I quit for about a year, worked for the Internal Revenue Service because I had kids. I told myself I have to get away from Mingus. So I went to the Internal Revenue and I worked on s. That was weirder than Mingus I did it for about a year. It was interesting — I saw a lot of returns. This guy was making serious money.
That was amazing to me in the sixties. A jazz tenor player and this was during his tour of My Favorite Things with the soprano and Greensleeves. I actually did his return — I saw it! I thought a tenor player playing jazz, making that kind of money. Charles McPherson. In working with him, as difficult as he could be, I found out that he had a good heart.
This part of Mingus that never gets out, I saw. As a case in point, we were doing a benefit for a beat poet and writer named Kenneth Padgett.. He was a personal friend of Mingus and he was sick. We were in Mill Valley and we did a benefit with Mingus' Band. He wanted to give us something, because we were playing with no salary. Everyone took the five dollars, except me. When he got to me, I just said to him, 'What's five dollars, more or less?
Just put it into the kitty for the man because he's sick.. Five dollars is not going to change my life, so give it to him. When he saw that everyone took the money except me, he looked at me and his eyes got all welled up with tears, and he said, 'Thanks Charlie. He was moved that I, a twenty year old, gave back the money. That impressed him. He had a special way with me. I could be late, or act kind of silly on the bandstand, but he would just kind of look the other way and wouldn't give me a hard time Charles McPherson on Charles Mingus.
Born in Joplin, Missouri, and raised in Detroit, Charles McPherson is an acclaimed alto saxophonist, arranger, and composer. Appearing on more than seventy albums as a leader and side man, Charles is probably best known for his twelve year association with Charles Mingus. Charles recalled their beginning, "I came to New York in I started working with Charlie Mingus..
He was different than Detroit guys but he did have this: he wrote poetry, he painted, he had a world view, and he was totally into music. These people were bigger than life. They were just characters, they were really something, that generation. Equally formative was Charles early upbringing in Detroit, a thriving jazz scene in the s and s. Charles remembered his lucky circumstances, "The street that I lived on just happened to be a street where Barry Harris lived right around the corner, five minutes away.
A trumpet player named Lonnie Hillyer, who worked with Mingus along with myself for a long time, lived right on my street. And there was a jazz club a few blocks down on my street called the Blue Bird, which was, at that time, probably the hippest jazz club in Detroit. So it was interesting that, of all places, as big as Detroit is, I ended up on the same street as a really great local jazz club. After being told about Charlie Parker by a tenor sax student in his junior high school band, Charles' life was transformed, "One day I was in a little candy store, and there was a jukebox with records in it, and I saw Charlie Parker.
Let me put my money in and hear this guy! Anytime anyone wanted to, they could come by and talk music, play or talk about ideas. So this was a natural thing that would happen with Barry. Sonny Rollins…all of these wonderful people. And I was always there, living right around the corner. As he revealed in a interview, "I don't think that I ever knew what Eric was doing, but I did understand, at least to some degree, what Trane was doing I still wanted to play melodic music.
I always thought that dissonance and melodicism should be balanced in music, and even how you improvise. I never thought that everything dissonant for the sake of dissonance was the way that I wanted to go. I always believed in a balance of melodicism mixed with tension and dissonance. In , noted film director, actor and jazz enthusiast, Clint Eastwood came calling.
The soundtrack to Bird was no exception, and featured Charlie Parker's original solo sax recordings with a newly recorded rhythm section, including Monty Alexander and Barry Harris on piano, Ray Brown and Ron Carter on bass, and John Guerin on drums. Charles McPherson added a blazing alto on three tracks and Jon Faddis supplied a fast and furious trumpet.
A technological achievement, it is a remarkable refresh on probably the most important and influential jazz artist ever, Charlie Parker with apologies to Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington! And, for me, the soundtrack is the best thing about the movie, which I found depressingly dark and dour, though accurate. Just as Clint wanted to portray, Bird shows the inexorable decline and degradation of active addiction.
Me, I'm happy to listen to the soundtrack, hard pass on watching the movie again. Dizzy's Club is the smallest of the three venues, probably seats for one hundred-forty patrons. The quintet was introduced by public address and then Charles bounded on stage and tore into a five minute solo on the Charlie Parker favorite "I'll Remember April.
For a man approaching eighty, Charles showed no signs of slowing. Next came, "A Tear And A Smile", a luxurious ballad that showcased Charles' strength of melody and improvisation, and "Marionette", another McPherson original, highlighted the extended guitar work and crisp, disjointed leads by guitarist Yotam Silberstein.
