sgcim

Life in Eb The Phil Woods Autobiography

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14 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

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."

 

Beautiful Don Joseph solo on Mullenium! Thanks!

There's not that much available of his playing from that period, other than the Chuck Wayne String Fever album. He was severely limited in his career by panic disorder, which was an unknown entity back then, and he literally couldn't cross bridges or go through tunnels due to panic attacks. There was one story about him getting a lift from another musician to a gig where they had to go through a long tunnel. While they were on line to pay the toll, the anticipatory anxiety of having to go through the tunnel was too much for him. He bolted out the door, and ran off into the night, leaving his trumpet behind! He never made the gig.

He told my friend about the high he got from heroin in such ecstatic terms, that my friend didn't think he was trying to self-medicate; he thought DJ was using purely for the pleasure he got from it. Who knows?

Woods' relationship with Mulligan was another great part of the book. He had to change chairs with Zoot Sims on a Manny Albam recording session, because of Mulligan's obsessive questions about phrasing! The story about Quill slicing his eyeball on a reed on a Birdland gig, because he turned his head too fast, resulting in Woods to drive from PA to NYC to sub for him in Mulligan's Concert Band was typically bizarre for Quill. Woods got fired by Mulligan that night for, to quote Woods, "Something about me being another drunk Irishman. Like calling the kettle green!" Mulligan re-hired Woods the next day.

Mulligan booked the Woods Quintet to play at the Ravinia Jazz festival, which Woods had played many times before, and elected not to do a soundcheck. Mulligan balled him out at the hotel over the phone about how unprofessional he was. Mulligan was concerned about the cymbals' sound on the picnic grass... Later, Mulligan called Woods to play on the "Rebirth of the Cool album, and Woods answered, "No way", due to the balling out Mulligan gave him over the phone about being unprofessional at Ravinia. Mulligan couldn't get Konitz, so he was desperate, and Woods made him apologize before he took the gig.

Mennini. That doesn't surprise me as much as it would have if I didn't find out that Walter piston was actually Walter Pistone.

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Same tour no doubt, Peter. IIRC the Basie Band and Sarah Vaughan were also present. The Basie Band knocked me flat.

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11 minutes ago, sgcim said:

Beautiful Don Joseph solo on Mullenium! Thanks!

There's not that much available of his playing from that period, other than the Chuck Wayne String Fever album. He was severely limited in his career by panic disorder, which was an unknown entity back then, and he literally couldn't cross bridges or go through tunnels due to panic attacks. There was one story about him getting a lift from another musician to a gig where they had to go through a long tunnel. While they were on line to pay the toll, the anticipatory anxiety of having to go through the tunnel was too much for him. He bolted out the door, and ran off into the night, leaving his trumpet behind! He never made the gig.

He told my friend about the high he got from heroin in such ecstatic terms, that my friend didn't think he was trying to self-medicate; he thought DJ was using purely for the pleasure he got from it. Who knows?

Woods' relationship with Mulligan was another great part of the book. He had to change chairs with Zoot Sims on a Manny Albam recording session, because of Mulligan's obsessive questions about phrasing! The story about Quill slicing his eyeball on a reed on a Birdland gig, because he turned his head too fast, resulting in Woods to drive from PA to NYC to sub for him in Mulligan's Concert Band was typically bizarre for Quill. Woods got fired by Mulligan that night for, to quote Woods, "Something about me being another drunk Irishman. Like calling the kettle green!" Mulligan re-hired Woods the next day.

Mulligan booked the Woods Quintet to play at the Ravinia Jazz festival, which Woods had played many times before, and elected not to do a soundcheck. Mulligan balled him out at the hotel over the phone about how unprofessional he was. Mulligan was concerned about the cymbals' sound on the picnic grass... Later, Mulligan called Woods to play on the "Rebirth of the Cool album, and Woods answered, "No way", due to the balling out Mulligan gave him over the phone about being unprofessional at Ravinia. Mulligan couldn't get Konitz, so he was desperate, and Woods made him apologize before he took the gig.

Mennini. That doesn't surprise me as much as it would have if I didn't find out that Walter piston was actually Walter Pistone.

