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Forgotten men of jazz.


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Initial post: Sep 23, 2011 6:48:55 AM PDT
How many former jazz stars are still around, I wonder, trying to as best as they can to eke out a living since the brightness of their star began to wane?
First up, I nominate Sir Charles Thompson,now aged 93 years. The composer of Robbin's Nest and formerly having recording with Bird, Dex and Hawk amongst others and now living, I believe in L.A. Dubbed "Sir" by Lester Young, the last I heard he was still holding down a regular gig in some small non-jazz spot in L.A. Anyone able to confirm this or add any further news would be appreciated.

Posted on Sep 23, 2011 8:53:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 23, 2011 9:07:41 AM PDT
Vince Wallace - a fine tenor sax-guy, still playing (I think) in the SF Bay Area...I saw him perfrom in the mid-90s in San Francisco & he was GREAT.

Jimmy Ponder - Guitarist, still plays in Pittsburgh PA (again, I think so).

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2011 9:02:27 AM PDT
Nikica Gilic says:
I think I've read that Sir Charles Thompson got his knighthood somewhere in Africa (Liberia perhaps?)

Posted on Sep 23, 2011 11:48:12 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 24, 2011 11:37:35 AM PDT
SMF,
Wallace was an excellent nomination, a cult musician, an aficionado's musician. I don't whether he's still around. Perhaps one of our San Francisco based brethren would know. I tried to find some of his CDs a while back and failed miserably. but subsequently found one under his own name and another that he recorded as a sideman. His website was down and one used to be able to get them through that source but, apparently, no longer. His LPs are as hard to find in mint condition. Meanwhile, if you don't know his work, you can go to Vince's MySpace page and listen to four of his recordings there.

Posted on Sep 23, 2011 2:01:45 PM PDT
Pianist/vibist Ms. Terri Pollard.

Sax-guy Ernie Krivda (still active in Cleveland).

Cellist Abdul Wadud.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2011 2:04:06 PM PDT
I saw him in 1996 or '97 at a jam session in a small bar on Valencia Street - I thought he sounded dandy!

As for his LPs, check Jerry's Records in Pittsburgh PA!

Posted on Sep 23, 2011 5:42:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 23, 2011 5:51:06 PM PDT
Zolar Waka says:
80-year old Ira Sullivan in Ft Lauderdale on 09/28/11; NE 33rd Street.

http://www.bluejeanblues.net

EDIT: I have quite a few cool Ira Sullivan sets on vinyl. My own post may have coaxed me to pull them off the shelf for the weekend!

Posted on Sep 23, 2011 8:41:36 PM PDT
Zolar W:

DIG THIS: A somewhat RECENT recording with/of IRA S.:
> Stories & Negotiations

Check it out & bon apetit!

Posted on Sep 24, 2011 1:53:04 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 24, 2011 2:06:37 AM PDT
I realize that definitions of "forgotten" may differ from individual to individual and Ira may live in Florida but he's very active and hardly forgotten. Much of the Florida jazz scene revolves around him. He also travels extensively, playing in the Chicago Jazz Festival and has a regular gig at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago every August. He really doesn't, by any stretch of the imagination, qualify for the title of "forgotten man".

Posted on Sep 24, 2011 2:22:11 AM PDT
SMS,
I guess that Ernie Krivda might qualify as borderline "forgotten" outside of Cleveland, Ohio where, I think, he is still head of the jazz department of one of the universities there. But he has two regular gigs a week, one leading a big band and one with his quartet and he is still recording. In Cleveland, he is something of a star. I sat with him late one night on the outside chairs of a cafe and we were interrupted on three occasions by strangers just wanting to say hello or get an autograph!
However, when musicians disappear into acadaemia, choosing the security of a regular salary rather than the unpredictable income of a gigging jazz musician, they often loose general public awareness. Ernie certainly is a great player and his music merits a lot more attention.

Posted on Sep 24, 2011 2:31:15 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 24, 2011 2:34:44 AM PDT
Another musician who went down the same road as Ernire Krivda was bari man, Glenn Wilson. He is also safely esconced in acadaemia. Once, the first call bari man in NYC when he lived there, he has virtually diappeared of the map though he still gigs and records regularly in Illinois where he is resident. For me, he is a superlative player whose work I much prefer to the, now, much better known Gary Smulyan.
I am a Glenn Wilson completist trying to assemble a collection of all of his LPs and CDs. The LPs are particularly difficult to find in mint condition.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2011 5:26:37 PM PDT
Zolar Waka says:
Sorry. I was just trying to bring attention to my hometowns of Fort Lauderdale and Cleveland; I move back and forth between these two locales every 6 or 8 years. Someone already mentioned Krivda, not forgotten by me, so I figured I'd go with Sullivan, also not forgotten by me. If there was someone truly forgotten, I don't imagine anyone would remember to post about them here.

