mikeweil

Which jazz book are you reading right now?

251 posts in this topic

Ronnie Scott's Some of My Best Friends are Blues

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, BeBop said:

Ronnie Scott's Some of My Best Friends are Blues

I recall Ronnie's brilliant opening: "I was born in a room over a Jewish pub in the East End of London. It was called The Kosher Horses. We were very poor. My father was always unemployed. He was a shepherd. We were so poor they had to buy my clothing at the Army and Navy Stores. There I was during the Second World War going to school in a Japanese admiral's uniform." (Quoting from memory) :lol:

But for the real Ronnie story I recommend John Fordham's Jazz Man: The Amazing Story of Ronnie Scott and His Club.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, BillF said:

I recall Ronnie's brilliant opening: "I was born in a room over a Jewish pub in the East End of London. It was called The Kosher Horses. We were very poor. My father was always unemployed. He was a shepherd. We were so poor they had to buy my clothing at the Army and Navy Stores. There I was during the Second World War going to school in a Japanese admiral's uniform." (Quoting from memory) :lol:

But for the real Ronnie story I recommend John Fordham's Jazz Man: The Amazing Story of Ronnie Scott and His Club.

Ah, but who wants the real story.  ;-)

(From memory, not exact quotes)  "We weren't Jewish, but we were Jew-ish..."

"The landlady used to do the cooking and pygmies came all the way from Africa to dip their arrows in the soup." 

"We used to mix LSD and chopped liver and take trips to Israel."

It's pretty much like that throughout, if you haven't read.  Maybe that'll save you a few quid.

The Japanese military uniform reminds me of Red Rodney in his (non-Japanese) military uniform and related shtick.  (OT)

Edited by BeBop

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember once I read a book written by Ronnie Scott, but I don´t remember the title and think it´s OOP. It has a Cartoon like Picture of Ronnie on the book cover. 

I remember mostly his stories About visiting stars, how he had difficulties to find a proper piano for Bill Evans, how Stan Tracey had to suffer from the behaviour of mean Artists like Lucky Thompson, something About Coleman Hawkins in his very last and very self destructive year, and so on...…..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/16/2020 at 11:50 AM, BeBop said:

Ah, but who wants the real story.  ;-)

(From memory, not exact quotes)  "We weren't Jewish, but we were Jew-ish..."

"The landlady used to do the cooking and pygmies came all the way from Africa to dip their arrows in the soup." 

"We used to mix LSD and chopped liver and take trips to Israel."

It's pretty much like that throughout, if you haven't read.  Maybe that'll save you a few quid.

The Japanese military uniform reminds me of Red Rodney in his (non-Japanese) military uniform and related shtick.  (OT)

I'm reading "The Long Shadow of the Little Giant", the Tubby Hayes bio by Simon Spillett, and I'm up to the Jazz Couriers group with Tubbs and Ronnie Scott. There are a couple of good Ronnie Scott lines in there:

They were touring with the Dave Brubeck Quartet with Paul Desmond, and Ronnie used to crack Desmond up every time they ordered food at the grungy Great Transit British Cafe by inquiring, "Excuse me, can I see the wine list?" Scott would inquire in one dismal roadside establishment after another!

On their live albums, they would keep Scott's announcements of the songs they would be performing, such as, "And now, from an LP which you may have seen in the shops, titled 'Elvis Presley Sings Thelonious Monk...'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Ronnie's gifts as a stand up comedian equalled his gifts as a tenorman, and they were great.

The last time I saw him - with a quintet in the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester in about 1993 - the first half hour of the first set was just that - stand up comedy. The music came later.

Edited by BillF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ronnie Scott In repartee with Buddy Rich was the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, sidewinder said:

Ronnie Scott In repartee with Buddy Rich was the best.

Any examples? Anything caught on record?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mainly what I witnessed of the two of them before/after sets but you can get a taste of it on the Mosaic Single ‘Live at Ronnie Scotts’, also RCA 2LP. No responses from Ronnie on that recording but there are some amusing Rich comments directed at him, all meant in affection of course.

Edited by sidewinder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, luhem said:

Raise Up Off Me by Hampton Hawes
 

 

 

 

an excellent choice ! I remember I bought this book in the late seventies. Hampton Hawes was really a great piano player and as the book shows, a great story teller also. 

I´ve also read an interview with Hampton Hawes done by drummer Art Taylor, which was later published in Taylor´s book "Notes and Tones". It´s a very angry and frustrated Hampton Hawes there…...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, luhem said:

Raise Up Off Me by Hampton Hawes
 

 

 

 

One of the classics of jazz autobiography - along with Art Pepper's Straight Life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interviews for insiders, very interesting, I mentioned this book above since Hampton Hawes is one of the musicians interviewed. Others are Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Johnny Griffin, Freddie Hubbard, Leon Thomas , Betty Carter etc. ......

