Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

IT’S HERE! Gene Krupa: The Pictorial Life of a Jazz Legend

Tuesday, November 8th, 2005

The Alfred Publishing Company and Bruce Klauber are proud to announce the publication of “Gene Krupa: The Pictorial Life of a Jazz Legend.” This eagerly-awaited book is a photographic presentation of the life, times and music of “that ace drummer man.” With over 200 photos that span six decades of jazz history, this most visual of performers, the man who made the drums a solo instrument, comes alive like never before. 

Contributing their own singular and often heartfelt insights about Gene are the finest drummers in music today, including Phil Collins, Tommy Aldridge, John Blackwell, Peter Erskine, Ed Shaughnessy, Peter Criss, Kenny Aronoff, Alphonse Mouzon, Carl Palmer, David Garibaldi, Carmine Appice, Alex Acuna, Neal Peart and Steve Smith. 

Incisive commentary from noted percussionist and video producer Dr. Bruce H. Klauber provides a definitive retrospective about Gene’s music, drumming, drum setup, and important contributions to the evolution of the drum kit. The companion CD includes previously unreleased tracks covering five decades of Krupa’s unmistakable drumming. The touching introduction was written by the late Bobby Scott, Gene’s good friend and pianist in the mid-1950s, from a never-published memoir. 

“Gene Krupa: The Pictorial Life of a Jazz Legend” is a must-read for fans of Gene Krupa, the swing era, jazz, drums, and drumming. 

A special thanks to the many dear friends of Your support and encouragement helped make this possible. God bless, keep swingin’, and above all, buy early and often. 

“Gene Krupa: The Pictorial Life of a Jazz Legend”
Alfred Publishing Company
Soft cover with accompanying CD
176 pages
ISBN 0-7390-3858-3

GENE KRUPA: The Pictorial Life of a Jazz Legend Update

Wednesday, June 29th, 2005

In response to the many e-mails, cards, letters, faxes and telephone calls I’ve received about the status of “Gene Krupa: The Pictorial Life of a Jazz Legend,” we offer the following update: 

Warner Bros. Publications, the company that first released the DCI Music Videos on Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and the Legends of Jazz Drumming series, has been acquired by the Alfred Publishing Company. The sale was first announced December 16 of last year. 

These things happen in the book business, and in the music business, and in any business. Who was that philosopher who once said, “The only thing constant is change?” 

While I am indeed disappointed that my great friends at Warners are no longer with the company, I can tell you unequivocally that I have been welcomed by the “new regime” with open arms. “Link” Harnsberger and Dave Black have been wonderful during this confusing and complex time. They’ve welcomed my input and opinions and appear to be interested in pursuing my various ideas for new DVDs and books. Number one in that regard is the pursuit of the wide, commercial release of our”Championship Jazz” project (the un-aired television pilot that pitted the Gene Krupa Jazz Quartet versus The Dukes of Dixieland in 1962). The idea is to issue this rare program, along with another half-hour of vintage Krupa footage and/or another half-hour of never-issued film from some other drumming legends. 

For those of you unfamiliar with Alfred Publishing, they are no young upstart. This singular company has been around for more than 80 years, with offices worldwide, with artists and clinicians on a stellar roster that includes Louis Bellson, Peter Erskine, David Garibaldi, Steve Houghton, and arranger Don Sebesky. And that’s just a small sampling. Their instructional materials for percussion, band, keyboards, woodwinds, choir, brass, etc., are unparalled in this industry. I seriously urge all of our friends to visit on the web and take a look at their essential product line. 

While “Gene Krupa: The Pictorial Life of a Jazz Legend” represents something of a departure for Alfred, the principals are excited about it, and they do assure me that there will, in fact, “be a book.” And to tell you the truth, that’s all I need to know! 

God bless and keep swingin! We’ll keep you updated. 

Dr. Bruce H. Klauber

JazzLegends Update

Monday, April 25th, 2005

“Gene Krupa: The Pictorial Life of a Jazz Legend” is now in the final proofreading stages and we hope to have word any moment from Warner Bros. Publications. One of the reasons for delay on this and several other Warners’ products is because this division of WB was just sold to the Alfred Publishing Company. When the dust settles, which should be soon, Warners/Alfred plans to resume their full slate of video/DVD productions. The good news is that in addition to our extensive work for Hudson Music, we will be doing some rather special DVD projects with Warners/Alfred, including the possibility of a commercial release, with added footage, of the famed “Championship Jazz” television pilot with Gene Krupa and The Dukes of Dixieland, now available from us on “The Champ.” 

