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Customer Discussions > Jazz forum

Forgotten men of jazz.

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Showing 76-100 of 742 posts in this discussion
Posted on Feb 14, 2012 6:28:07 AM PST
We have talked about this on the forum before i.e. the lure of a regular salary as opposed to the hurly-burly of the market place and trying to find gigs when one has wife and family to provide for. It's a strong motivator and I have some musician friends who chose that path to follow. The downside is they fall below the horizon in most cases as far as the jazz pantheon and jazz public are concerned.
In Louis' case, it seems particularly unfortunate for he was a major talent, there isn't a shadow of a date about that.
Out of interest, are you a Detroit resident? I hope to make it to the jazzfest this year.

Posted on Feb 15, 2012 12:27:58 PM PST
P. Hughes says:
{Nikica Gilic says: I think I've read that Sir Charles Thompson got his knighthood somewhere in Africa (Liberia perhaps?) }
You're probably thinking of the late pianist, Sir Roland Hanna -- and it was a bona fide knighthood, too!
If I may be allowed to crow: Sir Charles played at my 1968 wedding [along with Benny Powell, Harold Vick, Eddie Jones and a drummer whose name escapes me].
Incidentally, the 1954-56 sessions A

Posted on Feb 15, 2012 12:35:10 PM PST
P. Hughes says:
I had concluded my message by adding that the 1954-56 Vanguard LP's [A&R'd by John Hammond & subsequently compiled on a 1999 CD] are, in addition to the best of his earlier work mentioned above, essential listening.
But the naughty pixels just danced away.

Posted on Feb 15, 2012 10:44:38 PM PST
P. Hughes says:
My last intrusion here, I promise:
[ i ] The originator of this message-chain referred specifically to:
" . . . former jazz stars ... still around ... trying to as best as they can to eke out a living."
Thus, to assert that "The thread ..... makes no reference to whether they [forgotten men] are dead or alive" is a prevarication.

[ ii ] That said, it was gratifying to see the late Barry Galbraith's name here.
He was all over the NYC studios in the 1950s and early-'60s
-- and this has prompted me to fire up my Lord Discography CD.
Confirming what's been said, his peak years were the mid-to-late '60s, with 1956 his most prolific year.
After mid-1966, his output tapered off; although notable in the '70s is his presence on Bucky Pizzarelli's homage to Bix's piano compositions, a reprise of Thomas Talbert's selection of Galbraith in earlier years to perform on his similar homage.

Lord (v.3.3) lists 573 (mostly multi-item) sessions for him between mid-1941 (with Thornhill) and c.1980 (behind a vocal effort from actress Emily Yancy).
For comparative purposes only: Herbie Mann, sometimes thought of as over-recorded, has a count of 303; Miles Davis, 365; Shelly Manne, superstar that he was, 778; Louis Armstrong 734; and Duke Ellington just short of 1,100.
These are not "scores" of "quality", of course, just beans (or, possibly, apples + oranges) counted up.
Still, one is led to the conclusion, upon reviewing Lord's indices, that a count of 573 is indicative of a highly prolific recording artist.
A rough'n'hasty scan of vocalists he accompanied covers the range (at least) from Tony Bennett to Dinah Washington (besides Yancy; the lesser-known Savina, and many more). Instrumentalists range from Steve Allen to Buddy Weed.
He worked in styles extending (again, at least) from those of a couple of Georg[i]es (Auld & Barnes)
to those of George Russell, Gunther Schuller and other Third Streamers (such as the two Johns: Benson Brooks & Lewis).

If you're familiar with those multi-day, 24-hr. tributes that Columbia University's radio station [WKCR] occasionally broadcasts,
perhaps you'll agree that Galbraith might make an admirable candidate?
Whilst not traversing the entire spectrum from Eureka Jazz Band to what Dan Morgenstern has called "unfriendly" music,
an item-by-item excursion down through this discography would reward the listener with exposure to a delightful variety of musical contexts displaying Galbraith's talents.

[ iii ] Jackie Paris's wife, during the sixties and seventies, was Canadian-born Anne Marie Moss.
They worked, and made at least one album together, during those years.
Moss shares a Stash CD [ST-CD-554] with Vivian Lord.
She may still be active in Ontario.

[ iv ] Dudley Moore, in his "Beyond the Fringe" days in the early '60s, used, with some regularity, to perform Friday lunchtime recitals for the LSE Jazz Society [London UK] in the comfort of the Graham Wallas Room there.
I distinctly remember a subtle "How Long Has This Been Going On," whose delicacy of mood was quite at odds with his tendency otherwise to percuss upon the piano.
You can hear the young Moore playing with John Bassett and his Band (arr. Moore & Richard Rodney Bennett) on a Harkit Records CD [HRKCD 8054].

