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Life in Eb The Phil Woods Autobiography

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2 hours ago, Chuck Nessa said:

He also helped make the Uptown Diz and Bird "Town Hall, NYC, June 22, 1945" a reality. I got him to put Sunenblick in touch with Lorraine Gillespie to seal the deal.

Nice! I wasn't aware of that. Thanks. 

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Woods seems to have lots of unambiguous/unqualified love and respect for Quincy Jones.

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I actually have the Kindle version of Usher's autobiography.

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6 hours ago, JSngry said:

Woods seems to have lots of unambiguous/unqualified love and respect for Quincy Jones.

IIRC so did Chan.  

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So I sprang for this from a Christmas Amazon gift card and now Amazon is pimping Chan's book by the same title. This is a must-have, isn't it? I honestly didn't know about her book and you'd think I'd heard about it when published 20 years ago.  I don't really need too much encouragement but curious what people think of it. And anyway since its the same name as Phil's book I am not really changing the threat topic at all, right?

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3 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

So I sprang for this from a Christmas Amazon gift card and now Amazon is pimping Chan's book by the same title. This is a must-have, isn't it? I honestly didn't know about her book and you'd think I'd heard about it when published 20 years ago.  I don't really need too much encouragement but curious what people think of it. And anyway since its the same name as Phil's book I am not really changing the threat topic at all, right?

It was an interesting read, but not a lot of musical content. Clint Eastwood had several interviews with Chan for his film, "Bird", so you can get most of the details of what happened between her and Bird from the film.

I haven't gotten up to her marriage with Phil in Phil's autobiography, so I can't comment on that. I took Chan's book out from the library, so I I wouldn't buy it if given the choice.

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11 minutes ago, sgcim said:

It was an interesting read, but not a lot of musical content. Clint Eastwood had several interviews with Chan for his film, "Bird", so you can get most of the details of what happened between her and Bird from the film.

I haven't gotten up to her marriage with Phil in Phil's autobiography, so I can't comment on that. I took Chan's book out from the library, so I I wouldn't buy it if given the choice.

Been a very long time on seeing the film and not sure I want to. I am interested, in a perverse way, in the up close and personal view of Bird the man and it actually interests me if the worst of Bird in the movie had Chan as the source? Again, long time since I saw the movie when it was released.  I mostly use my own ears for Bird's music. (though I remain interested in Stanley's first volume bio of Bird which I imagine has more music discussion (plus trains!)) :g

 

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1 hour ago, Dan Gould said:

Been a very long time on seeing the film and not sure I want to. I am interested, in a perverse way, in the up close and personal view of Bird the man and it actually interests me if the worst of Bird in the movie had Chan as the source? Again, long time since I saw the movie when it was released.  I mostly use my own ears for Bird's music. (though I remain interested in Stanley's first volume bio of Bird which I imagine has more music discussion (plus trains!)) :g

 

The flick was more like a romantic drama than a bio of Bird. Stick with Crouch.

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5 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

So I sprang for this from a Christmas Amazon gift card and now Amazon is pimping Chan's book by the same title. This is a must-have, isn't it? I honestly didn't know about her book and you'd think I'd heard about it when published 20 years ago.  I don't really need too much encouragement but curious what people think of it. And anyway since its the same name as Phil's book I am not really changing the threat topic at all, right?

For what it's worth, Dan, I liked Chan's book. She was a real witness to that era and a lot of the craziness.

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2 minutes ago, AllenLowe said:

For what it's worth, Dan, I liked Chan's book. She was a real witness to that era and a lot of the craziness.

This is what I was thinking ... thanks Allen.

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I just started reading it but love that his father was a Quebecois whose name was originally DuBois. 

Amazon offers 3 books by Chan. There's also

https://smile.amazon.com/Conversations-Jazz-Journal-Number/dp/0938331256/ref=sr_1_6?crid=2QAK2E6MP16WY&dchild=1&keywords=chan+parker&qid=1609306404&sprefix=Chan+Parker%2Caps%2C230&sr=8-6

and 

https://smile.amazon.com/Bird-love-Chan-Parker/dp/2903577005/ref=sr_1_5?crid=2QAK2E6MP16WY&dchild=1&keywords=chan+parker&qid=1609306429&sprefix=Chan+Parker%2Caps%2C230&sr=8-5

I have the former, which I bought for $4.95 when it first came out.  Has anyone ever seen "To Bird With Love"?

