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Overlooked Saxophonists


Dan Gould
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One more addition to the Park-lore, nothing musical, just human interest, and John Tapscott no doubt has more detail on it than I do, but anyway...

During Park's time as Kenton's lead altoist (only altoist, as Kenton only used one in the section), his son Kim was on the band as bari player. Also on the band was Mary Fettig on tenor(???? maybe it was her horn that JP borrowed that night?). anyway, while all three were in the same section, Kim & Mary hooked up, fell in love, and got married. So all this in a road band, always on a bus, father, son, wife, husband, wife, daughter in law, father in law - and section mates. How that all worked out over the long haul, I have no idea, but of all the weird things that happen on the road, that's not generally one of them.

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One more addition to the Park-lore, nothing musical, just human interest, and John Tapscott no doubt has more detail on it than I do, but anyway...

During Park's time as Kenton's lead altoist (only altoist, as Kenton only used one in the section), his son Kim was on the band as bari player. Also on the band was Mary Fettig on tenor(???? maybe it was her horn that JP borrowed that night?). anyway, while all three were in the same section, Kim & Mary hooked up, fell in love, and got married. So all this in a road band, always on a bus, father, son, wife, husband, wife, daughter in law, father in law - and section mates. How that all worked out over the long haul, I have no idea, but of all the weird things that happen on the road, that's not generally one of them.

Perhaps a little less complicated. John suffered a heart attack in Oct. 73 and left the band. Mary and Kim had hooked up in their months on the band - 'tis true, and a pregnancy resulted. With John off the band Kenton fired them both (actually I think Shearer did the hiring and firing) , when they were caught holding hands on the bandstand at a dance gig. (All this is in Michael Sparke's book).  Neither was on the Kenton Band I saw in Dec. 73.  I believe they subsequently got married which was still the thing to do in '73 under the circumstances.  Both Kim and Mary went on to careers in performance and music education though I don't think they're still married. Both are fine musicians and jazz soloists.

John rejoined the band for a spell in '74 but his heart couldn't take the strain and he was replaced by the altoist you named above - Tony Campise, probably the most "avant-garde" musician Kenton ever employed.

Edited by John Tapscott
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Definitely agree that Canadians Mike Murley and Phil Dwyer are overlooked / underrated.

I was in Toronto about 4 years ago and heard a set by Mike Murley and he sounded magnificent on tenor.

back when I lived in Rochester, NY I had numerous opportunities to hear Joe Romano when he would come

home to visit his mother. He played both alto and tenor at a few different clubs. i particularly thought his tenor work was outstanding.

Romano can be heard on a couple of Xanadu records led by Sam Noto. He is also on an Art Pepper 2 CD set called Live at Donte's on the Fresh Sound label. Not too many years before he died Joe put out a very fine Quintet CD titled  "This Is The Moment".

Fresh Sound released a quartet LP with Joe as leader. It also featured Frank Strazzeri on piano. Unfortunately I never have heard or even seen that album.

Here's a link, Peter:

RomanoJFSR108bd.jpg

Thanks Marcello. Would be nice if Fresh Sound would reissue it on CD.

Pete's living in Seattle now, so you Pacific NW-esters, take advantage!

I saw Park a few times with Kenton, and the best I heard him play was on a dance gig (the only dance gig I ever saw a "name band" play, and a look into a world that still existed as sustenance even as it was being eradicated as statement. Sometimes there were charts, and sometimes Kenton would simply call on a player to meet a crowd request and the number would be soloist + trio. And sometimes, the Dick Shearer led trombones would chime in with improvised pad chords, with some of the players aiming towards altered tones rather obviously, and that was big fun to hear unfold, because they were all listening on the fly, big time.

Anyway, they got a request for "Stardust", Kenton called on Park, and Park grabbed a tenor. Four choruses, maybe five, of some of the damndestly fluid tenor playing I've ever heard. Not necessarily an original vocabulary, but...not always important. Just clear, lucid ideas flowing from the horn, on and on. Linear development like a mofo. Magnificent.

And then I realized, hey this was a dance date, not even advertised outside of the organization that put it on, who knows how many of these type gigs how many of thee type bands were still doing in those days, and who knows how much playing like this - wonderfully spoken delineations of familiar themes and variations that will not be recorded or enthused about because of the arena in which it was occurring - is going off into the ether?

To hear a very special solo by John Park, try to get hold of this one.

Stan Kenton - Birthday in Britain - Creative World

Park has an alto solo on "Street of Dreams" on this album that is out of sight!!!