A beautiful ballad, "Yesterdays", followed with Charles' warm and resonant alto rendering the composition with grace and emotion. For an encore, Charles introduced "Blue Monk", a Thelonious composition with "We always need to have some blues in our program," and he began to lay out a mournful, soulful sound which the band leisurely followed. As Charles said recently, "The real vibe of the blues - a slow blues, not an uptempo blues - is a state of reverence.
The Greeks had different words for different kinds of love. In the blues, even though there's plenty of suggestive lyrics, the feeling underneath is more Agape. There's a longing towards God. You have to be in that kind of space to play the blues well. It was a happy ending for all. After the show, I visited with Charles. He was as lively offstage as on. I mentioned how impressed I was with his performance and stamina.
It seemed as though the band is half your age and they were barely able to keep up. He smiled and laughed, "Well, thank you. I have a great band and they really inspire me. Man, those cats could play! Next, I asked Charles an impossible question: what was your favorite band? I learned so much from both of them. Mingus At Carnegie Hall signed by Charles. It's important for anybody who wants to play jazz. I mean all that other stuff, you can forget it.
If you can't tap your foot or dance to it, you may as well be driving a cab. That's what it's all about. When I do clinics, I have the individual instruments play by themselves and I want them to make me dance - make me want to dance, you know. I don't want them to depend on the rhythm section or somebody else for that swing. When I heard Lester Young, that was that.
They were waving those hats, doo-wah, doo-wah. Prez and Herschel Evans were in the band, and Eddie Durham was playing guitar. The band was hot! Prez was staying at a three-story rooming house, and a friend of ours brought us there. Prez came out in his pajamas, with his horn in his arm and a little powder-box full of joints. He offered everybody a joint!
We asked him how he made all those funny sounds, and he showed us. I didn't meet Basie until I joined him in ' He had been calling me for a couple of years and I told him I was busy doing something else and I wasn't going to quit school to go back on the road, because I had had enough of the road.
So he just kept calling. And at about the end of my school year, he called again and said he thought he could get me more exposure than I had. That struck a chord in me. He said, "What do you want? The Greatest!
The band was hot. We were in one of the best bands Basie ever had. The band was tight. I had forgotten actually, how good the band was until I was listening to those Mosaic recordings. And then it came back to me, how good that band was. It was like one person playing. Everybody was — it was a good band. Well Basie, he knew how to do that. He just let it stay there until the cats got it together, and then when they got it together he knew what to do with it.
But you know the fellows in the band did all of that. Yeah I got a whole lot of people in the band. But he let us do what we wanted to do. He never rehearsed the band - Joe Newman, Frank Foster, Thad Jones, myself, and we were the ones who decided which arrangements we took.
If somebody brought in an arrangement and we didn't like it, we would just say, "Pass it in. He let us do it, you know. And he wasn't someone who fired people every two minutes either, so all the cats stayed there long enough to know each other and get to be a band. You know, you can't have a good band in six months.
Frank Wess on his tenure with the Count Basie Orchestra. To hear the two of them play together, the fire they generated between them, was just marvelous. And then Frank would play one of those pretty ballads of his, with that sound, on alto-he would play ballads in that band on alto-and it was unreal. I loved to hear him play ballads. He could play a ballad that would make you cry. Pianist Kenny Barron on Two Franks.
Next door to the hotel was an upstairs club, and I was drinking, feeling good and acting crazy. He started talking about the transportation was eating him up, and all the humiliation he had to go through. He went through a whole lot of shit with me. I just looked at him. Then he started through his story the third time. I just want to know why you ever hired Jimmy Rushing, the way you can cry the blues. You had to understand Basie. Then you got stories for days. They invited us back to do a command performance the same year.
Frank Wess. Best known for his eleven year stint in Count Basie's formidable orchestra, Frank Wess had a remarkable seventy-year career, as influential as it was lengthy. An arranger and composer, a skilled tenor and alto saxophonist, Frank was also the winner of six straight DownBeat Critics' Poll awards as best jazz flautist from He was instrumental in helping the flute become an essential improvisatory instrument in jazz, especially within big bands.
Indeed, Frank was a quintuple threat, and his talents were showcased on more than twenty albums as a leader, and hundreds more sessions as a side man, including thirty records with Count Basie, including seminal recordings with Basie and revered guests Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Joe Williams. Though Frank Wess was not as acclaimed as others, he was certainly an important and beloved jazz artist.
The Award Winner signed by Frank Wess. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Frank's family moved to Sapulpa, Oklahoma fifteen miles south west of Tulsa where he studied classical music, "I was taught classical music. We used to go around the state at different times, playing.
