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Old 06-19-2015, 07:20 PM
JohnW JohnW is offline
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Default Minor Jazz Treasures, Great Memories

Recently, I found some items that I thought were lost. One was damaged, the other three basically intact. I mentioned the first album some time back on this forum, when I first saw Elvin Jones at the Regatta bar in Harvard Square in the late 80's. When I got up to him he said, "I don't remember having a blue pedal!" and then his unmistakable laugh. Then he talked about static electricity building up and lifting the link right off of the foot plate. Then a handshake and a squeeze that you never forget! Also, I zoomed into the liner notes in case anyone wanted to read Leonard Feather's informative and eloquent writing.

The next is from Art Blakey at Night Stage in Cambridge in '86. Terrance Blanchard was with him and the band was on fire. Except that one moment during Terrance's solo wasn't to Art's liking. He shook his head, went nope and then BAMM!!! like a carriage driver at his cymbals and suddenly the trumpet went into high gear. One amusing moment between sets. He came over to our table, took the heal of his palm and dug it into my shoulder, proping his entire weight on me. Then he leaned over to a friend I was with and in a loud stage whisper went, "See that guy over there?" Pointing to someone across the room. "He's a drummer and a drunkard. Takes one to know one. BWAHAHA". Another time during one of the sets, there was a teenage girl there with her parents looking miserable, like she didn't want to be there. Art would have none of it, making faces at her, looking away like nothing happened, making faces again until she started smiling. All the while killing it.

At some point toward the end of the night, one of his sticks broke while playing a ride cymbal and afterward I scurried along the floor and got this piece. Someone else had the same idea, so if the person who has it is reading this, we might be able to match them up!

The last item is the damaged one. This was an album I brought to another show that Keiko, Elvin's wife signed. She told me what it meant but I forget. So if anyone knows Japanese, it would be much appreciated! She commented that she marveled at how much energy Elvin had and where it came from. But she was an overriding factor in his continued success. You could tell they were deeply in love. BTW, he signed it 2X with different pens.

Where the damage came from: A former house mate changed the oil in her motorcycle and left a dozen Clorox bottles filled with used oil in the garage next to the cellar. It was January and the sewer grates were frozen over. There was an unseasonably warm day and a sudden rainstorm forced water in to the garage, knocking the oil containers over and forcing it into the cellar where I had about 400 albums on pallets. I cleaned the albums off with soapy water so they're basically playable, but all of the covers and jackets were ruined. Many of them were out of print or imports, but at least I got to listen to them when they were in good condition.
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:17 PM
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geezer geezer is offline
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Default Re: Minor Jazz Treasures, Great Memories

Great stuff there John, thanks for sharing that!
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Old 06-20-2015, 12:26 AM
JohnW JohnW is offline
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Default Re: Minor Jazz Treasures, Great Memories

My pleasure, geezer! It's a little indulgent (and maybe fan-boyish) but I wish more people could have seen these greats before they passed. Not just Elvin & Art, but so many others who created a sound that could never fully be captured on recordings. They became the stage and the club and after they finished their sets you left elevated.
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