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Artist: Errol Garner

My dad took me to hear him in 1959 or so when I was 11. Even at 11 years old, I noticed how effortless his playing was. My child’s mind was particularly interested in the money the waiters would bring to the piano with requests from the audience. Some of the tips were almost half my dad’s weekly pay!

– Norm Mohamid
Born: Toronto, 1948

Artist: Ramsey Lewis

Had to be 1975. I was just a punk kid trying to impress a girl, so I took her to dinner and a show with Ramsey at the London House in downtown Chicago. I wish I could remember how it went, but I remember sitting at the table and being wowed by the idea that Ramsey was playing within 20 feet of me. Hell, I can’t even remember how I paid for that night; it must have cost me a bundle, LOL. Thanks for the memory jog, kinda!

– Pat Perry
Born: Chicago, November 26, 1955

Artist: Miles Davis

My dad, Morris Primack, was one of the original owners/investors in Birdland. I was having dinner with him at the club one evening (he ate most of his dinners there) when I made a comment that it was too bad you couldn’t dance at the club when Count Basie appeared. Just then, I felt the presence of someone behind me leaning over and telling me that there were two “Lands” on Broadway, Roseland and Birdland. If I wanted to dance, I could go to Roseland, but to listen to and enjoy the music, I had to go to Birdland. I turned to meet Miles Davis, who winked at my dad, and I considered the matter settled.

– Aurin Primack
Born: New York, August 29, 1940

Artist: Redd Holt and Eldee Young

Eldee had a trio, with Redd, that played various hotel venues in Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Singapore in the late 1980s. I had the pleasure of watching some of their performances in all three venues. They were excellent musicians, and we enjoyed quite a few conversations as I encountered them during their Asian tours.

– Ron Brown
Born: Connecticut, September 20, 1946

Artist: Doc Ross

When I was learning to play blues harp in the 1960s, Doc Ross’s LP Call The Doctor was a very important influence and learning tool for me. I played along with that LP for many hours. I still have it, and it has notes in pencil indicating which harp to play on each tune.

– Howard Herrnstadt
Born: Bronx, 1947

Artist:  Sonny Rollins

Of the six times I heard Sonny Rollins perform live, the first was something extra special. It was at The Quiet Knight in Chicago, a relatively small club that featured everything from folk to rock to jazz to reggae (including Bob Marley just before he made it big) and much more.

He had an electric guitarist as well as the usual electric bassist, Bob Cranshaw, in the quintet. Absolutely riveting! It helped make me a fan for life.

– William Maakestad
Born: Illinois, February 05

Artist: Dizzy Gillespie

He came to my college with his big band around 1958. I rushed up to the stage at halftime: “I loved your set.” He ignored me but looked at my date…right down to her cleavage: “Young man, you have impeccable taste.” She laughed, me too! Quintessential Dizzy!

– Robert Weinstein
Born: Connecticut, April 28, 1939

Artist: Maynard Ferguson

I met him twice when I was in high school. He would conduct a short clinic in the afternoon before the show, meeting with several of us to talk about various high school jazz topics.

He was always patient with us, and we were all starstruck by his talent.

– Charles Harbour
Born: Toms River, January 03, 1964

Artist: Mel Lewis

Mel Lewis and I share a date and place of birth. The similarity ends there.

– Jack Bowers
Born: Pittsburgh, May 10, 1935

Artist: J. C. Higginbotham

Two memories: one of listening to a 45 of “Saints Go Marching In” as a young boy and Louis Armstrong saying, “Here comes J.C. Higginbotham on his trombone!” The other, a recent one, on this very same Art Ford session of J.C. smoking a joint. A first for American TV?

– Anand Pandya
Born: Mumbai, January 13 1948

Artist: Bud Freeman

I knew him extremely well. I worked with Robert Wolf on Bud’s book, Crazology. Also did take some care of him in later years. We were very good friends.

– Roger Isaacs
Born: Boston, October 23, 1925

Artist: Edward “Kidd” Jordan

Don’t forget that Kidd Jordan got the idea to put Oliver, Hamiett, David, and Julius together at SUNO in New Orleans in the 1970s, and thus spawned the World Saxophone Quartet.

– D Kunian
Born: Colorado Springs, 1969

Artist: Bill Holman

A sad farewell to Willis, who, to my ears, was the greatest arranger of big band jazz that the world has ever produced. Strong words, yes, but true! And there was no more humble, unpretentious human being than Bill Holman. Every Holman arrangement is a masterpiece in itself. What serious big band jazz listener doesn’t have his “Stompin’ at the Savoy” for Kenton’s Orchestra on their top ten all-time favorites? None I’ve known. Every first-call jazz musician in entertainment capital Los Angeles fought for a chair in his organization, which was simply called “The Bill Holman Band”!

