Page 1


Jimmy Owens Plus was featured at the Jazzmobile Summerfest at Grant's Tomb, with Jimmy Owens, trumpet and flugelhorn, Danny Mixon, piano, Michael Howell, guitar, Kenny Davis, bass, and Steve Johns, drums.

The Jazz Culture, VI:19



Jimmy Owens Plus Blues, with the majesty of truth, cried out in the twilight as the Jimmy Owens Plus combo performed on the steps of Grant’s Tomb on Wednesday, August 22 as part of Jazzmobile’s Summerfest. The first song was Art Blakey’s hard bop “Blues March.” The tempo (about 126=quarter note) was swinging as Mr. Owens played the blues like a plaintive, percussive cry with some unison licks leading to a higher note, and an arching motif using the blues feeling with a New York hip accent-expressing himself succinctly. Mr. Johns played the drum march rolloff interlude to lead into choruses. Mr. Howell played up and down the blues scale with some persistent reiteration, and Danny Mixon inserted some whole tone arpeggios and lines in his flowing solo, following up with some 12/8 chording. “Stuffy Turkey” performed at moderate swing (about 132=quarter note) by Monk was next (a recent cd of Mr. Owens’ was “The Monk Project”) which received a warm welcome from the crowd, for a theme which seemed to be composed thinking of call and response, a major jazz concept. The bassist, Mr. Davis, descending in a chordal figure, seemed to capriciously celebrate with a party-like feel. Mr. Owens on flugelhorn, started with short 4 or 6 note licks, ending phrases on the upbeat, ascending and kicking the beat forward, with a fat tone on his instrument. He combined ideas from various scale (blues, 7th and whole tone) and used a nice variety of intervals, staying in the middle range of his instrument. He seemed to grasp one of the things that made Monk unique, which was combine ancient and modern ideas, thus creating the impression of someone with deep roots who was ahead of his time. On the variation section, he played a two note idea, anticipating the beat, segueing back, then three note figures that he expanded for a nice chorus mostly on whole tone ideas ascending the scale. The guitarist Mr. Howell followed with his 2

The Jazz Culture, VI:18

Review 1‐5 solo playing some up tempo England Event J. Watson 5‐8 triplet figures and then short Jazz Heritage Virgil Jones 9‐14 licks that he then responded to Short Insights of Life on the Road‐ with a 16th note descending 14‐20 cascade, playing rhythmic Clarence Banks variations of that, and then Jazz Scene NY 21 some more 16 note licks, a lot Summerstage Tribute to of unison, into a four note Charlie Parker in Harlem 22‐3 motif in 8th note groupings Let's Link 24 where the last note was accented. Mr. Mixon accented JazzCulture © 2012 the familial aspect of “Stuffy Turkey” with some emphatic chording on blues rhythmic licks up and down the scale, quoting “Isn’t She Lovely,” with some right hand pealing in blues phrases and some five beat chords. Long tones from the trumpet with trills over sections. When restating the theme, Mr. Owens ended on a pretty long tone with vibrato on the tonic.

“Look Softly” was next, a contemporary song Mr. Owens said he wrote for his son as a baby, a celebratory positive statement of fatherly love for his posterity. “Martin’s Theme,” an original “Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.,”…who [as Mr. Owens said] was a “great human being” followed, a pretty melody played with a sweet full tone, with an airy modest feel, as befits a religious and spiritual leader who changed history. The guitar solo, plaintive and loving, captured one note and surrounded that note with a few others, a decorative obligato, to create a jewel-like effect, then opening to a reiterating unison and chordal requiem. Trumpet solo was a quiet and melodic solo, sometimes glissing up to a chord or scale and accenting the high note, a musical description that would use some flares and five note groups at mezzo-forte and built, then died away to quiet long tones. When restating the theme the trumpeter played with compassion, sometimes accenting the upbeat and ending quietly on The Jazz Culture, VI:18