“Lionel Hampton:King of the Vibes,” our upcoming DVD tribute to the vibes president, will be released within the coming weeks by Hudson Music, and we will also make it available here. As previously mentioned, this is the first such project devoted solely to Hamp, and features footage through seven decades of swinging. We’re proud that our narrators are mallet legend Mike Mainieri, and in the section focusing on Hamp’s drumming, the one and only Steve Smith. 

Our good colleague Paul Testa has come up with another real “find” that we will be offering here very shortly. In 1968, Benny Goodman hosted a gala that celebrated the 30th anniversary of the legendary Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert. Many of the surviving players, including Gene, were in attendance that night and there was much media coverage of it. Paul has discovered many of the interviews done for radio broadcast that night, coupled with excerpts from the Carnegie Hall Concert itself. There was also a lot of jamming that went on that evening and we hope to be able to offer that on CD as well. 

Most all of our regular visitors are aware that we are now offering all of our VHS videos on DVD, in the DVD-R format. Please keep in mind, however, that we will continue to issue everything on VHS as well as DVD. 

Those net surfers out there know very well that Google is about the number one search engine out there, and that’s probably because they are about the best. Among the great programs they offer for those who have web sites like ours is called the “Google Ad Sense” program. This program automatically generates small ads that are appropriate to the page or pages surfers are viewing. In other words, on our pages that feature Gene Krupa merchandise, you’re likely to see ads for downloadable Krupa tunes, for Krupa items on e-bay, etc. Clicking on these ads, and there are many of them on most of our pages, really do help support us. No, no one has to buy anything. Just clicking on them helps keep us going, and who knows what other great stuff you might find? 

Finally, please feel free at any time to ask us for something on CD, books, video or DVD that you might be looking for. We have many, many items that are not listed on the site and we do, by the way, have access to pretty much everything by most of the drumming greats. That includes, by the way, the famed Tony Williams project that was very briefly issued on laser disc in Japan in the 1980s. Take advantage of this and please e-mail us at 

In an interesting piece of business, we have found that the domain name––is among the most valuable of its kind in the marketplace. Indeed, it’s “the only name to have in jazz.” We are considering changing the name of this site at some juncture to (or dot org or dot biz), so if anyone out there knows anyone who would be interested in one of the great domain names of all time––let us know. 

Let us take this opportunity to thank our customers, friends and supporters for your continued kind words, encouragement, and of course, your orders. We hope, pray and trust that you will continue to keep us going. 

God bless and keep swingin’ 

Bruce Klauber

State of the Art Audio, 1953, or “How and Why we Burn”

Saturday, January 22nd, 2005

Most of the letters and emails we have received over the years thank us for making this material available. Many of those notes, by the way, have been sent to us by Gene’s friends, family and personal and professional associates. Nothing could make us happier. The goal of is, simply, to make this material available. 

On the other hand, since we’ve been at this, we have received about a good half-dozen complaints from customers who are not satisfied with the audio quality of some of our titles. “This sounds like it was taken from an LP record that is 50 years old,” read one e-mail. Well, in many cases, that’s because it was. 

This specifically applies to our “private edition/limited circulation” LP titles from the 1950s-1960s. We will be right behind you in line at Tower Records, or wherever, to purchase “Burnin’ Beat,” “Great New Quartet,” “The Gene Krupa Story” and the rest, when they are issued commercially released on Compact Disc, and are digitally remastered complete with alternate takes, unissued takes, etc. Until then, just in order to make this material available, we have transferred the original LPs to Compact Disc (in many cases along with additional material), with all the squeaks, pops and surface noise we know and love. Yes, it will sound like a 40-year-old LP. A lot of folks think that’s actually a pretty pleasant sound. 

Regarding the practice of remastering and digitizing, presumably most of you eagerly anticipated, like I did, the “Live at the Inn Club” CD with Gene, Eddie Shu, Dave McKenna and John Drew. This had been listed in Gene’s discography as a “stereo recording” for years, and all of us just couldn’t wait to hear it. What was done to it was a disgrace. It was digitized beyond any musical sensibility at all, which is when we decided to make our transfers without any digital interference. And again, those of you who expect 2005, state-of-the-art digitized sound should look elsewhere. 

Finally, whenever one or more of these titles become commercially available–“The Drum Battle” and “Krupa and Rich” for example–we remove it from our listings. Everyone who listens to Gene and appreciates his music is entitled to the best quality available. If we’re offering something at, though it may not be state-of-the-art, you can presume we list it because it comes from the best–or only–source material available. If we don’t offer it, that’s because there are better sources elsewhere…or like the “video of the 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert,” it just doesn’t exist. 