Bill was a quiet swinger until the very end, having appeared at almost every Los Angeles Jazz Institute festival in the past twenty years. He loved to talk to anyone and everyone who appreciated his artistry. As with his friend Johnny Mandel, he was so down-to-earth; many of us often remarked that “he doesn’t know he’s Bill Holman!” Every festival performance earned the longest standing ovations without exception. His arrangements made us cry with both joy and tenderness. There will never be another.

Rest in peace, Willis. You will always be loved!

– Joe F Lowe
Born: San Marcos, CA

Artist: Maynard Ferguson

I used to see him at the Metropol on Broadway in NYC.

– Nathan Brenowitz
Born: Brooklyn, August 27, 1945

Artist: Ron Carter

I am looking forward to the future memory of Ron Carter being inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.

– Hasan Shahid
Born: Montgomery, March 12, 1944

Artist: Don Friedman

Don Friedman talks on camera about having a perfect pitch at

– Robert Wagner
Born: Melrose, January 22, 1950

Artist: Duke Ellington

When Duke was playing the Lounge at Harrah’s Tahoe in 1966 or ’67, he did “La Plus Belle”. I fell in love with it, and a few weeks later found the album that included it, “Soul Call”. I’ve been listening to it ever since. A truly stunning piece!

– Jean Melvin
Born: North Carolina, October 1943

Artist: Ira Sullivan

In 2019, at a Miami Jazz Co-op gig, on Ira’s birthday, I wished him a Happy Birthday. He said it was his piano birthday. 88, get it?

– Larry Paikin
Born: Hamilton, August 11, 1933

Artist: Percy Health

The MJQ played at the Phillips Exeter Academy when I was a student there (1959-1962). Somewhere I have the program with four autographs – Percy, Milt, Connie, and John. Then many years later, the Heath Brothers came to Lewiston, Maine, to play at Bates College, so there was Percy once again. Great memories of both performances.

– Ted Walworth
Born: Washington DC, January 01, 1945

Artist: Ella Fitzgerald

Ella came to The Cave Supper Club several times here in Vancouver, Canada in the late 1960s. She traveled with her own rhythm section but always hired local horn players. The local recordings are swinging like mad.

– John Richard Stafford
Born: Phoenix, August 12, 1946

Artist: Dave Brubeck

My late father-in-law, Arthur Roth, MD, was the pediatrician to his children and a close friend of his for 50 years. I met Dave twice: once when he performed at Villa Montalvo, and again when he was honored at his graduate school alma mater, Mills College, with a Lifetime Achievement award. A very humble man, indeed.

– Jon Dunn
Born: London, May 09, 1944

Artist: Lionel Hampton

I was a semi-pro dancer as a kid, “The Little Man with a Thousand Feet.” I had a chance to dance in front of Lionel Hampton’s band at the Detroit Yacht Club when I was about 10 (1957). I met Lionel ahead of the gig backstage, and we discussed what tunes I wanted to dance to. Well, I knew many of his band recordings with Benny Goodman, and I already had a dance routine to “Avalon.” After the show, Hampton came over to me and clasped both of his hands around mine and thanked me profusely for carrying on a routine with his music.

In 1982, he performed with Benny Goodman at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. I was there managing Sippie Wallace. When I approached Hamp and asked if he remembered the gig at the Yacht Club, he said, “That was you that did the sliding and stair dancing?” “Yep,” and then we hugged.

– Ron Harwood
Born: Detroit, August 26, 1947

Artist: Frank Vignola

I met, spoke with and photographed a young Frank Vignola when he played along on stage with the late electric guitar icon Les Paul at The midtown downstairs, off Broadway near club Iridium. That evening the rainwater from outside did not flood the floor of the patrons area, which it had a history of doing on occasion.

Additionally, Frank accompanied the late senior statesman ( ~ 91 years old) Benny Waters from Queens New York, who lived not far from my home also in Queens. Benny was a blind saxophone player who had a deep baritone singing voice who amazed everyone with his chops on his C melody alto saxophone while accompanying Frank in the Jazz Standard.