[ v ] Art van Damme? How about Mat Matthews [d. Feb.2009, a year before van D.]?
The Brits have a lady-accordion player, Karen Street ["Accordion Crimes"]; but I'm sure that, as an enterprising "jazz educator," composer & reed player [The Fairer Sax], she's doing rather better than "eking out" a living.

[ vi ] Finally, my own candidate for this electronic "thread": Chuck Folds.
Ten or more years ago, when I worked close by, he had a lunchtime gig in the atrium of the "Park Ave. Plaza" [near 53rd & Park, in Manhattan]. Does he still?
I have a fine solo Arbors CD of his from that period. He also recorded with, and in tribute to, Doc Cheatham, of course.
Arbors recently announced the forthcoming release of a second CD; but I cannot find much biographical info. on line.
I hope he's still thriving.

Posted on Feb 15, 2012 11:29:12 PM PST
Here's a few:

Dave Lambert - from Lambert, Hendricks & Ross

Annie Ross - I think she went into acting..? Or is that a different Annie Ross?

Rick Laird - original bassist w/ the original Mahavishnu Orchestra

Allen Eager - not sure if he's still alive (I'll check, tho)

Jimmy Amadie - Philadelphia-area pianist, he's done some fine "comeback" CDs in the '00 decade, perhaps still active

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 4:12:58 AM PST
I just picked up a wonderful CD by the above mentioned Jimmy Amadie:

Philadelphia Story

The piano playing is excellent. I had not heard Amadie prior to this, as he has recorded sparingly due to debilitating tendonitis which causes him considerable pain and has curtailed his playing. The CD features guest artists Randy Brecker, Benny Golson and Lew Tabackin - all hailing from Philadelphia. Highly recommended.

As to Barry Galbraith, the current Lord discography lists 599 sessions. His solo work, however, by his own admission, is very limited. He was the New York studio session man of choice for many years. A good example of his solo ability can be found on
Into the Hot

While under the name of Gil Evans, this recording is actually by John Carisi and Cecil Taylor. Galbraith has a solo feature on a Carisi track.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 4:28:40 AM PST
Victor Cager says:
Man, I had no idea Sir Charles Thompsonwas still on the scene!! I nominate Ahmad Benny Medina whose still knocking 'em dead in the DFW area..

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 9:37:54 AM PST
Ms. Ward: YES INDEED, that's a dandy CD (the Amadie set)! I think he's had one or 2 since, too.

Posted on Feb 16, 2012 2:44:25 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 16, 2012 2:54:37 PM PST
Thanks for your suggestions but Annie Ross is hardly a forgotten name. She gained more than enough fame in Lambert, Hendricks and Ross to last for the rest of her natural. And, she continued to work steadily after she left the band. Dave Lambert also had a burgeoning career after L,H & Bavan broke up until his death. As has been noted on this site before, Annie still holds down a weekly gig at the Metropolitan Room in Manhattan backed by a fine quartet with Warren Vache on cornet. Allen Eager passed away in 2003. But he essentially retired from music in 1957 giving as his reason the death of Charlie Parker so he really did become something of a forgotten man. He did record very occasionally up to his death, the last time in 1982 for Uptown Records.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 3:40:49 PM PST
An excellent recording featuring Allen Eager, actually his last recording, is "Taking Sides," under Phil Urso's name and featuring the late Pete Minger and the late Eddie Higgins, from 1986. I imagine this recording will be very hard to find. All of these musicians were very underrated.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 1:22:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2012 11:41:27 PM PST
Having just searched his name through these threads, I discovered that pianist Benny Aronov has never once been mentioned, not even listed as a sideman! I'm astonished! When I came to realize that this was the case, I uploaded a YouTube clip on him with Bob Brookmeyer on to my Facebook page. Out of interest, I checked what Google to offer. They,seemingly, cannot even make their mind up whether he is Russian or American (he's American, by the way)! Born in 1932, he held down the gig in the piano room at the Tavern on the Green in NYC for a considerable period of time. The last that I heard he was living in France. The YouTube clip is taken from a fine CD with Tom Harrell also in the front line called "Shadow Box". Get it. You won't be disappointed. Harrell and Brookmeyer are in top form.

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 12:47:05 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 20, 2012 8:31:07 AM PST
At work last night I had Public Radio on and the d j played (as near as I could tell for his whole 2 hour show, I didn't hear the whole 2 hours) music that featured drummer Frank Butler. As much respect as West Coast Jazz gets on this forum Frank Butler's name does not come up when I do a search of the posts. Didn't catch the name of the program or the dj. Was in and out during the time it was on in the maintenance room. He must have been a drummer. Said Frank Butler tuned his drums beautifully. Brought the energy level up just a bit in his soloes which you could never guess where he was going to go next. Never showboatty. Heard him with Curtis Counce. in the set. Seemed like a genuine article as a Jazz dj to take his show in that direction. I'll tune in next week for details on his show and his name. Frank Butler there's one Peter.

