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gmonahan

Bob Havens, anyone?

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Ok, I'm sort of embarrassed to say I had never heard of this very fine trombonist. I was in my study where I keep my vinyl, closed my eyes, and my fingers lighted on, of all things, a Pete Fountain LP, "Standing Room Only." I think I must have found it in an old cut-out bin years ago and bought it because Charlie Teagarden was on it. Anyway, on the turntable it went, and suddenly, this trombone solo came on, and I thought, what the hell? Is JACK TEAGARDEN on this record?? So I looked. Nope--made after Big T had died. It was Bob Havens, who apparently spent most of his career playing with Lawrence Welk. I looked him up and found a couple of cds. I don't think I've ever heard anybody so influenced by Teagarden. Anyway, I'm listening to this one right now, and there is some very fine trombone playing on it! Apparently, Bob Havens is still with us--90 years old and retired!

 

havens.jpg

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Oh yeah, FINE player. I watched (or more accurately, forced to be in the same room as) Welk for years, and once "jazz sensibilities" began to develop, Havens was the first player to catch my ear as having something of "the real deal" to him.

First, but not the last, though. by the time the show ended, there was enough of a contingent of such players in the band that Welk started featuring a combo spot for them to pay a bit of attention for when they came on. Havens was still the "best", but Paul Humphrey was on drums (same guy!) and Henry Cuesta was a good player too. For that context, it was enjoyable!

One show, the combo played "How High The Moon", and took it out with "Ornithology". A Bird Tune on Lawrence Welk, shades of a Lennie Bruce bit gone right!

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Bob Havens was a regular at the Atlanta Jazz Party for many years, as he was a favorite of the host, Phil Carroll. I believe that he at least a studio session or so on the afternoon/evening after the Party that ended up being issued by Jazzology or GHB. He was a very soft spoken, humble individual, but he could swing. I'm glad that I had so many opportunities to hear him on stage.

 

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According to my search on the Jazzology.com website, Bob Havens appears on 16 of their CDs.

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If he is still living, he turns 90 this year. 

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5 hours ago, JSngry said:

 

One show, the combo played "How High The Moon", and took it out with "Ornithology". A Bird Tune on Lawrence Welk, shades of a Lennie Bruce bit gone right!

Really nice !

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On 10/21/2020 at 7:34 PM, Ken Dryden said:

If he is still living, he turns 90 this year. 

Apparently so, a group of musicians showed up to serenade him on for his 90th birthday in Quincy. Here's the report on a local news channel.

 

 

 

gregmo

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That is great. Havens was always a class act.

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