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"Bio-worthy" jazz musicians

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Chris -- What puzzles me is that Chilton, unlike Dahl, had no malicious or self-serving agenda that I could detect; also, he may not have been taping the interview, just taking notes. My best guess is that this kind of paraphrase was/is the norm for some writers, though of course it shouldn't be. Again, what bugs me about this is that he took an incident that I was thrust into by circumstance and that shook me up as few things I've ever been party to have done and, by genteely rephrasing in what I said, sort of painted me as a blase neo-British twit. Twit I may be, but I was far from blase that day. Maybe the answer is to right about it myself.

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it is annoying; I think newpaper journalists do this all the time, if in less radical ways. It has happened to me on more than one occasion. The result is to deaden the language, to take it out of context and wring the life out of it - and also, worst of all, to change its meaning. And that is what many journalists do not understand -

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Whoa -- I think should write about it myself. Pass the coffee.

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Don't have a spare cup of coffee right now, but here's an "I" for your post. :g

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as long as you know your writes -

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Jack Sheldon would be a riot...Have you heard any of those Butterfly Records releases?

Well hey, think about it - from Curtis Counce (a story that begs to be told, if you know what I mean...) to Merv Griffin to Louie the Lighning Bug, with all sorts of stops in between, what kind of a life IS that, anyway?

Been hearing some Sheldon on KNTU lately, assume that's what it is. Yeah, he can still play. The Uptown side is good too.

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Jack Shelton shows up with some regularity on the second iteration of Dragnet, the one with Harry Morgan playing Friday's partner. It's always strange to see him in that context when you know what he does in his other life. Of course, Jack Webb was a big jazz fan, albeit of the traditional variety, so maybe there's more of a connection than you'd think. Shelton would make for an interesting bio, first because he's still around and second, cuz he has such a multi-faceted, ebullient, larger than life personality.

Speaking of larger than life personalities, how about something on Frank Rosolino? Boy would that be a wild and, ultimately, depressing ride.

Up over and out.

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Second the suggestion on Sam Rivers. Andrew Hill would make an interesting one too. Other major names which immediately come to mind are JJ Johnson, John Lewis and Lee Konitz, great range of stuff to draw from for each of these guys.

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Gene Ammons... his relationship with his father, the drug problems, his popular success, his significance to the African-American community of his time, jail time, comeback... I'd read it if it were done properly.

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Josh Berrett and Louis Bourgois did a nice book on J.J. Johnson for Scarecrow Press. Now available in softcover, more reasonable pricing and with an updated preface after J.J.'s death.

Mike

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I don't know if anyone has mentioned it, but a comprehensive bio of Charlie Christian would be nice - also Eddie Durham -

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I was interviewed re one on Lonnie Johnson, so that should be coming in the next couple of years.

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Lonnie Johnson is such a major figure it's somehat surprsing it hasn't been done yet - glad to hear it may be in the works -

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Larry,

There was some discussion at the Chicago Improv list about that concert and whether Muhal and Malachi Favors played with the great man, or if they were a "warm-up" band. Was there any musical interaction between Hawkins and the AACM Chicagoans?

Lazaro

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Lazaro --

Honestly I don't remember. All I recall was how worried Dan Morgenstern (my boss at Down Beat then, who had brought Hawkins to town without being aware of how far gone he was) and I, and others too were about Hawkins' condition -- both in terms of his ability to play and his general physical/emotional well-being. I'm sure there were thoughts of not letting him get up on the stand, but that's what he wanted to do, and it seemed like it would have been humiliating to try to stop him. It also seemed clear that he had only a short time to live, that there was nothing anyone could do about it or that he wanted anyone to do about it. I recall, too, hoping that there might be some way to protect and preserve his dignity under the circumstances. (As it turned out, the next day at the airport I got a chance to do something that might have helped some there.) Having since been around other people shortly before they died, I think I understand what was going on a bit better now, but still...

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that show probably exists on tape - I saw it at the time, as I recall Barry Harris was on piano. Hawk was basically just breathing through the horn - I would assume that public tv still has a copy of it -

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Don't be too sure that Public TV retained the tape--they have a bad habit of reusing tape and discarding film footage.

I also saw that show, but wish I hadn't--it was very sad, and I remember wonder why Dan allowed it to take place.

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Dan's account of what led up to that day and what happened during it is in Chilton's book. Reading between the lines, I'm sure he had doubts about proceeding with the show (of course it could have gone on with just Roy Eldridge and the rhythm section), but I would say, based on what I remember, that a) Hawkins very much wanted to play and b) and, as Dan's account makes clear, dealing with the shocking fact of Hawkins' condition when he arrived at the airport and its emotional impact on everybody, especially Dan, Hawkins' insistence that he be released from the hospital where he had been taken from the airport, and the practical problems of then getting him from his hotel to the TV studio, once he had eaten something (the doctor who examined him said that the problem was malnutrition) and began to feel better, built up a lot of pressure and momentum in what was only a short period of time -- and then there was an even shorter period of time once everyone got to the studio.

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Don't be too sure that Public TV retained the tape--they have a bad habit of reusing tape and discarding film footage.

Have they reused the tapes or discarded footage from this series? I was kind of young at the time, but I remember seeing Mingus on one show and a group led by Rashid Ali on another.

albertson.jpg

Edited by Randy Twizzle

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Randy T: "Have they reused the tapes or discarded footage from this series? I was kind of young at the time, but I remember seeing Mingus on one show and a group led by Rashid Ali on another."

  • Karl Knudsen (the late Storyville Records founder) had plans to issue the shows on VHS/DVD. He found that PBS in Washington, D.C. had 13 of them, but there were many more. New Jersey Television, the producing entity, had erased most of the shows. The Mingus show survived (two brief excerpts were used in "Triumph of the Underdog," which Karl financed), but I have not found a good copy of the Bill Evans show, and no copy of the one with Joe McPhee.

    It's a shame that even media people don't understand the value of preserving such things. I recall Gil Noble (of WABC-TV) telling me how he found and rescued a sizable amount of Malcolm X film footage that had been discarded but, fortunately, not yet collected.

BTW, where on earth did you dig up that clipping???

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No, Randy, I had no idea that any of my shows had been released commercially! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Now I wonder if this is the only one?

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I remember the morning, the moment, I heard Hawkins died. I was getting ready for school and the Today show was playing on the television set. It was announced that Coleman Hawkins had died. As I remember, there was a still photograph of him on screen as some of his music was played. I had just gotten into jazz a couple of years before, and Hawkins and Hodges were my main heros. I suddenly realized, as I had never given thought, that the musicians I had been falling in love with during the last couple of years were, many of them, in the range of death. That morning I told my parents I wasn't going to school. Hawkins passing was too big. The petty duties of being a first year high school student seemed absurd and repulsive on the morning that the great Coleman Hawkins left this world. My parents didn't like that idea, but they kind of understood.

Edited by Cornelius

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That morning I told my parents I wasn't going to school. Hawkins passing was too big. The petty duties of being a first year high school student seemed absurd and repulsive on the morning that the great Coleman Hawkins left this world. My parents didn't like that idea, but they kind of understood.

:lol::lol::lol:

Have you seen any doctors since then?

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Talk about conflicting emotions, my last day of high school, the day I had lived and prayed for for many years, the day that I would officially be able to escape everything that was evil in my life (at least up to that point...), was the day that I woke up to hear that Duke Ellington had died. I went to school anyway. Duke would have wanted it that way. Although, Gonsalves probably would've advised me to skip and get high.

THAT came later...

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