Fortunately, that changed when his family moved to Washington, DC, "And then in '35, we moved to Washington. I had stopped playing for a year because I got tired of the music But when I moved to Washington, it was a different scene. I was in high school and during lunch time, they used to have sessions down in the orchestra room. Pianist Billy Taylor was going to school there too and a lot of different fellas. We'd be jamming there at noon time and I said, 'This is what I want to do.
His classmate Billy Taylor was considering switching from piano to saxophone until he heard Frank play. As Billy later confirmed, "He's the reason I don't play tenor saxophone. Even in his teens, he was really a remarkable player. They had a deal where you got a rating your first day and you didn't have to do any basic training. All you had to do was play music. We played all kinds of music - Viennese waltzes, marches - everything. I had a seventeen piece swing band. We were sent to Africa in When we got down there, the first gig we played was for the Americans, the Germans and the English.
Can you believe that? They were all dancing together. Frank remembered, "I had known Billy Eckstine before the war, so when I went to the theater to see him. He said, 'Look, my tenor player is going into the Army, come on with me. Our attack was strong and we were playing bebop, the modern style.
No other band like this existed in the world. The road life was wearying though, so Frank enrolled in the Modern School of Music an affiliate of Howard University in Washington, DC in and pursued his study of the flute with Wayman Carver, an early mentor and a fervent believer in the merits of the flute in jazz improvisation.
Carver had played flute and participated on early jazz recordings with Benny Carter and Chick Webb with their bands in the s. His studies complete, Frank graduated in and joined Count Basie and completely changed the construct of the flute in Basie's orchestra. Initially hired as a tenor saxophonist, Basie was unaware of his prodigious talents on the flute. During a rehearsal, Basie was startled to hear Frank's proficiency soloing on "Perdido" which they eventually recorded and released in and became a big hit.
After leaving Basie in , Frank settled in New York City and worked in television show bands - Dick Cavett and David Frost - and he even had a ten year run as a band member on what was then a fledging show, Saturday Night Live. All the while, Frank kept his chops sharp playing clubs and theaters with smaller combos.
One night while walking home to my fourth floor walk up on 45th Street , I passed by a restaurant that had "Frank Vignola and Frank Wess Appearing Tonight" scrawled on a chalkboard. I stopped dead in my tracks. The restaurant was as forgettable as its name and menu, but Frank Wess?! This I had to check out. I walked in off the street, the bar was to the right, mostly empty stools, save for a couple of hardy souls trying to blot out the last vestiges of a dissolute Sunday night.
They didn't appear to be jazz aficionados. The stage, well there wasn't really a stage, the band had set up against the wall opposite the bar where some tables had been removed. There was no cover charge, no speakers, no amplifiers, and none were needed in such a small room, adding to the allure and intimacy. There were maybe fifteen or twenty patrons in varying and alternating degrees of attentiveness and distress.
Meanwhile, both Franks were performing as though they were at Carnegie Hall. Frank Vignola deftly tossed off fleet runs on his guitar while Frank Wess blew gorgeous tenor saxophone fills just like his idol and one time mentor Lester Young. It was a compelling night of music and, best of all, they were engaged in a month long residency of Sunday night performances.
I came back the next three Sundays and saw some extraordinary music and, this time, I had lots of vinyl at the ready. Frank was impeccably dressed in his Sunday finest and he was happy to sign the records, especially the Basie albums with his closest friend Frank Foster, with whom he had toured as The Two Franks, and all the other great musicians.
I was struck by how devoted he was to his craft. No matter the size of the venue, or the quality of the audience, Frank came to play. And he performed almost to the end in when he passed away at ninety-one years old. I was reminded of his selflessness and dedication when he visited pianist Hank Jones as Hank lay dying in We used to play it a lot together.
In fact, I went to the hospice and played it for him on the day he died. With Frank and Hank, it was always about the love and the music. Flute Of The Loom back cover signed by Frank. If that works, great. I have a thing on my wall here that Beethoven said: "The vibrations on the air are the breath of God speaking to man's soul. Music is the language of God. We musicians are as close to God as man can be. We hear his voice, we read his lips, we give birth to the children of God, who sing his praise.
The Lennie Tristano Trio opened, and when they were through, his bassist, Arnold Fishkind, came to get us. Lennie was blind, of course, so Arnold and Lennie took us behind the curtain—the place was a former speakeasy and too small for a true backstage area. There sitting on the floor was the great Charlie Parker.
Parker, cherry is my favorite flavor. We were there for about five or ten minutes, then he had to go to work. He had his pie, and then the lesson started. We went back outside and listened to an hour of the genius of the alto saxophone.
