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Everything posted by fasstrack

  1. John Collins,Guitar

    John Collins is IMO criminally underrated. He's actually almost forgotten about. To me, he was the best of 3 very fine guitarists to work in the King Cole Trio. For taste, stage presence, and wonderful group playing check out this video of the Trio:
  2. just a tad full of himself? This is old news but the taste is still in my mouth for some reason: In an article maybe a month or two ago in the NYT on his group playing at J@LC he first---seemingly humbly---allowed as how he was proud and honored, etc. Then in the next breath he went off on Wynton (please Lord, I don't want this to become one of 'those' threads) saying how for all his knowledge he's stuck, etc. He may have some points, but in the frickin' NYT and after the guy hires your group? I'd be rippin' if I were Wynton. Arrogance aside it seems Mr. Zawinul has failed PR---not to mention diplomacy. But it reminded me of something I saw maybe 7 years ago where they interviewed him about influences and he said---about Barry Harris no less---that someone had come up to him and asked if it were he or Barry (who predated him with Cannon) on a record and his words were almost verbatim: "That's when I went home and threw out all my records. Because why should I imitate an imitator (presumably of Bud Powell?)" I mean, Jesus. Either he was misquoted or this MF is gonna need a real big hat pretty soon. Add to that the size of his ego in his cameos in the recent Wayne Shorter bio...... I mean Is it just me?
  3. Hasn't been on WKCR for almost a month. Bird Flight being broadcast by students. Anyone know?
  4. Percy France

    Continuing my series of musicians that not only made a difference in my musical and personal life and generally must not be forgotten I'd like to talk about a guy named Percy France. I think perhaps he is best known to the public for being the tenor man on Bill Doggett's Honky Tonk and some Jimmy Smith records. Percy was a great swinging tenor out of Gene Ammons, Don Byas and others. He put it together to become and remain Percy France. Michael Howell, a guitarist who played guitar and elecric bass with Dizzy in the 70s and is still on the scene sounding very well, told me an illustrative story: He walked into a place and it was a dance. The dancers were dancing and it was swinging. He looked over to see who the band was, thinking this is happening, but it can't be too many cats up there. The 'band' was Percy France---swinging those happy feet by his lonesome. When I first started coming out to the 'big tent' to hang, learn, and try to make my bones Percy was on the scene at the West End. We already had something in common: both of us were fired from Big Joe Turner's gig at Tramps in '81---Percy for (typically) defending one of the cats in the band, and me because Doc Pomus didn't like my blues playing (Turner did, but wasn't calling the shots). After I ran into Percy in the flesh I starting sitting in a lot with him at the West End. Another guitar player, Joel Perry, was on the gig. (I haven't seen him in years). Sometimnes Percy had us both up there together. One night after playing Percy said "you sounded nice tonight, man' and gave me $5 for coming. He probably made maybe $50 himself and was hurting. The best compliment he gave was a recommendation to George Kelly, the only time I actually worked a week at the West End. George was a great guy too and played ands wrote his ass off. Tenor man from Floida. I'll never forget one night when Percy MC'd a benefit there for WKCR. There was some estimablr talent there, and some damned fine tenor players. They all played and percy announced everyone. It was party time, and the only drag he alluded to was that someone stole his old lady's purse. I remember his exact words: "whoever would do a thing like this when we're all having such a good time, I don't think much of them". When it came his time to play after waiting in the wings all night he got up and called Sugar. He tore the roof off that fucking joint, I'm here to tell you. The other tenor players were afterthoughts. r
  5. Jack Wilson, Pianist

    I knew him in the '80s at the Jazz Cultural Theater, and played his very interesting charts at a Clifford Jordan big band rehearsal. He also used to play for Charles Davis's class there. He was a great guy, and very encouraging to younger musicians like myself. I very much liked his work in the early '60s on both piano and organ with Gerald Wilson's big band. I think he had perhaps a serious stroke, and spent his final days in a nursing home, pretty much forgotten about before passing away in 2007. Here is a bio:http://www.bluenote.com/spotlight/the-underappreciated-jack-wilson
  6. Claus Ogerman

    I've been listening to cop some of his stuff for my own string writing. He is so pristine and clear---and can say so much more with simple unisons (especially with strings) than other over-writing arrangers who write more notes and use more trick bags. It's like if Pres were an arranger. He touches my heart. To start out I would recommend the album Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim; and the two Jobim collaborations: Stone Flower and Wave. http://www.amazon.com/Francis-Albert-Sinatra-Antonio-Carlos/dp/B000006OBR
  7. WKCR FM: https://www.cc-seas.columbia.edu/wkcr/
  8. Jimmy Bunn