Download (5).jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, BillF said:

One of the classics of jazz autobiography - along with Art Pepper's Straight Life.

Yes, I agree. Perhaps the two best and most moving jazz autobiographies I've read.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Stars Of Jazz". A complete history of the innovative television series 1956-1958. By James A. Harrod. Also has complete discography of Calliope Records which released 36 LPs from the TV series. Absolutely outstanding work! Available on Amazon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Stonewall15 said:

"Stars Of Jazz". A complete history of the innovative television series 1956-1958. By James A. Harrod. Also has complete discography of Calliope Records which released 36 LPs from the TV series. Absolutely outstanding work! Available on Amazon.

Is it true that there was a  (no longer extant) show in which Chet Baker played some Bix tunes? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, medjuck said:

Is it true that there was a  (no longer extant) show in which Chet Baker played some Bix tunes? 

Just dug out my copy of ‘Stars of Jazz’ (this version by Ray Avery, not Harrod) and there are photos of Baker with Phil Urso and Bobby Timmons on a show with a large backdrop showing the famous Beiderbecke photo. So I guess - yes !

Ray Avery’s photos of the series are a real highlight of the book. Years ago when I got the chance to meet Ray I always regretted not buying this book directly from him on the day and getting him to sign it. Fortuitously, some years ago and well after Ray had passed on, a UK seller had a pristine copy for sale which had a nice personalised signing in the front. Karma !

Edited by sidewinder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, sidewinder said:

Just dug out my copy of ‘Stars of Jazz’ (this version by Ray Avery, not Harrod) and there are photos of Baker with Phil Urso and Bobby Timmons on a show with a large backdrop showing the famous Beiderbecke photo. So I guess - yes !

Ray Avery’s photos of the series are a real highlight of the book. Years ago when I got the chance to meet Ray I always regretted not buying this book directly from him on the day and getting him to sign it. Fortuitously, some years ago and well after Ray had passed on, a UK seller had a pristine copy for sale which had a nice personalised signing in the front. Karma !

I used to see him at LA Duke Ellington Society meetings (where, IIRC, he would have books for sale) but I never saw this book. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the book came out in the mid 1990s. He was signing copies in the late 1990s at a Festival when I met him.

Fortunately, I did buy several wonderful signed photos from Ray at his home.

The James Harrod book looks really tempting. Pricey though at £50 for a paperback.

Edited by sidewinder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

an excellent choice ! I remember I bought this book in the late seventies. Hampton Hawes was really a great piano player and as the book shows, a great story teller also. 

I´ve also read an interview with Hampton Hawes done by drummer Art Taylor, which was later published in Taylor´s book "Notes and Tones". It´s a very angry and frustrated Hampton Hawes there…...

It’s definitely a great read ! I worked in Gardena/Compton here in California for years , so when a buddy of mine found this old business card floating around on social media , he sent it my way . I did some research and found out about an amazing musician+human being . Local legend in my eyes ~

Will definitely check out Notes and Tones , anger and frustration are two emotions I can vibe with currently - lost my cousin/best friend to a rare health issue this January . We’re both the same age (30) , and now all of humanity has this nasty virus to deal with . . Been planning a move to NYC to pursue some musical endeavors , but now everyone there is stuck in a seriously scary situation . Visited for a few weeks three years in a row to spend time with friends & family/check out potential schools , but now I’m not sure if the places I wanted to try for will be holding auditions at the end of the year , or even have programs up and running again anytime soon . Gahhhh !!!!
 

Thank you for the recommendation !

16 hours ago, BillF said:

One of the classics of jazz autobiography - along with Art Pepper's Straight Life.

Will check this one out as well . Thank you !

7D88E8F3-1D7E-4EAC-9FFC-73503255948C.jpeg

Edited by luhem

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
luhem:

In Raise Up Off Me, Hamp employs the pseudonym "Wally Shade in reference to the bass player playing with him at Sherry’s in Hollywood in the summer of 1958 that was involved in the narcotics sting that got Hamp arrested for possession. Looking up old newspaper clippings, I came across one notice in the Pasadena Independent Star-News, dated July 20, 1958, where it lists Hampton Hawes and Ralph Peña playing duo. That's just one sole listing; it could've been any number of bassists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/8/2020 at 1:30 AM, Phenomena said:

 

I'd bet on the bassist being Hersh Hamel, who worked with Hawes and IIRC was notorious on that scene for ratting out guys to the drug cops. I believe he was responsible for one of Art Pepper's busts and one of Chet Baker's too.

OTOH, I would be surprised it were Pena. Never thought him as a junkie or as associating with junkies. Fine player too FWIW, who came to a sad early end. He was injured in an auto accident in Mexico City and local doctors botched his treatment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.