Phil Woods meeting Charlie Parker for the first time in We no sooner landed than Frank Rehak, who was a pretty wild guy, got right to the opium den and he came back with some of the best smoke And then I knew I was going to get sent home. Phil Woods meeting his new boss Dizzy Gillespie in Iran in The Youngbloods signed by Phil, Donald Byrd. After all of that great education, here I was playing Harlem Nocturne ten times a night.
I was going on my break so I rushed over. It belonged to Larry Rivers, the painter. Parker knew me. He knew all the kids who were coming up. I said, 'Mr. I came back and got on the bandstand, which was about as big as a coffee table.
Nothing was wrong with the reed, nothing was wrong with the mouthpiece, even the strap sounded good. As soon as Bird finished, he handed me the horn to take my solo. That was quite a lesson. Phil Woods. Quincy Jones had a band that was preparing to tour Europe in the summer of The band was rehearsing in the mezzanine of the Olympia Theatre and I somehow wrangled an invitation to attend a rehearsal. It was a great band with some of Quincy's friends from Seattle I listened to a number of pieces in which there were solos played by various members of the band.
It would be unfair to say that those solos were perfunctory, but later, when Phil Woods stood up from the lead alto chair to play his solo feature, the atmosphere changed. Phil played as if there were no tomorrow. The contrast was striking and I have always remembered the impression it left. If you practice rehearsing, then when the time comes to perform, you are ready to rehearse. Phil practiced performing.
They Art Blakey and Dizzy Gillespie kidnapped me I was drinking too much, I was not content with my existence, I was not making any progress. Woods, Charlie Parker didn't play this music for black people, or for red people, or for green people.
He played it for everybody. If you can hear it, you can have it. You know, you can't steal a gift. Bird gave it to us, you can't steal a gift. I stopped drinking in excess, I mean, I didn't become perfect, but I went up another notch The pride of Springfield, Massachusetts, Phil Woods became an important jazz alto saxophonist, composer, arranger and teacher during his nearly sixty year recording career.
He released more than fifty-five albums as a leader and performed on hundreds more vinyl as a sideman with Bill Evans, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and so many others. Few artists, if any, studied with blind jazz pianist Lennie Tristano, graduated from the Juilliard School of Music, jammed with Charlie Parker even marrying his widow Chan Parker for seventeen years!
Yes, Phil Woods is unique in his improbable life and singular career. Bequeathed a saxophone by his uncle when he was twelve years old, Phil resisted his initial urge to melt it down into tiny toy soldiers and began to play it. Remarkably, he generated a sweet sound and private lessons followed with Harvey LaRose, a music teacher whom Phil selected indiscriminately from a telephone directory.
A simple, random phone call changed his life. Phil remembered, "Your first teacher in anything is so important. If that person decides you have talent and wants to touch your soul, wonderful things can happen. LaRose was an incredible inspiration. LaRose was the man. A saxophone major was not yet offered in Juilliard's s curriculum as it was not considered rigorous enough or befitting classical instruction, so Phil studied Brahms and Mozart on clarinet during the day and played alto saxophone at bebop jam sessions at night.
It was quite an education and experience. Jazz was vital and booming in the United States in the s, in the dance halls and theaters, on the radio and jukeboxes, and especially at its epicenter, the plentiful jazz clubs of New York City. Phil recalled the scene, "And jazz was in every joint. Jazz was relevant. You were just playing American music.
It was a different world. He wasn't the greatest human being that I've ever met, but what a great artist! That's all we really care about, the great art. But he was tough on his musicians and nobody really understands why. He had his set ways, he wanted us to sound like his band. It was unusual for a man who did so much to revolutionize the music to be caught up in the past like that. If any of us caught the audience for him, he'd reduce our solo space.
It was very perverse. I don't think he had always been that way though, I think it was something that caught him in later years. That was the only time I ever worked for him, we'd had quite enough of each other. As fellow tour member and tenor sax great Zoot Sims said when asked what it was like to tour Russia with Benny Goodman, "Any tour with Benny Goodman is like being in Russia!
Altology recordings, released signed by Phil. As rock and roll eclipsed the importance of jazz during the s, Phil moved to Paris with his then wife Chan Parker and their children. A souring United States political climate in provided further impetus, and what jazz musician doesn't love, or isn't beloved in, Paris?!
He stayed five years before returning in and he was miserable and uncertain upon his return: "I stayed in L. I was going to head back to Paris. Nothing was happening for me in the States. It was a failed experiment. I was trying to be a prophet in my own land. I was staying with Jerry Dodgion, the saxophonist.