a sustained long tone, completing the portrait of a revered spiritual leader. “I’ll Remember April,” (comp. Gene Vincent de Paul) the theme played fast (about 200=quarter note), with a swing beat on solos, with good articulation of all players when playing fast. Mr. Owens played short motifs that related to the melody, in a trumpet style that stabbed on accented notes and fell away. Mr. Mixon played a fiery solo with good punctuation with some octave rolls, feeling the slow under the fast, with Jimmy Owens Plus swings at good backing of the rhythm section. Grant's Tomb The bassist, Mr. Davis, played a spirited solo commenting on the well known melody. Mr. Owens traded 8s with the drummer, who had provided a good foundation for all their repertoire, then going down to 4’s, 2’s. The drummer Mr. Johns played a well constructed solo utilizing all his equipment. He was good at keeping a steady tempo, an important accomplishment that a lot of musicians don’t work at. The group vamped out on a happiness mode. They then played “Body and Soul” (by Johnny Green) with Mr. Owens' beautiful sound with a good vibrato, using sensitive phrasing. You have to skip a couple of generations back and remember Rex Stewart, Mugsy Spanier and the great Louis Armstrong for his direct, larger-than-life expressive quality. The guitarist Mr. Howell made a pretty choice of notes with substitution harmony on the A section, and Mr. Owens came back on the bridge using a classic, wide interval style, with some arpeggios and digging into the basement for a dramatic, low pedal Db to end the song. 4

The Jazz Culture, VI:18

The group ended on a shuffle blues (about 130= quarter note), for several couples and bunch of school kids had gotten up to dance. The rhythm section played some 12/8 groupings, using a lot of unison. The sound system was great, probably due to Johnny Garry, the veteran jazz devotee who is a pillar of the jazz community, whom Mr. Owens met when Mr. Garry was the manager of the original 52nd Street Birdland. The audience was happy after a full plate of jazz al fresco. (See photos p. 20‐21)


REVIEW by JOHN WATSON Band: Mike Lindup and Friends Venue: 606 Club, Lots Road, Chelsea, London, UK Date: Monday 16th July 2012

It is a Monday night and I drive through London’s bustling West End and head down the Kings Road in John Watson Chelsea. Gradually the road Photo: Max Garr becomes less busy and when I turn into Lots Road there is not a soul about. I park up, approach an iron gate and press a buzzer. I am let through, climb down some dimly lit stairs and open the door. At the reception desk I’m greeted by Will and can hear some great jazz music wafting through from the speakers in the main room. Will shows me to my table. It is only 7:30 p.m. but the place is already packed with a relaxed anticipation in the air. This is the 606 Club, so named because the original club was in a basement at 606 Kings Road. The Jazz Culture, VI:18


The club’s reputation grew and grew during the 70’s and 80’s until they had to find bigger premises hence the move to Lots Road. I settle down at a small table by one of the bare brick walls and a waitress takes my order. Then I see the owner Steve Rubie approach the stage in his distinctive scarf and jumper. Although it is mid-July, the attire is his trademark. Musician Steve has been running the club since 1976 and, in a friendly manner, he reminds the audience that the 606 policy is complete silence during the performance before introducing the band I’ve come to see; Mike Lindup and Friends. Mike found fame in the early 80’s as a founding member of the band Level 42. Between 1981 and 1994, they recorded 13 albums with worldwide sales of over 15 million, top ten singles in four continents and performed around the world. Since then, he has released two solo albums and tonight’s gig is to promote his latest EP On The One. Mike, on piano, keyboards and lead vocal, is joined on stage by Alex Hutchins (guitar), Johnny Copland (electric bass), Tristan Banks (drums) and Sumudu (backing vocal). The set starts gently with a song entitled Silver Spoon but, from the offset, the audience are very attentive. Original songs are interspersed with an interesting choice of covers such as Michael Jackson’s Stranger In Moscow and Coldplay’s Fix You. There are, of course, some Level 42 songs too but reworked imaginatively and sensitively to suit the line-up and express Mike’s personality of which I particularly note Lasso the Moon which builds up from a piano and acoustic guitar opening to percussive modal playing from Mike and an extended coda featuring a remarkable drum solo from Tristan over a 6/4 riff which brings the house down. Other highlights include a great guitar solo from Alex in The Spirit is Free (from Mike’s album Changes) and the first half ends with On The One (the title track from the new EP) featuring an extended Rhodes Electric Piano solo by Mike. 6

