Los Angeles Newsletter 2002
Work here continues hectic though there are many who cry the blues over the current state of the business here. I’m so happy not to be among that number, so I guess I must be doing something right. Maybe it’s all that old BBC canteen food I used to eat—it couldn’t have been the beer right?
Next month is looking good jazz–wise. In addition to the upcoming Europe trip we also do a new album with Bob Florence, plus a week of jazz concerts with Bill Holman, Bob Florence and the eternal Dave Pell with his book of 50 year old charts. They actually seem to sound better today than I remember them doing before, probably because we seem to have better soloists than in the old days, when the only one I really enjoyed was Don Fagerquist.
The line up these days is usually Carl Sanders, Bill Reichenbach, Ross Tomkins, Jim Hughart, Barry Zweig, Don Williams (brother of John — ET, Star Wars, Winter Olympics — Williams) with Dave and myself bringing up the rear. As we seem to be playing in town at least twice each week the line up changes quite a bit with the most likely alternates being Steve Huffstetter, Bob McChesny or Andy Martin, Herb Mickman (was Sarah Vaughan’s MD), Chuck Berghoffer, Larry Koonse, Peter Donald or Frank Capp, Jack Nimitz, but of course Dave is a constant factor. It’s hard to imagine how the group would sound without him in it, but that won’t happen anyway.
Don’t know if I’ll ever find the time for the bio you ask for. Most of the stuff I put out here starts from when I got here and my memory is such that I doubt I could get the right chronological order to things and would probably totally omit a lot of important info through forgetfulness. Just the other day somebody mentioned a recording I once did with Tommy Watt’s band and I had completely forgotten about it and him—shame on me.
However I do have a guy coming to see me soon from Washington (DC that is) that wants to do something for the Smithsonian (am I really that old?) so between that and what we might steal from Ira Gitler’s Biographical Encyclopaedia of Jazz, that seems to have me pretty well covered— maybe we can get something together.
I am sorry if I’ve misspelled some names above—seems that in England we didn’t have to wrestle with so many ethnic names and spellings—they all roll off the tongue easily but when you come to write them down they don’t look—and probably aren’t—right.
Hope this finds you well and I hope you are seeing more sun where you are than I am getting here—the June Gloom seems to have come too early this year on the coast—so I have to run to the Valley or Palm Springs to get warm. Fortunately I’m off to Las Vegas soon with Ray Anthony so that should do the trick.
Talking of Vegas—I met Dave Loban the other day. Do you remember him? He’s no longer playing but still lives in that area.
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