I’m currently including these two important Jazz artists in my future book emphasizing the great musicians that for the last 30 plus years I’ve interviewed, written about for publication, and photographed extensively, with a heavy emphasis on those who shared their great artistry in many of the venues within the great borough of Queens NY.

– Norm Harris
Born: Harlem, August 28, 1947

Artist: Johnny Dodds

What I know of Johnny Dodds is what Sippie Wallace told me. She was better friends with Baby Dodds but spoke highly of Johnny as a friend of her brother, George W. Thomas. She mentioned how both the Dodds brothers used to visit George at his house on Franklin Street and jam. George, a prolific songwriter, would have the New Orleans gang of musicians try out his compositions.

– Ron Harwood
Born: Detroit, August 26, 1947

Artist: Al “Tootie” Heath

I met and enjoyed an evening of conversation with Percy after an appearance of the MJQ in St. Louis, and was invited to an after-party in E. St. Louis. I met Jimmy in Chicago at the annual Jazz Festival; we stayed at the same hotel and had a lengthy discussion. I always wanted to meet Al, as I admired his drumming style. I finally met him in St. Louis at a club called Spruill’s where he sat in with Willie Akins. He was married to a childhood friend of mine. We are the same age. I am deeply sorry to hear of his passing.

– Ra Khem Thoth
Born: Oklahoma City, September 25, 1935

Artist: Steve Gadd

In 2009, Steve was touring with Paul Bollenbach, Ronnie Cuber and Joey DeFrancesco as Steve Gadd & Friends. My late wife was related to Ronnie Cuber’s ex-wife and lifelong manager. When they played Yoshi’s in San Francisco we were invited to join them, including the break between sets. That day I had gone Dungeness crab fishing. We showed up that evening with fresh cooked crab for all to enjoy. I made some new friends that night.

– Jon Dunn
Born: London, May 9, 1944

Artist: Carmen McRae

Back in the 1960s I was a musician in NYC. I got on Si Zentner’s big band and we were booked at Basin St. East for a couple of weeks backing up Carmen McRae who had these exquisite arrangements. Carmen was at her peak of performance each night and it was a dream come true, Carmen being one of my all time favorite female singers. Each time I hear a recording of Carmen my thought immediately goes back to that gig with fond memories.

– Eli Dimeff
Born: Midland, March 21, 1940

Artist: Lester Young

Lester Young lived on 18th Street, Red lived on 15th Street, the King lived on 25th Street all on Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA.

– Warner Backstrom
Born: Los Angeles, August 13, 1936

Artist: Julie London

In April of 1969, I was a young soldier on orders to go to Vietnam and was visiting friends in Los Angeles, CA. Bobby Troup, Julie’s husband, was performing at a club called Shelly’s Manne Hole. Julie was there in the audience. During the break, I introduced myself to Bobby. We had a mutual friend in Saxophonist Gerry Mulligan. He introduced me to Julie and we shared a table during the later sets. At the end of the evening, they invited me to their home for a late dinner once they found out I was leaving for Vietnam in two more days. It was a wonderful evening and Julie was a great cook.

– Richard F. White
Born: Philadelphia, June 15, 1951

Artist: Muddy Waters

As a new immigrant to Canada in 1966, I was visiting Chicago with a friend. Looking over his friend’s used record store, Muddy Waters was pointed out to me, as he was diving with fierce concentration through the many Blues and Jazz LPs in the store. This was prior to my visit to Mama Theresa’s nightclub, the first Black club I’d ever been to (Junior Wells appearing), all wonderful memories. Some few years later I saw Muddy Waters as he appeared in one of the Yonge Street clubs, in Toronto.

– Diana Priestley
Born: Farnborough, January 23, 1943

Artist: Muddy Waters

I saw him perform with his band in the basement of the NYU student union in the 1970s. Otis Spann was playing a small electric keyboard mounted on a mic stand! The harp guy was white. Mr. Morganfield was the epitome of cool and the band was cooking!

– Jay Singer
Born: New York City, January 28. 1952

Artist: Melba Liston & Quincy Jones big band

In 1960-1962 I was in the band stationed at McGuire AFB NJ. Every Saturday I would take the bus into Philadelphia and head for 1720 Chestnut St. for a private trombone lesson with my teacher Dolanld S. Reinhardt. After my lesson I would get a bite to eat and then head for one of the jazz clubs to hear some good sounds by the best jazz bands of the time.