We were just kind of hanging out one day and saying goodbye to everybody since I was returning soon for Paris. Do you want to talk to him? That was my solo spot. I had just split up with Chan, I had just fallen in love with Jill, my current wife. I was going out of my head.
I had to deal with divorce proceedings, my future wife was sick and I was heading back into the New York clubs with my tail between my legs to record with Michel. For the second time, Phil's destiny changed as a result of a phone call.
Of all the songs Phil has written and recorded in his lengthy career, he cites "You Must Believe In Spring" from that live recording at Jimmy's Club with Michel Legrand as his pivotal and essential favorite. This is it. It won a Grammy that year, and the rest is history. I know, it was ironic that I was heading back to France because nothing was happening here, and my career was saved by Michel Legrand, who had lived just down the road from me in Paris. So that song has a lot of importance for me.
I didn't know who they were and my idiot manager said, "They don't have enough money. I was misguided by my management, so I never had a manager again. Singer and pianist Shirley Horn called it "The best little jazz joint", I called it a dive.
It was small, maybe a capacity of sixty patrons, and when you entered off Pennsylvania Avenue, you took one step down and walked into the club. The piano was set up to the left, a quintet at most could fit on what passed for a bandstand, and then a long, dark mahogany bar, probably forty feet to the end of the narrow rectangular room with restrooms in the rear.
Cloaked in anonymity, One Step Down was a windowless, smoke-filled drinkers hideaway, far from prying eyes. Several brown naugahyde booths fronted the stage, the floor an unholy alliance stained with nicotine, smoke, spilled booze, broken promises and unfulfilled dreams. Each time I met Phil, he was always kind and generous while signing the vinyl. As voluble and electric as he was on stage, he was taciturn and demur off stage.
A simple nod as he signed was about all he could muster with me, although he did sign one vinyl "Merry Xmas", caught up in the frolic and revelry of the holiday season! I was always struck by his description of his instrument, "You know, that whole early tradition of the alto saxophone. But it always signifies something very deep.
Phil's bond and ties to Charlie Parker were steadfast and inextricably linked, so it was fitting that his last performance was a tribute to Charlie at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in Pittsburgh on September 4, , reprising the Charlie Parker With Strings vinyl with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Though stricken with emphysema, supported by an oxygen tank and confined to a wheelchair, Phil played an engaging set and announced his retirement for health reasons before playing his final number ever, Gerry Mulligan's "Rocker.
As he stated in a late interview, "Jazz will never perish, it's forever music, and I like to think that my music is somewhere in there and will last, maybe not forever, but may influence others. Whether romantic or perilous, Phil Woods' music persists.
He cuts deep. More Live signed by Phil. What Makes Sammy Swing! A great part of my childhood happened in the Tropicana club because my father on the side was a representative of the Selmer Company, so he used to sell instruments to the musicians of cabarets and military bands. Of course, I was not able to go to the club at night in the main hall, but I was able to be in the orchestra pit and all that.
And I went to many rehearsals, so I developed very good ears for what other musicians had to say, the friends of my father. So, little by little, by listening, by transcribing the solos and all that, I learned how to play. And still today, I am trying. Grupo Irakere signed by Paquito, Arturo Sandoval.
Even if you play wrong chords, they will try to help you. That is what I think. Dizzy was probably the dearest jazz musician ever. He was so generous not only creating a great career for himself, but he enabled others to make their own career, me included.
I remember when he called me in , he was supposed to do a two month tour with his quintet and Toots Thielemans was supposed to be his guest artist. And I had recently arrived in this country and then he called me. He was going to be my guest artist. You want to sub for him? So this is how generous Dizzy was, and what a wonderful person, fantastic musician He will be remembered forever. Irakere 2 signed by Paquito. Music is an abstract art mainly. You don't have to call your music anything.
I remember once I asked Jaco Pastorius when I met him many years ago, he was playing something, one of those things that he plays, and do you know what he was playing? That thing that Jaco Pastorius played, I don't know He had a lot of rock 'n' roll, had a lot of classical He called it music.
Irakere 2 back cover signed by Arturo Sandoval. Equally proficient in jazz or classical music, Paquito grew up in Havana, Cuba and his father, a classical saxophonist, was a seminal influence. He was a classical saxophone player. He never had the ability to improvise, but he loved the music of Ellington and especially the Goodman Orchestra He preferred to call it swing.
So I was like eight or nine years old and I was pretty confused. But it was a very happy confusion, because he had the concept of that music. He was very Ellingtonian, not only because he loved the Ellington orchestra, but because he said there are only two kinds of music: good and the other is not. Later, he studied at the Havana Conservatory of Music where he met the preternaturally talented pianist Chucho Valdes.