    Does anyone know anything about this Ca. 1940s West Coast pianist? His intro to Lover Man on Bird's ill-fated date was a honey. Then he showed what 'good lookin' out' means, immediately covering the melody for a bar when Parker didn't come in. I'd like more of that, please.........
  9. Looks interesting. Here's what somebody wrote about it: http://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/everything-else/54700-stan-levey-jazz-heavyweght-new-bio.html
  10. Probably there is a thread on this already, but: I recently read Lush Life (David Hajdu), a 1996 biography of Billy Strayhorn. I thought it fleshed out Strayhorn the man quite well. My main criticisms: for me Hajdu spent too much time (at times multiple pages) on minor characters in Strayhorn's social orbit. I felt the book dragged in those passages. Also (and I don't hold the non-musician author accountable for this) I would have liked to have read a much more in-depth analysis of the nuts and bolts of what made Strayhorn such a unique composer. To Hajdu's credit there are interviews with his musical colleagues that give some insights. I think a study of Strayhorn the musician by a musician is sorely needed. He really is that important. Where the book really succeeded for me was Hajdu's very detailed exploration on Strayhorn's complex relationship with Ellington. It is well worth reading for that alone. What did you, who have read it, think?
  11. ...I have been a member since 2004, and have even contributed hard-earned $. I'm pretty much outta here. Not gonna be a drama queen like the not-missed Chris Albertson, but just a quick word on why, FWIW: I posted a thread on a podcast interview done with another member and REAL supporter of jazz (unlike a few other bullshitters and fatmouthers on this MF who ruin it (for me at least). Practically NOTHING but hatred poured out of the, er, 'brave' and facile writing fingers of compassionate geniuses such as Scott Dolan and another moron whose name I don't give 2 1/2 shits to mention. This is what gets me more worked up than I care to be about digital 'communication' and, sadly, the 'jazz' world: Fighting, bullshit and 'bravery' by pussies who, unlike myself and a precious few others here, haven't contributed SHIT to this great art form other than their sad-assed, speaking out of turn and their asses 'contributions'. I am 62, no one knows how much time they are given in life, and I would prefer spending my own playing and hearing nice sounds or (are you listening God?) nursing a beer while 'petting' with some nice nubile creature. Or pretty much anything else than this nonsense. So, gents: Kill each other, or do what the fuck you want. I care not and have better things to do with my precious time than have my thread about the masters I have known and certain assholes here have not, but run their tired-ass mouths anyway shit on. I like most people here, but at my age---shee-it.... Good luck with that...
  12. Jimmy Heath podcast.

    Just saw the man 3 weeks ago in Harlem...
  13. Was interviewed today for jazz blog/podcast by journalist (our) C.J. Shearn, a very sweet person and jazz supporter. I don't know the name of the show, but it will be onlne in around a week. Perhaps Mr. Shearn will inform us. I told C.J. prior to doing it that what I wanted to happen was I would talk about the elders like Barry Harris, C. Sharpe, Tommy Turrentine---who helped me become the musician and man I am still becoming. THEN, and only then, time permitting I would talk about myself and what I'm doing. It was a great, freewheeling conversation and went exactly according to plan. I even was allowed to upbraid two morons sticking in my craw for some time: jazz 'journalist' Howard Mandel and media airhead Charlie Rose. Mandel for showing his world-class ineptitude writing liner notes for Jazz Loft (double CD of David X. Young recordings at his loft) by not doing even basic research and calling the Jazz Cultural Theater (where I learned so much from masters, moron) and even getting the location wrong. Good luck on your brilliant career, Howard. Charlie Rose has a nice Rolodex, and (I hear) is a hit with the ladies. But when he interviewed Tom Harrell he turned it into a freak show, and showed his ignorance of art, music and Tom Harrell. Nice going, airhead. 'Forgive them, Father, they no not what they do'. But, more importantly, I was able to 'flesh out' in my fashon C., Tommy, Jaki Byard---and the great man I met them through, Mr. Barry Harris. Thank you, C.J., for giving me a platform to try to correct the historical record about some men, giants in my eyes, left out of jazz history books by 'experts'. You did a beautiful thing...
  14. Our C.J. Shearn and moi in podcast

    Thanks for that. Got some unruly kids I want to 'scare quiet'---and my 8x10 of Mr. T didn't seem to work. I'm here through Thursday. Try the Zinfadel, and remember: If you tip your waitress well, she may just be 'nice' to you later...
  15. Our C.J. Shearn and moi in podcast