I got to see performances by the Miles/Trane quintet, the Miles/Trane/Cannonball/ JJ septet, the Cannonball and Nat Atterley quintet, Stan Getz/Roy Haines quintet and other prominent groups. One time it was Quincy Jones and his big band at Peps. The band had Phil Woods, Julius Watkins, Jerome Richardson, Jimmy Cleveland and other notable jazz guys. At the time I went, Melba Liston played the solo on Reverie as performed on the film clip shown here. I was especially excited and interested in her performance since I was a trombone player as well. I felt priveleged to witness all of these great innovators. Many happy memories.

– Eli Dimeff
Born: Midland, March 21, 1940

Artist: Michael Brecker

Michael and I were roommates (along with 2 others) in the residence at the Berklee Jazz School in Boston during the summer of 1967 where we attended a 7-week program intensive program, equivalent to first-term at the college, aimed at those who wouldn’t be attending Berklee or who wanted to try it out.

Michael was still living in Philadelphia with his parents at the time. He spent many hours listening to Coltrane’s A Love Supreme which had recently come out. We all spent hours dissecting Sergeant Pepper which was also released at the time. For my part, coming from Montreal, I discovered my first blues and R&B radio station, WILD which broadcast only during daylight hours, and the Club 47 in Cambridge where all the traveling blues and jazz giants stopped. And I was with Michael the day Coltrane died; a sad day in any sax player’s life!

– Sam Boskey
Born: Detroit, January 7, 1950

Artist: Michael Brecker

A sad note but memorable nonetheless: Micheal was with Joni Mitchell, with Pat Metheny, Jaco, Lyle Mays, Don Elias in the dream band. An outdoor venue in SE Wisconsin shortly before Jaco’s death. There was this stupid doo-wop band backing them up which played for an hour before showtime, then a half hour to set the dream band up, then they came on. 3 songs in, a torrential downpour ensued which forced the cancellation of the dream band’s performance during Jaco’s solo. Being a bassist, I was devastated. Still saddened today, I felt compelled to share. Thanks for the opportunity! Ger the bassist…

– Ger Bassman
Born: Oconomowoc, October 21, 1957

Artist: James Moody

I met Moody in Las Vegas. I was just leaving after a 4 year stent and he was just arriving on the scene. I went to his house and we played a bit together and then I asked him if I could play his tenor and mouthpiece. When I played it the mouthpiece was so open and the reed so hard that I actually could not play a note. All I could do was blow air with no sound. He had iron chops. No debate.

– Mike Vaccaro
Born: Inglewood, January 26, 1947

Artist: Cecil Taylor

During the Summer of ’62, I played piano in a quartet that played between the sets of the featured group – Cecil Taylor(p), Jimmy Lions(as), and Sonny Murray(d) – at a club called The Take Three in Greenwich Village. It was my first exposure to Avant Garde jazz, and, needless to say, I was blown away! Imagine!! A WHOLE SUMMER WITH CECIL TAYLOR! Plus, he would introduce the guys in the quartet to some top-named musicians who came to catch Cecil’s group.

– Jesse L. Lawson
Born: Washington, DC, January 30, 1940

Artist: Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy had been in my father’s Boyd Raeburn’s Big Band for a time in the 40’s so I’d known him as a child. Many years later when I was in my 20’s in the 70’s, I met him again backstage at the Monterey Jazz Festival. For several years after that, I had the pleasure of hanging around with Dizzy when he’d come to San Francisco to play at the Great American Music Hall. I’d lost my dad many years earlier so I was always thrilled when Dizzy would share stories about my parents, Boyd and my mom, the vocalist Ginnie Powell. He was a very special person.

– Susan Raeburn
Born: New York City, December 01, 1950

Artist: Dick Hyman

Dick Hyman is a gentleman of the first order. He graciously accompanied Sippie Wallace on a number of shows, including Carnegie Hall. He treated Sippie as a star and fashioned his playing to suit her style, never one-upping her. Mr. Hyman is a true class act.

– Ron Harwood
Born: Detroit, August 26, 1947

Artist: Dick Hyman

I met Dick Hyman in Boca Raton, FL in 1998 shortly after the passing of my dad, Morris Primack who was one of the original owners of the Birdland nightclub in NY. I gave Dick a copy of the advertisement that Birdland placed in the papers for the club opening on December 15, 1949, in which Dick’s name appeared. He may be the only artist still alive from that date. He graciously played an encore for us of “Lullaby of Birdland”.

– Aurin Primack
Born: New York City, August 29, 1940

Artist: Flora Purim

In August 1976, a young girl named Sharon took me on our first date. We had dinner at a Basque restaurant in North Beach and then to a jazz club to hear Flora and her husband Airto. I married her.