Paquito was also a featured soloist on saxophone and clarinet with the National Symphony of Cuba when he was only seventeen. After many years of that thought, in they decided to create the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna. There were a lot of left wing people going to Cuba, attending congresses and visiting, so the government decided to create an image that Jazz was not forbidden and that nothing was forbidden there.
They created the Orquesta to play American music - that is incredible. I directed the band for two years When I decided that I wanted to play only jazz in the Orquesta, then I got fired, and after a while the Orquesta ceased to achieve the function that it was created for and it disappeared. Mariel signed by Paquito.
Though the Orquesta was defunkt, Paquito met some invaluable friends and in , he joined forces with Chucho Valdes and founded Irakere , a Cuban jazz supergroup, perhaps the only one of its kind. Irakere released many influential jazz records which incorporated elements of bebop, classical music, Cuban folklore, Cuban popular dance and jazz in a compelling fusion. Presently, it's hard to understand how brave and courageous it was for Paquito and his fellow artists to perform and record this music.
At the time, Cuba's Ministry of Culture derided jazz as the "music of imperialist America," and the great trumpet maestro Arturo Sandoval was once threatened with imprisonment for the scabrous sedition of listening to American jazz on the radio. Arturo remembered the restrictive nature of recording in Cuba, "We wanted to play bebop, but we were told that our drummer couldn't even use cymbals, because they sounded 'too jazzy. These were hard and dangerous times indeed.
Live At Keystone Korner signed by Paquito. Paquito, in particular, chafed under these restraints and was always flirting with imprisonment for his candor and irreverence. As he reflected on the differences between Cuba and the US in a interview, "I am sometimes a little polemical. If you're polemical in this country, your problem can be personal with the people who don't like your invective or have a different opinion, but that's about it.
But being polemical in a totalitarian system can be fatal. So what would have happened to me is unpredictable, because when I see something I don't agree with, I have to say it. I did that when I lived there. I didn't get in trouble because I was a popular musician with Irakere and had many friends, but that was going to end any minute.
Chucho once told me: 'Man, you have to stop with all this bullshit; now calm down, do your work. For two years, I did nothing, and they paid my salary. I knew sooner or later I'd get in trouble, so it was time to leave. Arturo Sandoval subsequently left Cuba a decade later in Since his defection in , Paquito has released more than thirty-five jazz albums as a solo artist, recording with David Amram, Cachao, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Mann, Astor Piazzolla, Tito Puente and so many others in his extensive and varied discography.
As impressive, Paquito has collaborated on many classical recordings, including four albums with acclaimed cellist Yo Yo Ma, and he has performed his compositions with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra. As he explained, "When I compose classical compositions, I mix all that I learned in my life from the Cuban music to the Brazilian music that is my love And if you ask me about my style, it's a mix of all that I have been learning all my life and still learning today.
When you think you are a finished musician, you are finished. A New Jersey resident since the early s, he has never forgotten his Cuban roots, as in when he lambasted Carlos Santana for wearing chic Che Guevara apparel at the Oscars ceremony.
One of these Cubans was my cousin Bebo, imprisoned there just for being a Christian. He recounts to me on occasion, always with infinite bitterness, how he could hear from his cell in the early hours of dawn, the executions, without prior trials or process of law, of the many who died shouting, "Long live Christ The King!
I have been blessed to see Paquito many times over the years and his performances have always been exceptional. On and off stage, he is full of impossibly good cheer. One time, as I was leaving his dressing room at the Blue Note with a batch of signed vinyl, Tito Puente was walking toward me to visit Paquito. I said 'Hello,' and Tito saw my Paquito Explosion record and asked to see it, "Oh, this is a great record, I'm going to sign it over his signature," which El Rey did as he inscribed it "To Paquito, Best Wishes", two great musicians paying homage and pranks!
It was a marvelous night of music performed by these magnificent musicians. Paquito relayed that Rodrigo didn't like Miles' version, to which Miles responded, "You will when you get the royalty checks! Paquito, Diego, Steve Turre. After the show, Paquito was especially gracious offstage as he signed some of his records.
I asked him about Dizzy Gillespie's relatively unheralded and unknown prowess on piano, "Yes, he was a marvelous player. He may not have had the agility or dexterity of others, but Dizzy always played the right notes. He is so much fun to play with, everything flows so easy from him. Paquito D'Rivera, a prodigiously talented musician and composer in classical music and jazz, his music is extraordinary and, thankfully, he is far from finished.