Keep swingin, 

Bruce Klauber

Gene Krupa: The Pictorial Life of a Jazz Legend is on the way.

Monday, December 20th, 2004

We are pleased to announce that the first “galley proofs” of the long-in-progress “Gene Krupa: The Pictorial Life of a Jazz Legend,” have landed at this desk. As wonderful as the 100-plus pictures and commentary may be, I must give all due credit to the design department of Warner Brothers Publications, specifically to Ed Uribe, for a layout/design that is just spectacular. The book will run in the neighborhood of 170-plus pages that cover Gene’s life and music from the 1920s to the 1970s.

Foreword is by Gene’s one-time pianist, the late, great composer Bobby Scott (“A Taste of Honey,” “He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother”). Bob was a dear friend of mine and had just about completed his autobiography about two years before he died. He asked me to help him get a publishing deal, and though I tried, it just wasn’t possible then. But the chapter he wrote on Gene is a gem, and that serves as this works’ intro. I’m glad that Bobby’s heartfelt work, at least some of it, will see its way into proper book form. Most of you know that Bobby loved Gene, whom he called “The Old Man.”

There will be a companion CD that comes with the book, a great idea dreamed up by Warners’ book editor Ray Brych. The CD is composed of a bunch of unreleased tracks from the 1930s to the 1960s, mainly from television and radio. Our regular visitors and supporters of probably have most of the tracks already, but for the public at large, the CD-with-book idea will give buyers something extra and hopefully special with their purchase.

Perhaps the most gratifying element of this project focuses on a great, great group of contemporary drummers who have shared their thoughts about Gene and what Gene meant to drumming, exclusively for this book. Peter Criss, Carmine Appice, Ed Shaughnessy, Peter Erskine, Dave Garabaldi, Steve Smith, Phil Collins, Carl Palmer, Alex Acuna, Alphonse Mouzon, John Blackwell, Kenny Aronoff and several others really have meaningful and touching things to say about Gene Krupa. After reading this section, I’m certain you’ll agree that Gene is literally as “contemporary as ever.”

I was insistent that the price of this book be, as they say, “competitive,” and I am told that it will likely not be more expensive than $17.95 (the book and CD package) tops. When I first produced videos for DCI Music Video, I was never thrilled that the prices for these VHS tapes clocked in at $39.95. That’s what’s so wonderful about Hudson Music projects: They’re not only great, but affordable. I did insist that this book be affordable, and I’m happy that Warners agreed.

Currently, the project is going through the editing/proofreading/design-tweaking process, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it would be ready for release around the first of February. Believe me, those who visit will be the first to know. And I will make sure that the book –autographed if you want — will be available here in addition to, as they say, “everywhere books are sold.” Stay tuned, and a happy and swingin’ holiday — and beyond — to all those, all over the world, who have supported us through the years.

Bruce Klauber


Monday, September 20th, 2004

Visitors to this site over the past several months have certainly noticed some changes. We know they are for the better. has never looked better, it approaches “state of the art” but in many ways remains simple to use. Our resident genius, Terry McKyton, is responsible for all the artistry on these pages. As The Stooges would have said, “He’s the best web designer whoever web designed.” I urge each and every one of you in the musical community to get in touch with Terry. He will, without doubt, take care of business in your behalf, no matter how simple or complex. 

New products and/or “discoveries” are being added regularly, not only by Gene Krupa, but from those associated with him through the years like Jo Jones, Charlie Ventura, Anita O’Day, Eddie Shu, and various others. We hope to expand in this area as time goes on with product by other drummers–look for some Cozy Cole soon–and other instrumentalists. Gene was a great, great talent scout. Let’s remember all those he started over the years, from Anita O’Day and Charlie Ventura to Bobby Scott and Dave Frishberg. At the same time, we’re always on the lookout for “rare finds” by Gene. 