– Jon Dunn
Born: London, May 09, 1994

Artist: Eartha Kitt

We saw Eartha Kitt at Manhattan’s “Blue Note” many years ago. She put on a stellar performance, before which we visited her in the dressing room. She was just the nicest person to talk to.

– Mitchell Dormont
Born: Manhattan, 1942

Artist: Count Basie

Basie and band would stay at the Washington, D.C. hotel where I worked during the early 1960s. Upon arrival, the first thing Basie did was contact the bell captain and arrange for the two of them to spend the next day at Laurel race track in the Maryland suburbs.

– Douglass Ferguson
Born: Wayne County, May 5, 1938

Artist: Jimmy Dorsey

I was attending an afternoon show at the Apollo Theater, and the band leader, Reuben Phillips, remembered Jimmy Dorsey who had died that week by playing a tune on the sax in an appropriate style. I always remember that musicians respect each other, much more than our current society.

– Robert Losick
Born: Weehawken, March 9, 1940

Artist: Count Basie

When I was in high school, during 1977 or 78, my high school jazz club, which consisted of about six or seven misfits got into my van, and we drove two hours to the University of North Carolina to go see what was then my very first concert ever – the Count Basie Orchestra. I remember two things about that concert. First of all, after the concert was over one of the guys in the jazz club convinced me to go backstage and see if we could talk with anybody in the band. I didn’t want to do that but we did, and Count Basie was there signing autographs and you know a bunch of white kids walked up to them and asked for his autograph. He was very kind gracious and patient with us.

The second thing I remember was the second song, the classic bass tune Lil Darlin. That tune has a series of arpeggios in Freddie Green‘s part, and the very first arpeggio that goes up the guitar ends on his high string. He broke that high E string. I remember being able to hear half the band crack up at Freddie Green‘s misfortune.

Freddie Green was a champ, and he was able to get all those arpeggios for the rest of the tune on only five strings, showing up the whole band, but I’ll tell you some of the fellas had a hard time reading their parts on that tune, I’ll never forget that night.

– John Chapin
Born: Norwalk, June 29, 1959

Artist: Dave Brubeck

Knew Dave from my days at WKCR and produced his concert at Columbia in the ’60s. Years later as a physician in New Haven, I ran into him at Yale Hospital. He told me he was being treated for an irregular heartbeat. I commented that he always had a crazy beat (think 5/4)!

– Howard Blu
Born: Philadelphia, April 08, 1943

Artist: Sonny Rollins

Emceed Jazz Show on WKCR(before Phil Schapp) in 1962. Sonny was playing the Village Gate and we went back to his rental after his last set for my interview. There was only one working electrical socket to plug in my 601 and it was in the bathroom, the interview took place in the dark, only lit by the street lights, but I remember his deep thoughts and observations on life, racism, music and family. He was intense but quite communicative.

– Howard Blu
Born: Philadelphia, April 08, 1943

Artist: Chris Anderson

I was very involved in Barry Harris’ NYC Jazz Workshop in the early 1980s. I sang in his jazz choir and helped produce a night of two shows at Town Hall. Chris Anderson visited the class a couple of times (as did many of Barry’s peers and friends in the Jazz world). I had two, I think, warm and long conversations with Chris. He was a sweetheart of a guy. It was a marvel to watch him play. His hands seemed to float above the keys, barely touching them. It was hard to tell (at least for this non-pianist) when they were touching. Yet the loveliest music came from the instrument. This is a lovely recording. Thanks for posting it.

– Howard Blu
Born: Bronx, 1947

Artist: Michel Legrand

In my senior year at Princeton, I began to date a Vassar girl and she had the vinyl album of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Let’s just say that the entire album had a magical effect at the time and even 50+ years later, that young lady a distant memory, the songs from Les Paraplui still make me choke up. I had no idea that Legrand was such a consummate pianist. Astonishing and impressive. And moving.

– Ted Walworth
Born: Washington DC, January 31, 1945

Artist: Philly Joe Jones

Every year Gretsch would give Joe a new set of drums in return for a photo and an endorsement. And every year Joe would pawn that new set at the 8th Ave Pawn Shop on 50th Street, and continue to play with the same old raggedy old set.