Why Not signed by Paquito. Celebration signed by Paquito. Paquito blowing at Jazz Forum, Steve Turre blowing Jazz Forum, I don't even know what the hell West Coast Jazz is. It was something different from what they were doing in New York, so the critics called it West Coast Jazz. It was also very organized, predetermined, written. It was a little bit more intellectual, shall I say, than had happened before. The fact that we were in L. I really think that everybody played the way they would have played no matter where they were.
New York writers, they're the ones who invented West Coast Jazz. Witch Doctor recordings, release signed by Bud, Max Roach. You have to eat. You have to survive. When I became a full-time studio musician, I had been unemployed for a long time since jazz music left us in , or whenever. I went into another business using the tools I had, which was playing the flute and the saxophone.
Consider that a copout? Bud Shank in a feisty interview with a European critic. This record sold a whole bunch, like about 10, copies, which for that time was a lot of records. Pacific Jazz record label owner Dick Bock had to get the accountants, and they figured out, all of a sudden, that he owed me money. And he had never owed anybody money before.
He didn't have any money to pay royalties, so he went down to Hollywood Electronics and bought me a very, very, very good sound system. I've still got the speakers, AR3s. My nephew has the Dynakit tube amp. This was my first hit, my first royalties.
A big deal. I never got any royalties after it, either, for anything. Bud Shank on his film soundtrack , Barefoot Adventure. But he always did it in a nice way. I remember on my first or second tour with him in Japan, I was supposed to play an improvised solo on clarinet. But I decided to play it on the tenor sax instead.
But he liked what he heard and wanted it in each time. I believe on that Jobim date, Sinatra was right in the studio with us, not in a booth. He liked to be right in with the band. Bud Shank on recording and touring with Frank Sinatra. I Hear Music signed by Bud. Jobim told me that he and the other musicians had listened to my records with Laurindo Almeida in the early s along with other West Coast albums I was on.
He said those records helped them figure out what direction to go in. He said the records gave them something to work on. In fact, nobody even knows what it means today. So they listened to our albums and then they added their playing, rhythm and new songs they were writing.
Chet Baker was a strange case. I always got along well with him. There are other people who didn't. The only problem I had with Chet is I would go for a couple of years and not see him and every time I would see him, the first thing he would say is 'loan me twenty dollars.
He had a lot of notoriety and a lot of fame at an early age, more than he could handle, and that is why I think he took the road to avail all that and he did it so violently and so much that he was in jail in Italy, and he was about to be the next James Dean. They were about to make a movie star out of him.
That's how far he got up in the popularity kind of thing and he blew it all because he couldn't face it. All he wanted to be was just a player. Bus Shank on his friend and mercurial genius Chet Baker. His wife revealed, "He knew it was his last shot. The doctors told him if he went, he would die. And he went. All nine tracks were recorded as first takes, and the last piece Bud ever recorded was "Speak Low", a gorgeous mid-tempo ballad from the pen of Kurt Weill.
A fitting denouement to an important if relatively unknown artist. When his family moved from Ohio to North Carolina in , Bud began attending the University of North Carolina as a music major, staying for two years, before departing to California where he joined the big band of Charlie Barnett and then Stan Kenton in As his chops developed, he honed his craft, but Bud was not particularly pleased with his Kenton experiences, "That band was too clumsy to swing, because of the instrumentation and voicings.
On the other hand, the sounds that came out of it were really big noises, really impressive. That's what that band was all about, making these really big noises. Unfortunately, the Stan Kenton "Innovations In Modern Music" tour would prove to be a commercial, if not an artistic, failure. Soon, Kenton reverted back to his nineteen-piece orchestra, and Bud moved on as well.
The jam sessions were legendary and The Lighthouse became the West Coast's answer to Birdland or the Village Vanguard in New York City: fans and performers flocked to hear the latest grooves and jams. Adept at most woodwinds, including flute, clarinet, tenor and alto saxophone, Bud Shank had wide and open ears.
He helped introduce Brazilian-infected jazz in recordings with guitarist Laurindo Almeida, whom he had met in the Kenton orchestra, nearly a decade before Stan Getz exploded Bossa Nova with Charlie Byrd on their Jazz Samba album, and Stan's ubiquitous world wide hit "Girl From Ipanema. Asked years later if Stan Getz had listened to his s albums with Almeida, Bud replied, "I doubt it. I'm sure he didn't. Stan was Stan. He didn't listen to much of anyone else. What he did was perfect with Charlie Byrd.
Charlie was the one who brought the music and songs back when he was down there on a State Department tour, and Stan adapted it. Windmills Of Your Mind signed by Bud. Then came a fallow period for jazz in general, and Bud became a studio musician for hire for the next fifteen years. Yes, Bud's flute solos are heard in both "California Dreamin' " and "Windy", two enduring, quintessential s pop hits!