The Jazz Culture, VI:18

Highlights in the second half include Badness (another original from the EP) with some nice interplay between Alex’s electric guitar and Mike’s Prophet Synthesizer and two instrumentals: Arc Over Paris with very sensitive acoustic guitar playing by Alex and Sunshine and Flowers (from Mike’s album Conversations With Silence) which highlights Mike’s more classical side yet with jazz and Latin influences. Johnny gets the chance to shine with a slap bass solo in Stevie Wonder’s Ordinary Day and the band’s rendition of Stevie’s Too High again brings the house down. Throughout the set, I can’t help but notice how so many people in the audience are captivated by the musicianship on stage with several focusing on either the drummer or the guitarist during entire songs. The 606 Club’s policy is to showcase the rich and varied UK music scene and tonight has been a fine example of that. For more information on Mike Lindup visit: and check out the 606 Club at John Watson is a veteran jazz pianist, arranger, musical director ofthe English music scene, who can be heard at The Langham in London on weekends with his Trio. A graduate ofthe Guildhall School ofMusic and Drama, John Watson has performed in many different situations, from hotels to jazz clubs, from festivals to parties. These include: Four Seasons Hotel London, The Dorchester Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Pizza Express Club Soho, Hammersmith Apollo, JVC Jazz Festival Paris, Grand Hotel du Cap Ferat Music Festival and St. Regis Hotel ew York. John is a “triple threat�-- singer, pianist and keyboardist, accompanist and long time music director of Leee John and legendary 80’s group Imagination. Through popular demand, he has recorded and released several albums. Most recently the JW3 Live at the Langham, (available for download) features his jazz trio and was recorded at the Palm Court, -The Langham, London, where John is currently resident pianist and musical director. www. johnpianoman. co. uk Myspace. com/johnawatson; youtube. com/johnpianoman; twitter. com/johnpianoman;facebook. com/john-watson/78494720527

The Jazz Culture, VI:18



Virgil Jones, 1939-2012

Recollections By Carol Randazzo Orito Jones, Jimmy Owens, Cecil Bridgewater, Mark McGowan, Barry Harris, Jimmy Wormworth, & Kiani Zawadi. Ed. L. Hamanaka

The following is an excerpt from a book Virgil Jones and his wife Carol were writing on Virgil’s life: ”How fortunate I was to be a young developing trumpet player in Indianapolis, the home of Freddie Hubbard, Wes Montgomery, JJ Johnson, Leroy Vinegar, James Spaulding, Cark Perkins, Michael and Larry Ridley, Slide Hampton and Family, Melvin Rhyne, Killer Ray Appleton, Charlie Cox and many others. I jammed and listened to these players in George’s Bar, the Missile Room and elsewhere. It was the best way to learn. My only other formal education was Crispus Attucks High School, where my band student teacher was David Baker. Around 1960, David Baker recommended me to Lionel Hampton…It was the beginning of my 45 years a as professional trumpet player. 8

The Jazz Culture, VI:19

“I travelled nationally and internationally with many bands big and small, and one of my favorites was Dizzy Gillespie’s big band…“Once I had a change to play with Horace Silver and at the same time I was asked to return to the Ray Charles Band for a tour. I returned to Ray’s band—but I wish I hadn’t. During a performance in Tennessee, I fell about 11 feet off the stage and injured my back. My yoga practice saved me because I was so flexible and managed to get into a protective position. But this injury haunted me all my life. In the end, my back pain stopped me from exercising because the pain was unbearable. I was unable to walk and do things I enjoyed. I always wondered what would have happened if I had played with Horace Silver instead of Ray Charles, but I’ll never know.” A glimpse ofVirgil Jones’ bio. After touring the world with Hamp, he played with the Mel Lewis/Thad Jones Orchestra, Frank Foster in his Quintet, Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Heath, McCoy Tyner’s Big Band, Ray Charles, toured Europe with Clark Terry’s Space Band. He played with several latin bands, including Machito’s and Palmieri’s, did several Broadway shows, was on Dick Cavett’s TV show band, recorded many records, with people from Stevie Wonder to Joe Henderson, and in combos with Barry Harris, Charles Davis, the Jazz Legacy Ensemble with Larry Ridley, Charles Stubblefield, and many other stars. He was featured on “Fearless Frank Foster.” For years he worked with Bobby Short’s band at the Café Carlyle. This is a small portion of the bands Virgil Jones played with. Mrs. Jones’ recollects: “Virgil came at a time when the big bands were waning and the smaller bands were transforming. He was in two worlds at the same time. He loved the big band feel, but he really dug what Miles and Trane were doing. When he came to NY the first recording was “Reeds and Deeds” in the early 60’s with Rhasaan Roland Kirk. He played with several Latin bands and he said he had a great time and he learned a lot. [At that time] only a real jazz fan was following the flow of jazz. The record companies split the attention of the general public into more what The Jazz Culture, VI:19