 

 

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49 minutes ago, medjuck said:

I just started reading it but love that his father was a Quebecois whose name was originally DuBois. 

Amazon offers 3 books by Chan. There's also

https://smile.amazon.com/Conversations-Jazz-Journal-Number/dp/0938331256/ref=sr_1_6?crid=2QAK2E6MP16WY&dchild=1&keywords=chan+parker&qid=1609306404&sprefix=Chan+Parker%2Caps%2C230&sr=8-6

and 

https://smile.amazon.com/Bird-love-Chan-Parker/dp/2903577005/ref=sr_1_5?crid=2QAK2E6MP16WY&dchild=1&keywords=chan+parker&qid=1609306429&sprefix=Chan+Parker%2Caps%2C230&sr=8-5

I have the former, which I bought for $4.95 when it first came out.  Has anyone ever seen "To Bird With Love"?

 

 

I have "To Bird with Love". I purchased it shortly after it came out. I think , then it was advertised in "Jazz Podium" and  around 1980 if I remember right, my book-dealer helped me to order it. It was quite expensive then, but not as expensive as it is now.

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2 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

I have "To Bird with Love". I purchased it shortly after it came out. I think , then it was advertised in "Jazz Podium" and  around 1980 if I remember right, my book-dealer helped me to order it. It was quite expensive then, but not as expensive as it is now.

I would have been interested in "To Bird With Love" when it came out (I had heard about it in a jazz radio show) and actually made an attempt to get it. (In these pre-internet days ordering from abroad was a hassle). At that time I still received the occasional jazz book newsletters from the Bloomsbury Book Shop in London (run by John Chilton's wife Theresa Chilton) which i had visited during a school stay in London in 1977. On one of those lists Theresa Chilton scribbled a note "Can supply To Bird With Love. £ 56. Ouch!!"
Yes - Ouch indeed. So I had to let it pass. But maybe it would have been a wise investment. ;)

 

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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5 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

I would have been interested in "To Bird With Love" when it came out (I had heard about it in a jazz radio show) and actually made an attempt to get it. (In these pre-internet days ordering from abroad was a hassle). At that time I still received the occasional jazz book newsletters from the Bloomsbury Book Shop in London (run by John Chilton's wife Theresa Chilton) which i had visited during a school stay in London in 1977. On one of those lists Theresa Chilton scribbled a note "Can supply To Bird With Love. £ 56. Ouch!!"
Yes - Ouch indeed. So I had to let it pass. But maybe it would have been a wise investment. ;)

 

You are right, in the pre internet days ordering books was a hassle. I was a regular at a little fancy bookstore and they were very helpful and I think they contacted no one less than Francis Paudras, who was the co-autor of the book , together with Chan Parker. 

I think, it was around 1980. Then in 1986 came the Francis Paudras book about Bud, written in french. I also was very expensive and I ordered it the same way, via that little fancy bookstore. It is fine now to order all stuff via internet, but it was fine then also, especially those a little old fashioned stores, record stores , book stores, I loved to spend time there....

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Is To Bird with Love mainly a picture book? 

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14 hours ago, medjuck said:

Is To Bird with Love mainly a picture book? 

Yes, it´s mainly a picture book, but it also has letters, some of them quite reveiling, for example club owners complaining at the Union about Bird´s bizarre behaviour on stage etc., mostly torwards the end of his life. 

There are also photos of Bird´s last gig with Kenny Dorham, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, Art Blakey from Birdland March 1955 which I never saw elsewhere.....

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Yesterday I finished reading the Phil Woods autobiography :"Life In E Flat". Found it a most interesting read. Phil knew a brand range of jazz musicans and played with most of them at some time during his very lengthy career. Woods tells us many stories about many of them.

He writes well and shares an insider look about the highs and lows of his life in the jazz world.

 

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2 minutes ago, Peter Friedman said:

Yesterday I finished reading the Phil Woods autobiography :"Life In E Flat". Found it a most interesting read. Phil knew a brand range of jazz musicans and played with most of them at some time during his very lengthy career. Woods tells us many stories about many of them.

He writes well and shares an insider look about the highs and lows of his life in the jazz world.

 

Yes, it's a good read. :tup

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Reading it in small bits and am indeed enjoying it. The guy comes across as a "hip cornball" who loved the music from the gut, and always knew his place in things. I like how he never lost his old-school "Yankee" work ethic no matter how much of a degenerate he tried to be. The thing that comes across is how much he wanted to play, had to play, and went ahead and worked and worked and worked so he could play. The scene/culture has been fundamentally/irrevocably changed since then...the gigs aren't there, and the focus of what it means to "be a player" has changed so much since then. He talks about taking any damn type of gig just to be playing, and how on even the crappiest gig, you always brought your A-game, because, you never knew who else would be in the room - or on the gig.