– John French
Born: New York, March 10, 1935

Artist: Thelonious Monk

I went with my brother to the Marquee Club to see the Thelonious Monk Quartet performing for the BBC TV Jazz625 program, probably around 1965 and sat right in front of Monk’s piano. So Monk comes out, sits at the piano, tries on different hats and settles on one, then the producer approaches Monk and asks Monk to play something for a sound check and Monk obliges (I can’t remember the composition but a Monk tune) and gets really stuck into a solo performance. After a few minutes of the solo, the producer approaches Monk and says, ‘That’ll do, thank you’ but Monk just ignores him and continues to play. The audience broke up, Monk was in his own world, it was beautiful to witness Monk in full creative flight, oblivious to everything except his music. What a genius!

– William Bowles
Born: London, July 23, 1945

Artist: Warren Vaché

In 1998, I was fortunate enough to have Warren play as a featured guest on my first CD. I remember the studio date like it was yesterday. We were recording live to two track and Warren came in and blew a solo on Just one of those things w the legendary Tex Arnold on piano-Steve La Spina on Bass and Joe Cacuzzo on drums. It’s as fresh as it ever was ….burning solo. He also played on But Beautiful and It Could Happen to You …beautiful! Never forget it 👍


– Ken Festa
Born: New York City, July 07, 1959

Artist: Henry Threadgill

I was fortunate to be the weekend bartender for Rashied Ali’s Greenwich Village club in the mid-1970s. Among the most memorable bands in what has become known as the New York Loft Era was the trio Air: Henry Threadgill, Steve McCall, and Fred Hopkins. They opened my ears to the nuances of sound. All three were generous and perceptive, but Henry seemed to go out of his way to make people feel that their questions and ideas were welcome and worthwhile. After multiple conversations I developed the courage to attempt to write about music. That lead to becoming a journalist and spending more than a decade developing some skills as a writer. I sure wish I had been able to hear the Society Situation Dance Band in person, but I have been fortunate to enjoy Very, Very Circus, Make a Move, and Zooid live.

– Michael Perri
Born: New York CIty, October 1950

Artist: David Anram

When I played Canadian folk festivals in the 70s and 80s Amram was the best musical spokesman, instrumtalist and entertainer that I had come across.

– Jay Sewall 
Born: Boston, December 19, 1942

Artist: Walter Page

The first jazz album I ever bought was a Buck Clayton Jam Session, The Huckle Buck and Robbin’s Nest. Water Page, Jo Jones, Freddie Green and Sir Charles Thompson made the rhythm section that really, really swung. I still have the original LP, plus the Mosaic CDs in a box set.

– Gil Gillivan
Born: Cincinnati, April 26, 1940

Artist: Dave McKenna

I had the great pleasure of touring Germany and Switzerland with Bill several years ago with my great friend Bernard Flegar and the UK reedman John Defferary. He was a most charming man – and having heard his marvellous (all-arranged) Dixieland band which was featured at Disneyland – I felt I was in hot company! But Bill was most welcoming (at one point early on he compared me to Muggsy Spanier!); we had great fun on the dates and Bill, of course, played superbly.

His son John has carried on his legacy with equal trombone skills and couldn’t have had a better teacher; the two of them must have had a great relationship. Bill however wasn’t a veteran by any means; he began playing in the early 1970s and had a career, I suppose, as a ‘latterday Revivalist’ espousing Dixieland when all around him was jazz-rock and fusion.But he was a superb tecnician who could easily have made a living in studio work had he wished. A few years ago I heard that he might have had a bout with cancer and was very sorry to hear the news – as well as to hear that he had fully recovered. I shall miss Bill (and his marvellous music) very much.

– Digby Fairweather
Born: UK, April 25, 1946

Artist: Keith Jarrett

There’s an iconic picture of Keith Jarrett crouching above his piano bench, leaning over the keyboard and almost into the piano. Seeing it today reminded me of the time I saw him in a solo performance at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, MN. As he stood there, holding a chord, the whole auditorium silent, my friend’s voice pager went off. After a fire alarm-like beep, a voice was heard: “[last name], where the f*%k are you?” Needless to say, the spell of the moment was broken and every head in the place turned our way in disgust. When Jarrett came out for his encore — to read a French poem from the 15th century (?) — many heads again turned our way when he paused before reading the last lines. Thankfully, the pager remained silent.

– Frank J Slepkas
Born: Milford, IA, July 11, 1960

Artist: Eubie Blake

Eubie Blake

My father, Howard “Stretch” Johnson (January 30, 1915 – May 26, 1986) performed on Broadway in “New Faces of 1936 and 1937” and danced at the Cotton Club as one of the “Ten Dancing Demons” (the male chorus to Duke Ellington’s show there with his big band), used to talk about Eubien Blake and Noble Sissle as the trail blazers to Black entertainment on Broadway and in the clubs. We owe them a tribute as jazz greats!