they wanted them to hear. Jazz was not promoted as much as other types of music yet these authentic jazz musicians’ relationships evolved in experiencing the music together. I hope there will be a renaissance. Guys will get some recognition that many of them never did get. There are still many great jazz musicians from before and around Virgil’s era, that have worked out the sound and I hope they get acknowledged.” “In my relationship with him he enjoyed everything he did, whether it was a small thing or a big thing. He was focused on it. He functioned as much as he could in the moment, and if I got lost, he would refocus me. And he was very clear when he decided to say something, but he didn’t speak a lot. He said it didn’t mean much to talk a lot. We both enjoyed quiet. As a person he focused on, he was tuned in on the environment. He’d say, “Carol, go play an Ab and G.” I’d play the Ab and G, and he’d say, “I think that was that horn outside.” I’d go listen to the horn, and sure enough after he made me do that enough times, I was able to hear that there were two notes in the horn beep.” There were a lot of horns on the street… Then I started listening to car horns and I started hearing that there was more than one note. He could separate sounds and hear minute things. He heard what the different instruments were doing. He loved music, astronomy, bird watching, and riding his bike when he was healthy. I didn’t realize how much he had incorporated Eastern philosophy into his daily life. And he was an example, not a proselytizer, but he had enormous wisdom and philosophical resources of Eastern and western philosophies. He did read a lot. He was sick but I took care of him, the last six years of his life. He could identify any player after a few bars, many, many [players]. He always surprised me. He couldn’t play 10

The Jazz Culture, VI:19

Carol Randazzo sings "St. James Infirmary"

anymore but he loved to listen. He went very quietly, from this place to the other place, and he did it quietly. It showed he lived and died the same. He was always the same. His mood was always very serene. He was an amazing..I’m so glad I met him and he was a great example of compassion.”

Musician Remarks

Cecil Bridgewater-“Even before I came to NY in 1970, I was

aware of Virgil's playing from some recordings that I heard with Frank Foster and others and even though we were both from the mid-west, he from Indianapolis and me from Champaign, Illinois about 116 miles apart, we never met until we were both playing in the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra and then later in Frank Foster's Loud Minority. “Virgil (or as we called him, V.J.) was helpful to me in recommending me for gigs and giving me advice. He had a unique way of approaching improvisation that was very much from the jazz tradition, but he had his own approach that was always interesting. He once told me that my playing didn't seem to go where he thought it was going, but I said the same about his. He seemed to be traveling his own route within the tradition of people like Dizzy, Miles, Clifford Brown, etc. He had good range and a beautiful sound on both trumpet and flugelhorn and great facility. His ear was also great, I asked him if he had "perfect pitch" and he said no, but somehow he could pick notes out of a chord from seemingly nowhere and make them fit. He was a great ensemble player in either big bands or small groups because of his background in having played in those settings with Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Frank Foster's Loud Minority, Thad The Jazz Culture, VI:19


Jones/Mel Lewis, etc. and the extensive work with many small groups in and around New York. He was an excellent reader and did many Broadway Shows, record dates, jingle dates, etc. He was the kind of musician you could call for any type of job and he would come and do it the way it was supposed to be done by making a great contribution. He could play many different styles with authority. He became one of my favorite players to listen to and learn from and was such a warm human being.” Jimmy Owens: "Virgil and I played in the Lionel Hampton band

from 1963-4, although he had been in the band long before I joined the band. We got to be good friends, practiced together while on the road and shared health care concepts about our bodies. Virgil was a wonderful trumpeter growing up with the likes of Freddie Hubbard, and Larry Ridley in Indianapolis, and on coming to New York used his musical skills to work with many musicians. He got into playing Broadway shows and that, besides the study, work and steady salary he built himself an American Federation of Musicians' pension that came in very handy when illness came down on him. I will miss him as we were friends and played many times together over the almost 50 years that we knew each other. I would visit him in the hospital and go and see him and Carol in their home from time to time." Mark McGowan: “Virgil Jones had a keen understanding of

bebop and was fluent at improvising over all of the sophisticated harmonic structures characteristic of that music. I had the opportunity to play with him with Barry Harris and Illinois Jacquet; he was very comfortable playing in a big band trumpet section. I'll miss him because he was very friendly to a young trumpet colleague and extremely supportive of my musical and personal ambitions. I'll never forget how encouraging he was toward me when I first met him while he was playing in Barry Harris's quintet over twenty-five years ago.” Barry Harris: “All around musician, not only a good reader, a 12

