 5 rotary valve section and a few sheets of nickel silver brass soon appeared in Los Angeles and were immediately put into the hands of George Strucel. Strucel soon had the plans down on paper and he was ready to begin building. The project remained on hold for the next 6 years. George Strucel moved his career to Sweden and Bobo moved almost exclusively into modern music, temporarily forgetting the bass horn. Eventually, Bobo took the parts and plans for the instrument which Strucel had left with him to Larry Minick.
Soon the instrument was finished. On first try it was an almost perfectly in tune and very even in timbre through all registers. After a few weeks of work it became abundantly clear that this was indeed an extraordinary instrument; only one problem; where could it be used?
It is a single CC horn with 5 valves on the left hand. The 5th valve is tuned like all the rest of Bobo's instruments, almost two steps or stated another way the 5th valve equals a sharp 2/3 combination.
Soon after Bobo realized what he had, the word was put out and several film scores were written for Bobo's bass horn but most notably, friend and composer Roger Kellaway wrote two works; "Dance of the Ocean Breeze" and "Sonoro" as duets for horn and bass horn. These were recorded in 1981 with Norwegian hornist Frøydis Ree Wekre with Crystal Records. Sometimes in his last years in Los Angeles , Roger used the bass horn on certain works where the tuba part served as a low horn part. This, for the most part, proved to be very successful.
In 2004 the bass horn was bought and became a prize possession in the extraordinary collection of Mike Lynch in Austin, Texas.