– Wendy Johnson
Born: New York City, February 03 1943

Artist: James Harvey

The Renegade of the Creative Music Studio, Woodstock NY @ early 1980s Trombone, Piano, Drums, etc. Plays writes and thinks from the outside in. Creates Universes of sound. One of my greatest inspirations. Could and did play with all comers. He was a Mixed Martial Artist of Music. (Now in Vermont somewhere.)

Once while we were jamming, I stopped him mid-stream in a ferocious improvised solo and asked him to explain how he was doing what he was doing; He simply said…”THERE ARE ONLY TWELVE NOTES”

– George Masone
Born: Brooklyn, May 1954

Artist: Juius Hemphil

A beautiful sound and a courageous tone. While we lived and worked at the Creative Music Studio (School) in Woodstock NY. Julius was a gracious Teacher and performer who would stay and play for a week at a time. The experience taught me about the interweaving of Jazz and Avant-Garde. Never grows old…Always in the moment. Sound was nurtured as an organic expression of the Forest that surrounded us. Now History !

– George Masone
Born: Brooklyn NY, May 1954

Artist: Dave McKenna

Dave McKenna was a close friend of the great Woonsocket-born pianist-singer DARYL SHERMAN and their album together is a masterpiece. Dave (as most people know) was Bobby Hackett’s favourite pianist – a divine duo indeed!

-Digby Fairweather
Born: UK, April 25, 1946

Artist: Gary Peacock

My brother Lasse (1934-1992) was a jazz-pianist and composer and toured German jazz-clubs during eight months in 1956-57 with his combo (Rolf Hultqvist ts, Goran Petterson b and Sune Spangberg dr). Pretty soon Stu Hamer from the UK joined the band on trumpet. Goran told me the following when I wrote my book about brother Lasse: “At the club, there were always guys who wanted to “sit in” and play along. Not always very good musicians, but sometimes the exceptions appeared. Like for example Stu Hamer, trumpet player from England. Gary Peacock, who later became a world name as Keith Jarrett’s bass player, came to the club and got to play along. Goran remembers that Peacock played well, but a bit old-fashioned and cautious. Therefore, he was very surprised when he heard Gary again after many years and noted a huge development.”

-Mats Werner
Born: Stockholm, June 21, 1943

Artist: Keith Jarrett

In 2003, Keith was honored with the ABBA-founder Stickan Anderssons institute Polar Music Prize. The same year, my friend the Serbian artist Mirko Vucinic had an exhibition in Stockholm (which I had arranged) called Jazz Legends. It incorporated a fantastic portrait of Jarrett which Mirko and I decided to give to Jarrett as a recognition of what he had given Mirko and the Jazz World. It was arranged with the Prize organizer that I should hand the portrait over to Keith at the official press conference proceeding the Prize ceremony and this was done. Keith was very much pleasantly surprised and glad. 

-Mats Werner
Born: Stockholm, June 21, 1943

Artist: Tubby Hayes

Apart from hearing Tubby Hayes with his quintet with Ronnie Scott, my best memory of him was in 1964 at the Royal Festival Hall when he sat in with the Duke Ellington Band when Paul Gonsalves, the regular band tenor, was sick. The band blew up a storm that night, with Hayes playing some great solos. A great evening.

-David N
Born: England, March 03, 1944

Artist: Harry Edison

Harry Edison brought me my Royal portable typewriter from NY when I was a student at University of Chicago. My dad, Morris Primack, was one of the original owners of the Birdland nightclub in NY and he prevailed on “Sweets” to shlep it out to me in 1959. He was appearing at the Sutherland Lounge at 47th and Cottage Grove Ave which was near the University. When I showed up with a couple of friends to pick it up, he very graciously asked us to stay for the show which we of course did. The show was great, the crowd enjoyed his performance thoroughly and I will never forget this warm and gracious man.

-Aurin Primack
Born: Brooklyn, August 29, 1940

Artist: Chico Sesma

When I was about ten, I would go to bed, but as soon as the house was quiet, I would sneak into the living room and tune the radio to KDAY to listen to Chico Sesma. Chico used to bring the New York Latin musicians, once a year, to the Hollywood Palladium for a big extravaganza. I went a few times with the Lopez Family, the kids I knew from grammar school. We’d sit in the balcony watching the bands and the fantastic dancers on the floor beneath us.