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I thought I posted this comment on the PW book a few weeks ago, but it turned up when I wanted to make a new post today:

, There's a part where PW went to a Woody Herman dance/concert, and was dressed in a laughable zoot suit, and asked the guys in the band for autographs. When they saw how this little kid looked in a zoot suit, they started putting him on, and signed their names as old swing musicians to put him on. When he realized what they did he started crying.

He later confronted Neal Hefti years later about it, and Hefti apologized and signed his name as Don Joseph! Woods said that DJ was a marvelous trumpet player who wound up teaching music at a High School in Staten Island. I asked a friend of mine about that who knew DJ, and he laughed his head off. My friend went to the HS DJ "taught at", and said DJ wasn't a teacher there. DJ would just come in once in a while and get a few bucks for helping out the trumpet players!

Some other comments on the book (this could take some time, there's no football on today) are:

There was always something funny about Vinnie/Jimmy Abato; a friend of mine said he always tried to sell his students used sax cases for extra bucks when he was studying with him. Phil laces into him during his time studying with VA/JA at Julliard, and finally clears up the mystery about the Jimmy vs. Vinnie credit listings on his studio work.He re-prints a touching obituary notice about the great WW player a few pages later.

Phil's comments about Henry Brant being afraid of UFO parts falling on him are priceless.

Phil immortalizes a local LI alto/flute/clarinet player (he played them all equally well) named Chasey Dean, who used to tell us stories about his times with PW on breaks. CD went to Julliard with Phil, played in the Barnet band with him, and helped him and Chan get a place in Brooklyn. CD played on some albums with Matt Mathews, before getting a HS music teaching gig. RIP, Chasey.aka Charles DeAngelis.

I never knew PW studied composition with Peter Menin.

The "Birdland Stars on Tour album in 56 was actually recorded in a studio with canned applause (except for two cuts)!

PW closes the case on Gene Quill, without telling the real story of his death. If PW didn't want to tell it- I sure ain't..

PW never explains why he never doubled on flute. He only did ONE Broadway show, Ballet USA, which was a concert dance piece, composed by Robert Prince.

On the album "More Blues and the Abstract Truth", PW said that the band thought they could juice and cut it on sight. On the title tune, they screwed it up royally, getting Oliver Nelson .quite angry, and PW claimed it was the only time he ever saw a NY. studio band have to take the music home and practice it to record it the next day. If you ever tried to play that chart, you'd know why. On the record, Phil sound like he's the only one who played it perfectly.

On the Quincy Jones tour of Europe, PW learnsjjk that besides teaching Ben Webster to play the saxophone, the great Budd Johnson also taught Prez how to roll his first joint! It seems that Billy Byers did a lot of the writing for the musical they were presenting, "Free and Easy". There are a lot of great stories involving members of Q's band that are too numerous to go into here.

PW reveals "Greek Cooking" to be an idea that Bob Thiele had, because he thought Greek music was going to be the next big thing. It wasn't.

"The Rights of Swing' was part of a tax write-off scheme Archie Bleier had, because he had too much money. Although Woods loves the record, he said it was left to drop like a bomb, with no promotion. The head of  Candid Records (the label it was on), Nat Hentoff,said one of PWs records had no development in a review. Woods was given the assignment to write ROS by Hentoff, and he said to him, "I got your development right here, Jack".:g PW regrets writing the pedantic liner notes for ROS.

When he moved to Europe, he tells the story of having to play a piece commissioned by the German Radio Workshop, with music arranged by Tony Scott. Woods called Scott a fine clarinetist, but not a very good arranger. He was only able to write everything in unison, and the great band consisting of Clifford Jordan, Jimmy Owens, Sahib Shihab,Ake Persson, Steve Kuhn, NHOP, and Aldo Romano dropped out, one by one. Woods walked out of one rehearsal, telling Scott to "stick his arrangements up his unison ass", and hit the bar.:lol: In the end, Scott's 'history of jazz' lasted only 38 minutes...