    On Tuesday (10/18) I will be heading over to CJ's in a bit. Besides remembering Chris Anderson, I would like to broach the subject of another great man and mentor: the late Bill Finegan. It has been almost 9 years since he's passed. Bill treated myself, James Chirillo and Frank Griffith like sons. His wife Rosemary was an angel, and she went before he---doubtless hastening his own demise (though Mr. Finegan made it to 91) . If I don't get to it today, I also would like to mention here that Bob Brookmeyer (who I wish was a mentor) called Bill every day after Rosemary's death. People say some funny things about Brook, but I think this was the real Bob Brookmeyer: a loving friend (who also told me and others than Bill Finegan was his hero). I spoke with Bob Mover yesterday, and promised I would broach our history as well. Bob was an even earlier mentor than the others. I was 23 when we met (in late 1977). He was 26. The main point of these interviews for me is to show how much love and generosity there exists among musicians. I still see it, out almost every night in NY jamming, listening or gigging. There may be a bad apple or 3, as in any barrel, but by and large in NY and the Hague---the only 2 places I've lived---the musos were always people with the right values, and 'rich' in the important ways. I doubly appreciate CJ's giving me this platform since I wrote perhaps 150 pages of a book about the '80s scene in NY, fleshing out these very people. Unfortunately the hard drive of the computer it lived in crashed, and dummy me did not back up the data. So unless I can fish the files out (and there are ways, some not even costly) CJ's podcast is the only show in town for a codger like myself to 'do the right thing'. The book---when and if completed---is to be called Generous Spirits. Finally, CJ again has graciously allowed me to bring the guitar and play something in memorium. Because they 'lived' the title, and taught me to do the same, I have selected Benny Carter's Only Trust Your Heart...
  16. Happy 89th to Lee Konitz

    Wow! And Lou Donaldson and Jimmy Heath are 90. Roy Haynes and Jon Hendricks both 94. 'Youngsters' Barry Harris and George Coleman, 86 (Barry turns 87 Dec. 15th) and roughly mid-late 80s. Sonny Rollins 86. Ahmad Jamal around the same. We probably oughtta look into this whole music thing... c
  17. Overlooked Saxophonists

    I write from Cleopatra's Needle here in the Mango. On the 'juke' is a guy named Jimmy Hill. I know, because I asked the owner, Meir, who it was---because I heard an alto SO sweet, such a sound, such beautiful phrasing, relaxation and control over ideas. As it turns out, I had met Jimmy Hill before. He was as nice as his music. And he passed away---pretty much without a trace. The good news if that Meir told me that his (lone) CD is available online. If you like smiling you might want to look into that...
  18. So, so sad

  19. Our C.J. Shearn and moi in podcast

    OK: I'll bite. What did 'they' say about Ernie Henry? LOL!...
  20. Our C.J. Shearn and moi in podcast

    Not sure what your first sentence means? Explain it, if you've a mind to. I think the podcast will appear in installments. CJ would know better than I. I never saw C. Sharpe smoke a cigarette once in the 7 or 8 years I knew him---and I was around him in many different settings, so I think that is misinformation. That obit was also bullshit. That line about him being 'the missing link between Charlie Parker and Ornette Coleman' is a bunch of old crap written by a no-nothing. I wouldn't repeat Clarence's comments about Ornette Coleman in polite company, being a gentleman. They DID spell his name right, though... Best advice re jazz or any other journalism: read between the lines. Gotta go. Long day. Thanks for your interest in the cats. I really appreciate it...
  21. Overlooked Saxophonists

    I'm CERTAIN his name was not mentioned, but I had a friend, Chuck Clark, originally from SF. I first met him when he subbed at Marshall Brown's Wednesday workshop in 1980. I knew then that he was a great (tenor/soprano) player. I later found out he was an extraordinary writer, too: I got back in touch with Chuck when I had some studio time at an audio college here in NY. I sounded him, saying 'Bring some tunes'. The tune he brought, Full Moon, was a masterpiece! Strays and Rabbit all over it. After we recorded it I sent a copy to Phil Woods. Got an email message: (Subject line) Full Moon (Body) This tune is a MF Sadly, Chuck Clark passed away in 2004. I sent a mass email about this to interested parties. Again, Mr. Woods responded: I didn't know Chuck, but know what it's like to lose a friend. I am so sorry for your loss Attached was a PDF lead sheet of Full Moon. At top left hand corner was this inscription: Arranged by Phil Woods, in Memorium. (Phil never even met or spoke to Chuck!) I believe Chuck Clark released a CD featuring his playing and writing with a nonet. Full Moon is said to have been arranged and recorded with choir by Claire Fischer. So maybe Mr. Clark is not THAT overlooked. Rest well, my friend. You were a giant...
  22. Our C.J. Shearn and moi in podcast

    Exactly. Unfortunately though, you've yet to earn mine with statements like that in your 1st sentence. Your ad hominem and facile attack on my friend I daresay speaks for itself and volumes. Geez, tough crowd... Is this ever gonna have a happy ending? As in Mr. Shearn and myself at least offer an alternative view of 1980's jazz history that perhaps serves to correct the record? My lone reason for doing this was to introduce some great folks currently relegated to the historical backwater by IMO bullshit writers trying for careers on the backs of 'names'. Well, the people I speak of may not be names but deserve to be. They were great men (Barry is still very much among us). Or will this remain a snipefest unworthy of this forum and its mostly fine members? Inquiring minds... Finally, to those with the unmittigated gall to accuse me of being whiney or self-serving: Have a lovely day. I know where I was coming from. So does CJ. And so will the listeners...
  23. Our C.J. Shearn and moi in podcast

    That part is none of my business. I only can talk about what I know. And thank you for listening...
  24. Dear forum...

    All my posts deleted in deference to the goodness of CJ Shearn and the sake of his career...