IIRC there are some tapes of Joseph and Fruscella playing at length together at the Open Door. And there is Joseph's final excellent Uptown album. Fortunate to get him in the studio (RVG, I believe) in good shape with a fine simpatico band -- Al Cohn, Bill Triglia, Red Mitchell, and Joey Baron.

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If you can trust the book's index - and as Kurt Vonnegut reminded us, never index your own book - there is not a single mention in the book of either Kenyon Hopkins or "The Hustler."

Could you imagine being the primary soloist in an iconic film like "The Hustler," and having the honor of playing music written by someone as great as Kenyon Hopkins, and not even mentioning these things in your book?

No Hopkins, no sale.  

EDIT:  Hopkins is apparently mentioned in the book.

Never mind...

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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I have seen one mention in the part of the book that I've read to "Ken Hopkins".

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1 hour ago, Teasing the Korean said:

If you can trust the book's index - and as Kurt Vonnegut reminded us, never index your own book - there is not a single mention in the book of either Kenyon Hopkins or "The Hustler."

Could you imagine being the primary soloist in an iconic film like "The Hustler," and having the honor of playing music written by someone as great as Kenyon Hopkins, and not even mentioning these things in your book?

No Hopkins, no sale.  

because Vonnegut was rich and could afford to pay an indexer. Not so for most of us. I just indexed 4 of my own books.

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The index in my copy says Ken Hopkins can be found on pages 98 and 135.

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24 minutes ago, medjuck said:

The index in my copy says Ken Hopkins can be found on pages 98 and 135.

Thank you!  I wonder why I could not find this when I used the Amazon "Look Inside" feature???

I just read the references, thank you! 

It must have been that I was looking for "Kenyon" and not "Ken."

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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I would like to commend Mr Woods for his gentlemanly approach regarding road activities and the amorous opportunities undoubtedly presented there on. Seriously.

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3 hours ago, AllenLowe said:

because Vonnegut was rich and could afford to pay an indexer. Not so for most of us. I just indexed 4 of my own books.

I never liked the "professional" indexes in books I've read. I indexed both of my books myself.

 

 

 

gregmo

Edited by gmonahan

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3 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Thank you!  I wonder why I could not find this when I used the Amazon "Look Inside" feature???

I just read the references, thank you! 

It must have been that I was looking for "Kenyon" and not "Ken."

Hey man, Where you been?

Phil mentions "Ken" Hopkins when talking about all the great arr./composers in NYC. I have no explanation for why he didn't mention
The Hustler" date, other than he did so many great dates, he couldn't go into every one of them. I wanted to hear something about "The Hustler date, the "Blow Up" date

the "Lilith" date", the Gunther Schuller concert date, the Steely Dan date, the Paul Simon date, the Gary McFarland live record date, and many more, but I guess he only included gigs that were pivotal in telling his life story.

As Jim (KEEP WARM!) said, he was very gentlemanly in talking about his road life, and he was equally gentlemanly about his interactions with African American musicians. He could have been bitter about Wynton Marsalis lambasting him on a jazz cruise (over the microphone!!!), members of the Oliver Nelson band posting death threats on ON's door, threatening violence if the white lead alto player wasn't fired from the band, and probably many other examples, but he really took the high road on this front, also.I was also astonished that he praised one musician friend of mine, who he a serious run in with years ago! The man really did put the music first.

 

 

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Oh, shucks, it's 1974 and I'm loving Phil Woods all over again! :g

Seriously, I'm actually touched by how little ugliness or rancor there is in this book, at least to this point I've only gotten up to where they have just left America.

And almost all of the harshest words are directed to the system and not to individuals, which is a very refreshing change from the way many things are done these days.

I have a hard time thinking that he chose his words carefully for his final record, but personal stuff...leaving it personal and not going public... I respect that, very much.

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41 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Oh, shucks, it's 1974 and I'm loving Phil Woods all over again! :g

Seriously, I'm actually touched by how little ugliness or rancor there is in this book, at least to this point I've only gotten up to where they have just left America.

And almost all of the harshest words are directed to the system and not to individuals, which is a very refreshing change from the way many things are done these days.

I have a hard time thinking that he chose his words carefully for his final record, but personal stuff...leaving it personal and not going public... I respect that, very much.