Woods tells stories of his group's (European Rhythm Machine) rocky road to fame, meeting with hostile audiences, putting down the "long-haired US studio man", and then giving them three standing ovations by the end of the concert! Another Pop Festival in Palermo attacked the one jazz band the day before with bottles and soda cans, but after The ERM's set, 30,000 people were cheering "Phil Woods! Phil Woods!" The headlines the next day read, "Jazz Comes and Conquers!"

Bill Evans encouraged PW to return to the US, and the last ERM concert was opposite the Bill Evans Trio. They worked together  (besides the numerous studio dates they did in the 50s and 60s) again on the Claus Ogerman record Symbiosis, and discussed doing a record together, but it never took place.

PW's solo on the Billy Joel song Just the Way You Are, was actually an edit by Phil Ramone of six different Woods' takes. Joel listened to them all, and thought they were all great, but Phil Ramone decided to make an edit of all six.

 

 

Edited by sgcim

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Don't know the truth about Don Joseph as a Staten Island high school teacher, but he was a lovely trumpet player, akin to his friend Tony Fruscella.

I believe the composer's name is Peter Mennin. And it was Archie Bleyer, not Blier.

I heard the Birdland All-Stars in concert in Chicago in maybe 1956. At age 14, this was the first time I heard any of those guys in person. They made a good impression.

That Tony Scott story is a good one.

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1 hour ago, Larry Kart said:

Don't know the truth about Don Joseph as a Staten Island high school teacher, but he was a lovely trumpet player, akin to his friend Tony Fruscella.

I believe the composer's name is Peter Mennin. And it was Archie Bleyer, not Blier.

I heard the Birdland All-Stars in concert in Chicago in maybe 1956. At age 14, this was the first time I heard any of those guys in person. They made a good impression.

That Tony Scott story is a good one.

You don't know the truth about Don Joseph as a HS teacher, because you didn't live in Staten Island, where DJ and my friend lived, and you didn't act as DJ's unpaid chauffeur, driving him to his AA meetings, Mormon church services, and clubs, where he'd sit in with his friends, as my friend did, or attend the HS where Don worked..

You could be right about the spellings, but they were the exact spellings given in the book (BTW, I spelled it Bleier not Blier). It was published by Cymbal Press, and they might not have had the best proofreader a larger press would have had. The editor was Mary Dorian.

Edited by sgcim

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BTW HOw did Chan get her name? I've read her book too but can't remember.

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4 hours ago, sgcim said:

You don't know the truth about Don Joseph as a HS teacher, because you didn't live in Staten Island, where DJ and my friend lived, and you didn't act as DJ's unpaid chauffeur, driving him to his AA meetings, Mormon church services, and clubs, where he'd sit in with his friends, as my friend did, or attend the HS where Don worked..

You could be right about the spellings, but they were the exact spellings given in the book (BTW, I spelled it Bleier not Blier). It was published by Cymbal Press, and they might not have had the best proofreader a larger press would have had. The editor was Mary Dorian.

Peter Mennin

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Peter Mennin
Birth name Peter Mennini
Born May 17, 1923
EriePennsylvaniaUnited States
Died June 17, 1983 (aged 60)
New YorkNew YorkUnited States
Occupation(s) Composerteacher

Peter Mennin (born Mennini) (May 17, 1923 in Erie, Pennsylvania – June 17, 1983 in New York City) was a prominent American composer, teacher and administrator. In 1958, he was named Director of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, and in 1962 became President of the Juilliard School, a position he held until his death in 1983. Under his leadership, Juilliard moved from Claremont Avenue to its present location at Lincoln Center. Mennin is responsible for the addition of drama and dance departments at Juilliard. He also started the Master Class Program, and brought many artists to teach including Maria Callas, Pierre Fournier and others.

 

Archie Bleyer

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Archibald Martin Bleyer (June 12, 1909 – March 20, 1989) was an American song arrangerbandleader, and record company executive.

About Don Joseph as a trumpeter, listen to his contribution to this lovely Gerry Mulligan arrangement of "All the Things You Are" (don't miss Joseph's coda).  And his solo (below) on "Mullenium."

 

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17 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

Don't know the truth about Don Joseph as a Staten Island high school teacher, but he was a lovely trumpet player, akin to his friend Tony Fruscella.

I believe the composer's name is Peter Mennin. And it was Archie Bleyer, not Blier.

I heard the Birdland All-Stars in concert in Chicago in maybe 1956. At age 14, this was the first time I heard any of those guys in person. They made a good impression.

That Tony Scott story is a good one.

I also heard the Birdland All-Stars live in about 1956, but in Detroit.

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