 

A very close friend of mine - Jerry Atkins  of Texarkana, TX- died a few years ago. He was extremely close to John Park and they got together frequently. Jerry accumulated a number of private small group recordings by Park taken from sessions in various clubs. The audio quality was not the best, but they give a good indication of Park's talent. Jerry, who played tenor sax himself,  might have been John Park's number one fan.

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Definitely agree that Canadians Mike Murley and Phil Dwyer are overlooked / underrated.

I was in Toronto about 4 years ago and heard a set by Mike Murley and he sounded magnificent on tenor.

back when I lived in Rochester, NY I had numerous opportunities to hear Joe Romano when he would come

home to visit his mother. He played both alto and tenor at a few different clubs. i particularly thought his tenor work was outstanding.

Romano can be heard on a couple of Xanadu records led by Sam Noto. He is also on an Art Pepper 2 CD set called Live at Donte's on the Fresh Sound label. Not too many years before he died Joe put out a very fine Quintet CD titled  "This Is The Moment".

Fresh Sound released a quartet LP with Joe as leader. It also featured Frank Strazzeri on piano. Unfortunately I never have heard or even seen that album.

Here's a link, Peter:

RomanoJFSR108bd.jpg

Thanks Marcello. Would be nice if Fresh Sound would reissue it on CD.

Pete's living in Seattle now, so you Pacific NW-esters, take advantage!

I saw Park a few times with Kenton, and the best I heard him play was on a dance gig (the only dance gig I ever saw a "name band" play, and a look into a world that still existed as sustenance even as it was being eradicated as statement. Sometimes there were charts, and sometimes Kenton would simply call on a player to meet a crowd request and the number would be soloist + trio. And sometimes, the Dick Shearer led trombones would chime in with improvised pad chords, with some of the players aiming towards altered tones rather obviously, and that was big fun to hear unfold, because they were all listening on the fly, big time.

Anyway, they got a request for "Stardust", Kenton called on Park, and Park grabbed a tenor. Four choruses, maybe five, of some of the damndestly fluid tenor playing I've ever heard. Not necessarily an original vocabulary, but...not always important. Just clear, lucid ideas flowing from the horn, on and on. Linear development like a mofo. Magnificent.

And then I realized, hey this was a dance date, not even advertised outside of the organization that put it on, who knows how many of these type gigs how many of thee type bands were still doing in those days, and who knows how much playing like this - wonderfully spoken delineations of familiar themes and variations that will not be recorded or enthused about because of the arena in which it was occurring - is going off into the ether?

To hear a very special solo by John Park, try to get hold of this one.

Stan Kenton - Birthday in Britain - Creative World

Park has an alto solo on "Street of Dreams" on this album that is out of sight!!!

 

A very close friend of mine - Jerry Atkins  of Texarkana, TX- died a few years ago. He was extremely close to John Park and they got together frequently. Jerry accumulated a number of private small group recordings by Park taken from sessions in various clubs. The audio quality was not the best, but they give a good indication of Park's talent. Jerry, who played tenor sax himself,  might have been John Park's number one fan.

Thanks for the recommendation. And very interesting news re: those tapes.

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Assume this is the Park/Kenton version of "Street of Dreams" referenced by Peter above: He sounds good -- personal take on the vocabulary, like he's been living it all in real time for a long time. A life spent making music and making a living, sometimes one or the other, sometimes both at the same time. Coda: Not sure who wrote the chart but I pretty much hate it -- the Kenton thing I don't need. But it is what it is and that's cool for what it is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VijQAMq7KeA

Also appears to be several cuts on Youtube of Park's LP "If Winter Comes," which apparently documents some gigs in 1975 and '79 in Kansas City and Texarkana (I Love You/I'll Remember April/I Can't Get Started, etc)

 

 

Edited by Mark Stryker
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You know who plays some wild-ass stuff? John Peirce (alto), one of George Russell's "Indiana boys" (Baker/Kiger/Plummer/Young/Hunt), on "The Stratus Seekers." Inside-out, vibrant sound and tonal manipulation, all over the horn and not many cats dealing with Ornette and Dolphy like that in '62. Certainly a great fit for George. I have a vague recollection of Peirce being around Indianapolis when I was a kid, and he may have even played down in Bloomington -- but I could be wrong about all of this. Anybody know his story or what happened to him? (Paging David Brent Johnson and Michael Weiss ...)

The only record I can think of that he's on is "Stratus Seekers," unless I'm missing something obvious. I did just stumble across a reference to an Ellis Marsalis session from '68 but not released until 2001ish that was taped in Vegas and Peirce apparently plays on at least two tunes, "Broadway" and "Embraceable You."  Anybody heard this? http://www.allaboutjazz.com/afternoon-session-ellis-marsalis-music-in-the-vines-review-by-dave-nathan.php

 

 

 

Edited by Mark Stryker
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