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Within months of picking up the saxophone, Ornette was a working musicians in some of the scariest dives in Fort Worth, bringing home much needed money for his family whose father, a baseball player and singer, died when Ornette was seven.

We talk about this and other topics and read from A.B. Spellman’s classic: “Four Lives in the Bebop Business”

Erratum:  Spellman refers to Melvin Lastie as “Melvin Lassister, a clarinetist.” It’s possible Melvin also played the clarinet, but he was most known for his trumpet playing.

The Lastie clan is one of the great New Orleans musical families and includes Herman Riley and the Andrews clan (James, Troy and Glenn) in their extended family. Frank Lastie introduced gospel drums to the Spiritual Church. and played with Louis Armstrong in the Waif’s Home Band. The family was very important in the Spiritual Church.

Others episodes from “Ornette: Deep from the Heart of Texas” here:

Part One: Ornette: Deep from the Heart of Texas – Conversation with Dave Oliphant

Part Two: Ornette in Amarillo

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

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Ornette playing my violin c. 1985
Mamady Keïta