The Jazz Culture, VI:19

good improviser. He could solo. I never heard Virgil complain about anything.” Jimmy Wormworth: “He didn’t imitate our heros. He

incorporated all of their sounds and it became Virgil. These young players, they play Woody Shaw licks, which isn’t more than Freddy Hubbard licks, but Virgil wasn’t like that. In Larry Ridley’s band, I think Virgil was the wisest. We played a lot of gigs at the Schomburg, the Jazz Legacy Band. In fact, the only recording of Virgil as soloist [lead player] is with that band, which was produced as a cd by Larry Ridley. Virgil wasn’t up front about what he knew. When I asked him about stuff he was very deep. When we were in New Orleans, it was Virgil I hung out with the most. He anointed me with Phineas and Calvin Newborn and we had a lot of conversations. So many don’t realize how hard a job it is to do music, when you have people in charge like businessmen --they thwart the people who can do it by controlling it, and Virgil was understated and for some reason they never put him out there, and he was wise and articulate just like he was in his playing-he was wise and articulate and people don’t realize, it’s who you are that comes out when you’re playing, your personality comes out when you’re playing. And to me, that’s how Virgil was. He was soft spoken but wise and his playing was the same. He was my best friend in Larry Ridley’s band. Charles Davis is like family and I know him a lot longer, but I could talk to Virgil and I think I hung out with him the most because he loved to laugh and I could crack him up too.” Kiani Zuwadi: “He was one of the great souls …whether big

band or small he had a great trumpet feel for bebop music. In all the photos I have of him, he had a big smile and he was easy to get along with.” Carol Randazzo Orito Jones: “Virgil does solos on a lot of albums, but he does the head and solos on all the tunes on this cd, and it shows a very romantic yet with a bebop flavor in his The Jazz Culture, VI:19


improvisation, a very gentle, sweet, complex person. If you listen to this album, you will know the real Virgil Jones.” Listen to Virgil Jones, featured on Larry Ridley & The Jazz Legacy Ensemble’s “Other Voices” cd by Naima Records 1999. HOW TO-TIPS & EXPERT ADVICE Short Insights of Life On the Road By Clarence Banks

Highlights: Clarence Banks has been a professional trombonist for forty + years, traveling for the last 28 years with the Basie Orchestra, shows like “Ain’t Clarence Banks in Performance Misbehavin’” and recording with many great masters. He was the last musician to be hired by Count Basie before he passed on, and has worked with groups from Slide Hampton, to Count Basie Orchestra. Clarence Banks: It’s a rare opportunity to go out now. It takes a special person to go on the road. You get a chance to see the world, go to places, see how other people live. lt’s work, but there’s a chance you’re learning, about different cultures and enjoying those cultures. JC: How did you start going on the road? Clarence Banks: One of my first road trips was a ten day tour with Slide Hampton’s World of Trombones in 1980, a mini tour. I started getting experience traveling from that point. We met the bus at the Village Gate in NYC and went to Pittsburgh, and then we went to Chicago, back to Detroit, then Pittsburgh. We played the club on the hill in Pittsburgh, two nights there and Joe Segal’s place in Chicago when it was still on Rush Street and then we went to Detroit, played a concert and went back to Pittsburgh. It was really exciting, we got a chance to play with some greats. Clint 14

The Jazz Culture, VI:19

Houston, Idris Muhammed, drums, Hilton Ruiz, piano, and nine trombones. JC: And with the Count Basie Orchestra? Clarence Banks: Spent 28 years with these guys, just got back, we went to Japan. JC: Do you get jet lag? Clarence Banks: At one point we were traveling so much to

Europe, I got over jet lag, States to Europe and vice versa. One of my things that I do have, I can’t sleep on planes and buses unless I’m totally exhausted. I’ll take a walk in Europe, have breakfast, try to do everything I can before I nap, but the next day I’m on schedule. When I come back, I take a walk. The only time jet lag bothers me, is coming back from Japan like now. I don’t sleep, 13 hours on the plane. I woke up at 2:30 in the morning, “I’m like, Now what do I do?” We’re getting ready to go to Australia, that’s 21 hours to get there. We will see. JC: Would the Basie tradition still be intact or in a drawer somewhere? Clarence Banks: I think after all these years, the orchestra’s been in existence. 76 years. That’s how it is primarily dealt with, the band has always traveled. There are occasions where the band would sit down for a long period of time. But even back then it was rare. JC: Why do think it’s necessary or important for jazz musician on the road? Clarence Banks: Of course there’s food on the table, money in your pocket. Just like the old days when religious crusades would go out, we’re just going around spreading the word, making sure people are well informed about this music. Sometimes you have to bring the music to the people in different countries who don’t have the chance to listen to jazz. We’ve been to Malaysia, Taiwan, these places don’t normally have that kind of music. The Jazz Culture, VI:19