Yeah, I was blown away by the mellowness.Even after the hassles he had with Vinnie Abato at Julliard, he put up that touching obit to end the chapter.

Same thing with the way Mulligan treated him. He stood up for his rights, but didn't let it interfere with the respect he had for GM.

Hope you and yours are doing okay down there Jim.

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It's interesting to hear his side of the story re: Chan. He has nothing negative to say about her. 

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1 hour ago, sgcim said:

Hope you and yours are doing okay down there Jim.

Thank you! Where where doing well. Inconvenienced by the irritating uncertainty but in terms of actual objective experiences... inconvenient that's about all, can't really complain about that all things considered.

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1 hour ago, medjuck said:

It's interesting to hear his side of the story re: Chan. He has nothing negative to say about her. 

Damn, you folks are forcing me to buy a book I wouldn't have purchased otherwise.

 

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11 hours ago, Chuck Nessa said:

Damn, you folks are forcing me to buy a book I wouldn't have purchased otherwise.

 

Its the curse of this board.

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4 hours ago, jcam_44 said:

Its the curse of this board.

True that.

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Interesting to read about Phil's earliest memories growing up in Springfield, Massachusetts. I grew in the city next to Springfield, Holyoke, MA, so I recognize some of the places Phil mentions like Forest Park and Riverside Park. He even mentions going to a ballroom in Holyoke. :)

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So I finished the book last night. A bit of a bummer by the end, with Phil talking about his drug and alcohol addictions and how it ran in his family and ended up with his daughter dying from it. He seemed  proud that he had a good relationship with 2 of his kids when he had 2 others wouldn't even talk to him for 20 over years. All in all, by the end of the book, I didn't think that highly of Phil the person as much as Phil the musician. By his own words, he described a guy who was a bit of a dink to anyone who wasn't on the bandstand with him... except Jill.

Also, it was weird when the book ended and my Kindle said the book was only 68% complete. So one third of the book is a few nice reminisces (Brian Lynch & a Billy Joel interview), a discography & an index.

And by the way - if Phil's description was accurate, Al Haig was one weird dude.

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21 hours ago, bresna said:

So I finished the book last night. A bit of a bummer by the end, with Phil talking about his drug and alcohol addictions and how it ran in his family and ended up with his daughter dying from it. He seemed  proud that he had a good relationship with 2 of his kids when he had 2 others wouldn't even talk to him for 20 over years. All in all, by the end of the book, I didn't think that highly of Phil the person as much as Phil the musician. By his own words, he described a guy who was a bit of a dink to anyone who wasn't on the bandstand with him... except Jill.

Also, it was weird when the book ended and my Kindle said the book was only 68% complete. So one third of the book is a few nice reminisces (Brian Lynch & a Billy Joel interview), a discography & an index.

And by the way - if Phil's description was accurate, Al Haig was one weird dude.

Woods isn't the only one to offer that kind of view of Haig. As fine a pianist as he was, he seems to have been a...singularly imperfect...human being.

 

 

gregmo

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3 hours ago, gmonahan said:

Woods isn't the only one to offer that kind of view of Haig. As fine a pianist as he was, he seems to have been a...singularly imperfect...human being.

 

 

gregmo

What? Just because Al locked his wife in a room for weeks until she finished reading "Mein Kampf"? Doesn't everyone do that?

And just because he'd make Jimmy Raney cross the street with him in Manhattan if he saw any Jewish people walking towards them? Isn't that standard operating procedure?:rolleyes:

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5 minutes ago, sgcim said:

What? Just because Al locked his wife in a room for weeks until she finished reading "Mein Kampf"? Doesn't everyone do that?

And just because he'd make Jimmy Raney cross the street with him in Manhattan if he saw any Jewish people walking towards them? Isn't that standard operating procedure?:rolleyes:

How was Raney supposed to tell?

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22 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

How was Raney supposed to tell?

Raney was Haig's little disciple when he first came to NYC, and he and Al would go on walks together. Whenever Haig would see someone he somehow knew to be Jewish, he'd drag Raney across the street to avoid them. On his own, Raney would not avoid Jews on the street.

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And if Haig didn't know, he would ask Rainey, as a training exercise? Not sure I'm following the plan here.

If neither knew, did they just walk down the middle of the street? That sounds dangerous, even then!

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