Posted on Sep 24, 2011 6:36:17 PM PDT
Philly born tenor saxophonist Billy Root. Now living in Las Vegas and still active. A really fine player.

"BILLY ROOT/VINNIE TANO Las Vegas Late Night Sessions - Live at Capozzoli's"
"Another Monday Night At Birdland"

Anthony "The Batman" Ortega now in his 80's and living in Escondido CA. You can find both players on Amazon. Are they forgotten players? On this site I'd say so. No one but me has ever mentioned Billy Root and the only other person I recall mentioning Ortega was Susan.

Posted on Sep 24, 2011 6:55:41 PM PDT
Billy Root was an old resident of Philadelphia. Does anyone remember a long dead Philly sax player, Ziggy Vines, who played with Root?

As to Ira, I'm not sure any of you actually know him. Many memories of him, a very unusual person. He played in the mid-1980s at a club in Ft. Lauderdale with the recently deceased Eddie Higgins on piano. Many fine guests came down to play with that band, including Stan Getz, Sonny Stitt, Zoot Sims and Red Rodney. The week that Rodney came down prompted Red and Ira to team up and form a band that toured and made several fine albums. I am surprised, given his history, that Ira is still with us and active.

Posted on Sep 24, 2011 8:31:46 PM PDT
IMHO: I'm taking the term "forgotten" to mean "under-recognized" or "Whatever became of..."

Just sayin'...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2011 12:58:12 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 19, 2012 11:39:01 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2011 1:28:06 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 25, 2011 1:28:52 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2011 1:35:48 PM PDT
No apology was necessary, Zolar. Strictly speaking, you are right, of course. If they are truly forgotten, no-one would remember them at all except, maybe, a few old coots like me. You achieved your aims with mentioning Ira.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2011 1:45:44 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 20, 2012 6:33:17 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2011 1:46:21 PM PDT
Susan,
I would not say that I actually "know" Ira. But, I have always been a huge fan since I acquired his early recording on Blue Note with J.R.Monterose. And, I've been nagging at him to sit down with me and dictate his life story which entreaties, by the way, he has consistantly rejected up to now. In my interactions with him, I have always found him to be the most generous and gracious of men.

Posted on Sep 25, 2011 2:16:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 30, 2013 10:50:17 AM PST
Okay, here's a band that, probably, few of you will of heard of (except Hench, maybe) and that I only recently heard about, The Quartette Tres Bien out of St.Louis. But, they recorded at least 11 LPs for a major label, Decca, so someone must have dug their music, right, otherwise the label would have dropped them from their roster like a hot cake? The band consisted of Richard Simmons bass, Jeter Thompson piano and erstwhile leader of the group, Albert St.James drums and Percy James percussion. I believe that another band, the Trio Tres Bien, is still an extant band with Jeter now joined by his brothers Harold on bass and Howard on drums and percussion. Whether they strictly qualify as a "forgotten" band is moot. They were remembered certainly with fondness by one person that I know who owns several of the vinyl recordings and it was from that source that I learned about them. Anyone have any other info on them?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2011 2:47:56 PM PDT
I did mention Terri Pollard.

What of Vi Redd and Jutta Hipp?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2011 3:21:33 PM PDT
I wouldn't swear to it but I'm pretty sure I (as a wee child) saw them on the Ed Sullivan Show. (A band name like that you don't forget.)

As for their vinyl, check Jerry's Records in Pittsburgh PA.

Posted on Sep 26, 2011 12:00:29 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 26, 2011 12:21:01 AM PDT
SMF,
Vi Redd and Jutta are also good nominations for this thread. Thanks for the heads up on Jerry's Records. The Quartette Tres Bien used to regularly perform at a now long defunct club in Pittsburgh so that might be a place for their stuff to turn up. As for Jutta, most of her recording was done for foreign labels and it's never been easy to find outside Europe.
I checked out Jerry's Records online but it appears that, unlike Dusty Groove in Chicago, they don't do listings of their stock. So, they'll have to wait until I'm next in Pittsburgh. A pity because it looks like fun place to browse.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 12:12:26 AM PDT
Fyi: A few years ago Blue Note reissued a J. Hipp album (featuring Zoot Sims!!!) - get it while you can, as I understand many of their reissues are going out-of-print!
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Discussion in:  Jazz forum
Participants:  51
Total posts:  604
Initial post:  Sep 23, 2011
Latest post:  2 days ago

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