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Archive for January, 2013


A FEW MOMENTS WITH CLAUDE NOBS AND GEORGE GRUNTZ…

there are three great historical world-class jazz promoters whose paths i have been fortunate to have crossed: George Wein of the Newport Jazz Festivals, the late Norman Granz of Jazz At The Philharmonics, and the recently passed CLAUDE NOBS the founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival.

not too far from Montreux another Swiss musical giant, GEORGE GRUNTZ, left us.

Granz’s fame began in a big town, San Francisco.  but Wein & Nobs took their wares to swank sleepy villages and made them more famous than the towns themselves.

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PETE LA ROCA SIMS: 1938 – 2012

Symphony Sid’s intoning the phrase every night remains engraved in my mind’s ear as i drifted off to sleep. “…and PETE LA ROCA on drums.”  i envisioned a powerful swarthy dude crouched over a drum kit knocking out those complicated multi-rhythms like “Fungi Mama” backing up other leaders on the Blue Note Label.

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DIZZY @ 95: A BRIEF BEIDECKER

IT’S BEEN A DIZZYING FINAL QUARTER:  personal friends Dave Brubeck and Pete LaRoca Sims both passed…  the Sandy and Newtown, Conn. disasters cast a pall.  but as a British comedy troupe sang “always look on the bright side”… Dizzy Gillespie would have turned 95 in 2012.  we celebrated him in myriad ways all over town… our grandson made Bar Mitzvah in the Orlando area… we discovered that Louis Armstrong did indeed sire a child, a daughter, who happens to be the wife of a friend of mine, and a former drummer, for over a half century.  and it’s been kept from us for all these years.  the daughter, Sharon Preston-Folta, has written an e-book, available on Kindle and from amazon.com.  more in 2013.

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