PS : It was Frank Butler's birthday - February 18

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 3:53:32 AM PST
E. T. says:
Here is another one:
Bassist, composer, Jack Gregg.
Recorded with Jack deJohnette, Abbey Lincoln, Archie Shepp, many others. For years he has been living in Lebanon where he is a member of the Lebanese National Symphonic Orchestra.

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 12:14:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 20, 2012 12:14:52 PM PST
Jeff & E.T.,
Thanks for those posts. I confess that the name, Jack Gregg meant absolutely nothing to me. Interesting that he's living not that far from me. Have always meant to pop over to Beirut and check out the scene there. I have seen a few Lebanese musicians from time to time appearing in the Cairo Jazz Festival so there is a little scene there though my knowledge of it is minimal.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 3:04:16 PM PST
@Mr. Campbell: If memory serves, Jack Gregg plays on Marion Brown's "free" classic "Afternoon of a Georgia Faun" on ECM.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 5:39:40 PM PST
E. T. says:
You are right, Shemp!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 5:44:51 PM PST
E. T. says:
You're welcome, Mr. P. A trip to Beirut sounds like fun.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 11:04:35 PM PST

I re-read the opening paragraph for your thread here. Next time i'll come up with a living player.

Posted on Feb 21, 2012 1:21:31 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 21, 2012 9:07:38 AM PST
Live or dead, it doesn't matter. When I began the thread, I might inadvertently have implied that the thread was only concerning live musicians. But, it can be about anyone, dead or alive, that contributors feel has been neglected or forgotten.
In respect of deceased musicians, here's a name that is perhaps forgotten or maybe even never heard of by younger contributors to these threads and it's that of trombonist, Frank Rehak. An absolutely wonderful bebop player who appeared as a sideman on many important jazz recordings, was a member of the Gil Evans Orchestra but only once did he lead a session, "Jazzville Vol.2" (now difficult to find) not issued as far as I know on CD. Frank fell foul of the dreaded heroin addiction habit which, to all intents and purposes ended his career. Later he died of throat cancer after undergoing a substance withdrawal programme at Synanon. If you search his name on Amazon, you will pick up on a few CDs wherein he participated as a sideman.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2012 1:51:07 AM PST
Copy that Peter.

Posted on Feb 25, 2012 12:50:59 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 25, 2012 11:47:51 PM PST
Now 90 years old, David Baker is better known as an educator, writer of several seminal books on playing jazz and the current leader of the Smithsonian jazz orchestra than as the fine trombonist that he once was. Forced to give up the trombone because of a jaw injury, he nevertheless played brilliantly on the Keepnews supervised album, Ezz-thetics, with the George Russell Sextet recorded in 1961. If you haven't got this recording in your collection, you should consider getting it. It also has Don Ellis on trumpet, Eric Dolphy on alto sax and bass clarinet, George Russell on piano, Steve Swallow on bass and Joe Hunt on drums. This still sounds avant all these years later which says something about Russell and all the guys involved. As for Baker, I'm trying to find more early recordings of him when he was one of the cats that were really at the cutting edge, if they exist.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 3:01:34 AM PST
David Baker was indeed a fine trombonist, and went on to be a great jazz educator and writer, as well as an accomplished jazz cellist. He worked with George Russell from 1959 through 1962, and any of Russell's recordings from that period feature Baker prominently. Subsequently, the Baker discography is quite thin, with a few recordings as a cellist and several more where he appears as conductor only but does not play. "Ezz-thetics" is indeed a classic, and has been on my Desert Island list from the day I purchased it.

Posted on Feb 25, 2012 8:04:37 PM PST
A couple of guitarists I've always liked and I think were under-recorded are Elek Bacsik and Ray Crawford. Bacsik had a great solo on one track of Dizzy Gillespies's "Dizzy On The French Riviera" album which came out about 1962. There are a couple of CD's of some of his other work available. I believe he died in the 1980's. Crawford had a great solo on "La Nevada" on Gil Evans' "Out of the Cool" album, and he was on a couple of Ahmad Jamal's early albums recorded in the late 1950's. I don't know if he's still alive.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 8:55:54 PM PST
Ray Crawford was a fine guitar player. He died in 1997, see link:

Posted on Feb 25, 2012 9:07:39 PM PST
Speaking o' guitarists, how 'bout Jimmy Ponder? Last I heard, he was still active in Pittsburgh PA.
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Discussion in:  Jazz forum
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Initial post:  Sep 23, 2011
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