It was not all fun and games in the studio, as Bud explained, "It was heart attack-ville for a lot of people. A very cut-throat business. It was a straight job. They wanted flute players or oboe and clarinet players. Almost all the work I did had to do with the fact that I could function as a classical flutist. The movies were a flute world.
Fortunately, Bud was able to break from the bondage of studios when he formed the L. Eventually, Jeff Hamilton replaced Shelly on drums, and they would record ten albums during the seven prolific years they were together.
All the while, Bud was conflicted over serving two masters: flute and alto saxophone. And he was ready for a decisive break. It lacks guts compared to the sax, trumpet and trombone. But so what? For over twenty years, Bud had settled in Port Townsend, Washington and rarely ventured back east to tour. Elvis Costello! Diana credits Bud with introducing her to Ray Brown with whom she would later record and tour , Monty Alexander, John Clayton and many other jazz luminaries which ignited her career.
After the show, Bud was happy to sign the vinyl. He smiled warmly when he saw the Lighthouse album with Chet Baker and Max Roach, "We had some great times playing there, that was a special club. I miss Chet. I thanked him again for his kindness and especially his music. Near the end of his life, Bud neatly observed, "The art form we know as jazz music, like many other things, is changing rapidly. We are losing jazz clubs and jazz radio stations, jazz record labels and true jazz festivals.
Are there any real ones left to speak of? I am old enough to have survived a lot of dry spells and periods of change, but nothing like this. Many doomsayers are predicting the end of our art form as we know it. I am not among them. I have my answer, but changes as large as we're seeing now can frequently be very good—shaking out the dust, the dark clouds and the bullshitters. We can only hope. Words, wisdom and hope from a fabulous musician, mentor and teacher. Louis Hayes signed by Louis.
He worked at Ford Motor. He also played drums and piano, and gigged for a time in Detroit, but then he just played when he was at home. A piano was pretty much in everyone's home before TV, so I started out playing piano. But my father's drums were always there, all set up. One day when I was about eight years old, I began playing with them, and my father gave me a little drum pad to practice on The drums were just enjoyable to play, the piano was a chore. With the drums, no one had to tell me to practice.
My father could see early that I could do certain things and was impressed, but he didn't want me to play for a living. He knew how hard music was as a way to earn money, especially with all the competition in Detroit. Louis Hayes. My mother was very religious and played piano. She'd take me to church and I'd experience the choirs.
Those emotional, spiritual feelings in the church played an important role in shaping me as an artist. My mom used to take me to some churches where the choir was so strong, you couldn't help but get the feeling. Each city had its jazz cliques. Sam Rivers - tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, piano Dave Holland - bass, cello Barry Altschul - drums.
Juan F. Wadada Leo Smith - trumpet, koto, bamboo-flute, voice and percussion Sabu Toyozumi - drums. Kaoru Abe - alto, sopranino and soprano saxophones Sabu Toyozumi - drums and percussion. Barre Phillips - bass Motoharu Yoshizawa - homemade electric vertical five-strings bass. William Hooker, David S. Ted Daniel - trumpet, flugelhorn, French hunting horn, Moroccan bugle Daniel Carter - tenor saxophone Oliver Lake - alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, piccolo, cow bell Richard Pierce - bass Tatsuya Nakamura - drums, quarter drums.
Billy Bang - violin, thumb piano William Parker - bass, shakuhashi, dousn gouni. Steven Lugerner - Bb clarinet, bass clarinet, oboe, english horn, soprano and alto saxophones, flute, alto flute Darren Johnston - trumpet Myra Melford - piano Matt Wilson — drums. Vinny Golia - tenor, sopranino and soprano saxophones, Bb and bass clarinet Marco Eneidi - alto saxophone Lisa Mezzacappa - bass Vijay Anderson - drums.
Ware, Roy Campbell Jr. Henry P. Warner — b-flat clarinet, alto clarinet Earl Freeman — bass guitar, piano Philip Spigner - hand drums. Andrew Lamb - saxophone, flute, clarinet, conch shell Tom Abbs - bass, tuba, didjeridoo Michael Wimberly - drums, percussion Guillermo E. Brown - drums, percussion. Julius Hemphill — soprano and alto saxophones Peter Kowald — bass. Joe McPhee — alto saxophone, pocket trumpet Michael Zerang — drums.
Billy Bang — violin, poetry, bells, shaker, percussion Bilal Abdur Rahman — tenor and soprano saxes, bull horn, percussion Henry Warner — alto sax, bells, shaker, percussion William Parker — bass Khuwana Fuller — congas Rashid Bakr — drums.
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