Clarence Banks teaching a master class in Japan at university

JC: What’s the audience reaction? Clarence Banks: It varies. The Basie Band music is joyful, happy music. They’re surprised. We feed off the audience and vice versa. 90% of the audience is very positive, they want to hear more. JC: How do you choose what to pack? Clarence Banks: One of my big tours was Ain’t Misbehavin’. Two years before Count Basie. Clothing was no restriction, we could carry as much as needed. I was in Europe for practically a year. Of course we got change of seasons there. I ended up buying winter clothing, that was very expensive. You’ve got to stay warm in the winter. That was one of my first learning experiences. Luggage has to be under 50 lbs. Your music, underclothes. I’ll wear jeans, [and bring] something appropriate for dinner or dress. If I have a day off I’ll find a laundrymat and wash my clothes. Have an umbrella, just in case it rains. In Tokyo it’s 70 degrees and in Okinawa it’s 100.You get the picture. 16

The Jazz Culture, VI:19

This tour I did some master classes in Universities. Teaching is learning, so you get a chance to do both. Those days of hanging out all night—even when I was younger I did not hang that much. I’d practice a lot and work on things musically. For the most part, I get a little rest in my hotel room. Recently I started writing music again. JC: How long do tours usually last? Clarence Banks: When I first joined the Band in 1984, six weeks out, two weeks off. That was the general idea, up until maybe shortly after 9/11, things got a little shorter. A tour can last 6-7 weeks or a couple months at a time. JC: Do you have a set meal plan? Clarence Banks: You‘ve got to pay for your own meals. Until about 1989-90, with the Basie Orchestra, we paid part of our hotels. After 1989, the company started paying for the hotels. That was a vast improvement. Everything was verbal. For a couple of years I struggled until I could get a decent salary per week. Food: Things you like to eat, you can’t get in certain countries. You can sometimes bring your own food. I might take some nuts with me or little munchies. One of the guys brings instant grits with him. You might want to carry something along with you. E.g. Thelonious, when he went to Europe he took a case of Pepsi, and afterwards he brought the bottles back. They said, “Why are you bringing bottles back?” He said, ”To get my refund.” They had to pay excess for those bottles. JC: Exercise?

Clarence Banks: I walk a lot. I get out if I have some time, and

particularly if I go some place I’ve never been. I call “myself getting lost.” At one time I’d do calisthenics in a room to work up a sweat. I try to keep that going. If there’s a gym available I might go. In little towns there’s no gyms, use your rooms do your push The Jazz Culture, VI:19


ups and sit ups in your room. I used to carry a jump rope with me. JC: Keeping in touch? Clarence Banks: Nowadays I use my Magic Jack and call US and Canada, computer email, Skype. All those means. Back in the day, it was costly to make a phone call. You can only speak a few minutes. I just started taking my laptop out, maybe 6 months ago. Going through security, you have to take your laptop out, it’s a mild inconvenience but that’s okay, but it’s really convenient to have it with you. Most hotels have Wifi. JC: Do you always know where your hotel is? Clarence Banks: They give us an itinerary in advance, and that’s very convenient, having a phone number, where you’re going to be. That’s cool. JC: What about language barrier? Is there a difference traveling in combo or big band.