– Bob Lee

Artist: Fred Braceful

I was really happy to see this video cause I played with Fred for a couple of years in the late 70ies. RIP dear friend – we had a great time!

-Mic Oechsner
Born: Munich 1956

Artist: Quincy Jones / Benny Golson

When I was fifteen, 1961, I played guitar in a Bronx park across the street from where I lived. On one occasion, a woman in a nursing uniform who was listening to our fledgling blues efforts, said I was pretty good and that I should meet her son. She said his name was Quincy Jones and she wrote out his address on West 96th St. I was a jazz fan already and knew who Quincy Jones was. A friend and me grabbed a D train and hastened down there. Sure enough, Quincy’s name was on the mail box but after several buzzes and no answer, we figured he was not home.

In reading the names, however, we saw Benny Golson. I knew who he was and had two of his Riverside records. We buzzed and he buzzed back. He met us at the door, invited us in, had us sit on his couch while he spoke about jazz and played us his music. He wife, Bobbi Golson served us cokes. We were there two hours and they could not have been more gracious, The cocktail napkins accompanying the cokes said B & B Golson. Wonderful afternoon, beautiful cat.

-Ezra Millstein
Born: New York City, June 17, 1945

Artist: Benny Golson

In 1996 I went to Rankin Chapel at Howard University to see Benny Golson who was appearing with the Howard U. Jazz Ensemble. Almost all the pews were occupied except for a few seats right in front. I wound up sitting next to former Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder and Benny Golson himself while I listened to the HUJE playing big band arrangements of Golson’s classics. In the next row back was Art Dawkins who’d been my sax instructor at Federal City College. Finally Benny took the stage and gave his own renditions of Killer Joe, Along Came Betty and Blues March. The HUJE created the Benny Golson Jazz Master Award and this was the initial presentation.

-Archer (Tony) Jordan
Born: New York City,   November 07, 1946

Artist: Antonio Carlos Jobim

60 years ago, in undergraduate school, I was studying Portuguese and listening to Brazilian music which helped me get A’s in all these language classes!

-Frank P
Born: Bronx,  December 13, 1943

Artist: Gary Burton

Up to being taken to see Gary Burton live the only other Vibe Player I had listened to was Milt Jackson of Modern Jazz Quartet. I quickly had his L’Ps as part of my first record collection. Of course then there was Gerry Gentry whose group I never missed seeing in Providence R.I. @ Allery. Music Choice Cable has been playing Burton recently which makes me stop and listen. Then Jazz On The Tube Birthday Feature. He is so good, Thanks Jazz On The Tube. Peace, Don Rhodes

-Don Rhodes
Born: Norfolk, February 19,1949

Artist: Gary Burton

In the late sixties, I was fortunate to see the Gary Burton quartet in a small club in Hollywood. Don’t remember the club, don’t remember the date, don’t remember a lot from those days. Do remember Larry Coryell, and Steve Swallow on bass, and sitting close enough to put my feet on the stage. I didn’t. Nothing like jazz in a small club. What a great show!

-Dan Leahy
Born: Port Chester, August 27, 1949

Waldorf Astoria Hotel Lounge
New Years Eve 1959

My first introduction to live swing/jazz music thanks to my Aunt who took me to NYC on the 20th Century Ltd to spend New Years week listening to Jazz and imbibing of the sights and sounds of the City for the first time for this 13 year old.

-Michael Salwitz
Born: Toledo,  November 23, 1976

Band: Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band

While a student at Oberlin College in the mid-70’s, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis big band did a concert in Finney Chapel there. Billy Harper sat on the far left (from the audience’s perspective) side of the stage, very close to the seats (pews, actually).

I’d never heard him live before, just on the TJML album “Consummation,” which included a rendition of “Fingers,” my favorite TJML tune that was played by my high school jazz band. The band played that tune at Oberlin, and just like on the album, BH must have done 6-7 choruses–rhythm changes, basically. Super intense, balls-to-the-wall playing.

He was just magnificent, and I think he recognized how much I was enjoying it, as he smiled at me when he sat down. I see the Cookers every time they come to Seattle just to hear him.

-Allen N Shabino
Born: Renton,  July 4, 1955

Artist: Gene Krupa

My dad and stepbrother and I saw Gene Krupa with a quartet in 1964 at the Venice Inn in Omaha. Helped start my interest in jazz😍🎷🎶

-Donald Jacobson
Born: Omaha,  March 7, 1947

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