Clarence Banks teaching a clinic at a school in Japan


The Jazz Culture, VI:19

Clarence Banks: Traveling with a small group, there’s less

people to worry about. Nowadays except for Eastern Europe, just about everybody speaks English. Most people in Europe speak 2-3 languages. In Japan, people speak English there in big cities, except small towns. For eating, it’s fine. On menus they have little pictures of what you want to eat, you just point to it. Through years of traveling, I say, “I’ll take the fois gras.” It also might be in English. In some cases they might have dinner for us, if we have a tight schedule. We go straight to the gig. They’ll have dinner for us and a snack. JC: What about laws regarding recording in other countries. Contracts covered by laws in US? Clarence Banks: As a side man I don’t have to worry about contracts. I don’t usually deal with that. A leader in that situation would deal with contracts. Contracts are pre-made before we leave the country. All the details that need be. JC: Do hotels mind if you have overnight guests? Clarence Banks: It depends. Europe was pretty cool. Japan doesn’t mind if you have, you just have to pay for the extra person. In fact, a good friend brought his whole family there, he’s got his baby, and his wife, and he’s got to pay $70 per night-so that’s over $2,000 for a whole month. JC: What about married couples? Clarence Banks: When NancieClarence Banks: would come to Japan we’d have to pay for the extra person. Not in Europe. JC: Have you ever gotten sick abroad? Clarence Banks: I had a back problem in Paris. I couldn’t get out of bed. I had to go to see the doctor. I didn’t know what to do, in the hotel, they had a staff doctor. A lot of medicine over there you don’t have to pay for. The only thing I did was invite the doctor to the concert. Another time I got to Paris and had pink eye, went to a clinic. “No charge.” I’ve endured a lot traveling, and The Jazz Culture, VI:19


I’ve been fortunate never to get really sick. I hope I have a good immune system. Except, in 1984, I severed my Achilles. For 2 and ½ months I travelled on crutches—that was in the States. That was $7-8,000, four-five days in hospital, I had an operation. I was like 30 and decided to go out and play basketball. I went up for a layup. I ended up going to the hospital Wednesday morning and a bunch of interns came around me, the Dr. said “Looks like a severed Achilles.” I don’t like needles, but I remember saying I’m looking forward to this.” This was in Yacoma, Washington, I was getting gourmet food, lamb chops, great meals, beer, I get two cans of beer, I’m thinking ‘This is unbelievable.’ It turns out a guy who used to work in the band, his wife worked in the kitchen in the hospital. They threw me out of the hospital. One of the nurses had a son who played trumpet. She said, “My son plays trumpet.” Her son (about 14 years old-played really good) came to the hospital and played. They said, “Sorry we have to throw you out, you’re causing too many problems.” Contact: See Clarence Banks for clinics, master classes, teaching, and performances on


At some point the dancers took over, doing their riffs in front ofthe stairs ofGrant's Tomb. Left, a lady passes the flame onto the next generation. Right, she finds two little girls who want to learn some moves.


The Jazz Culture, VI:19


Dancers found a happiness groove on a shuffle blues, lighting up the night with carefree abandon.

Jazz Scene in New York

Adele & Rick Stone, L; Rick with Dr.Paul Friedman , and Bucky Pizzarelli with Jack Wilkins

The Jazz Culture, VI:19


Bucky Pizzarelli plays with verve and swing at 86 with Jack Wilkins at Bella Luna


Jazz Fans Waited for Hours for Some Jazz to Appear at Charlie Parker Tribute in Harlem; at least the Coconuts were real."Where's the jazz?" asked drummer Chuck McPherson.


The Jazz Culture, VI:19

These young ladies were selling nice T�shirts at the Summerstage Tribute to Charlie Parker, but they did not know where the Jazz was. Roy Haynes' Group was not scheduled till late. Rock and contemporary acts played for hours, while jazz fans got frustrated. The booking group "Revive" might consider renaming itself "Becloud" or "Obfuscate." Once there was a circus barker who dragged a camel onstage and swore it was an Arabian Stallion; the audience groaned. A similar reaction came from jazz fans waiting Saturday for jazz in the tradition of Charlie Parker, which may have happened Saturday August 25 late that day after most jazz fans had left.Too bad the Music Producers overlooked one fact: Good Intentions don't count. Other performances, including the Sugar Hill Quartet and Bill Saxton, promised better pickings.


@HOTMAIL.COM Tel.: +39 3393383139


"Practice a Million Hours." -Junior Cook, Saxophonist "You can't take offwithout a launching pad." -Lonnie Hillyer, Trumpeter

The Jazz Culture, VI:19


Let's Link/Musician Correspondents

We remember Dr. Frank Foster:


Photo: Brian McMillen

See Barry, above See http://Rick Stone. com

See Dado Moroni, Lionelle, Dawn Hampton, on Google; http://Joe


The Jazz Culture, VI:19 Baby�"Hamp's Boogie"  

The Jazz Culture Newsletter