A great example of this, and how difficult it can be to actually get something out to the marketplace, is something we’re currently working on. This discovery comes to us from the great drummer, great friend and researcher extraordinaire, Las Vegas’ own Paul Testa. Paul discovered the actual existence of an unaired television pilot from 1962, entitled “Championship Jazz.” Years ahead of its time in terms of “reality television,” the program planned to pit two jazz groups against each other, with the winner receiving a cash prize. This pilot, hosted by the Voice of America’s Willis Conover, featured–are you ready for this one?–The Dukes of Dixieland versus The Gene Krupa Quartet. Wow! Getting a copy of this “find,” isn’t that easy, however. In order to release a copy, the archive in which it is located requires written permission from the copyright holder, or, if it is not copyrighted, written proof from the Library of Congress that it was indeed never copyrighted. This is a time consuming, frustrating and expensive task from this end. Even though has done much on behalf of the Krupa Estate over the years, and even though we do have written permission and blessings of the good folks who own the “name” The Dukes of Dixieland, that is still not enough. We know about proper channels and respect them. Rest assured that this “Championship Jazz” program will see the light of day on this web site. 

In other news for the fall season, look for an upcoming Hudson Music release of a “Tribute to Steve Gadd” DVD. This tremendous program is not only a docu about Gadd’s life and many accomplishments, but a presentation of the live show that took place last September at the Berklee School in Boston, sponsored by Zildjian, with Bill Cosby, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Vinnie Coliuta, David Sanborn, and many, many more. I am proud to have been associated with this remarkable drummer and what I know is a remarkable production. That evening was an unforgettable one, and getting to “hang” with Louis Bellson, Steve Smith, Freddie Gruber, and especially Elvin Jones, was an evening I’ll cherish forever. Elvin Jones will be missed by all of us. In the course of musical history, few artists could be called true innovators. Elvin could. One of our great sponsors, Drum Radio, has a wonderful Elvin Tribute on the web site. Please tune in. 

Also in the works is a Hudson Music “Tribute to Lionel Hampton” DVD, to be narrated by vibist Mike Mainieri and the “world’s greatest drummer,” Steve Smith. Fortunately for us, there’s a lot of great Hampton footage out there, and we will be able to present film from the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and yes, the 1990s. We look forward to working with Mike Mainieri on this project. Mike, of course, was the vibist with Buddy Rich’s great small group of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Though he virtually pioneered what we now know as “fusion,” Mike could outswing just about anyone when he wanted to. 

Those of our supporters who have chosen to order with their credit card on the web by using PayPal, have noticed that the system has finally become very, very simple to use. No one has to join PayPal or sign up for anything in order to buy products with your credit card. Safety? In five years of using this system, has never, ever had a problem. 

Please let us know what you’d like to see on this site in terms of products you’re looking for, suggestions for ease of use, or any thing else you may have on your mind. Contacting us via e-mail is easy and we respond to each and every question or comment. Note that if you don’t see a certain CD or video by Gene, Buddy or someone else on the web site, that doesn’t mean we don’t have it. Chances are we do. Just ask. 

Bruce Klauber

GENE KRUPA: The Pictorial Life of a Jazz Legend

Thursday, May 13th, 2004

When Mel Torme’ first volunteered to write the foreword to “Gene Krupa: That Legendary Drummin’ Man,” he only made one suggestion: that the book contain plenty of photographs, because Gene was, without doubt, probably the most visual of any jazz performer. While the book does contain a nice selection of photographs, the material in that work now dates back over 14 years. My personal collection of Krupa photos has grown quite substantially since then, with many given to me by friends, collectors and colleagues. Paul Testa, in particular, is not only one of the great drummers working today, but has demonstrated a love and respect for Gene and Gene’s music that is unparalleled anywhere. His own collection Krupa material, which he has graciously shared with me over the years, has enriched my knowledge and appreciation of Gene Krupa as well. 

From time to time, I look through some of these great, vintage shots, and I am reminded of the days when there were such things as LP records and LP record jackets. Certainly many of us, especially drummers, spent hours and hours just looking at the photos on the record jackets, particularly if the pictures were of Gene…or Buddy. A concept was developing somewhere with all of this, and it has turned out to be an idea I’ve been floating about for several years. “Gene Krupa: The Pictorial Life of a Jazz Legend” is just that: over 100 photos of Gene Krupa through the ages, from the 1920s to the 1970s, with commentary that places each picture in musical and historical perspective. Interspersed throughout will be some comment from today’s greatest drummers, like John Blackwell, Steve Smith, and several others. 

It appears that “Gene Krupa: The Pictorial Life of a Jazz Legend” will likely be a reality within the next year, and an actual deal, however reasonable it is, is in the works. As a companion piece to the book, the publishers and I are considering including a companion CD of rare Krupa audio, culled from the collection. I have always insisted on fairness in pricing, and I can pretty much tell you that the whole package will probably be under $20. 

This is exciting news, indeed, and I am inviting you to check in with your opinions (and a show of support that I could pass along to the publisher) as to what you’d like to see. 

While I don’t want to give away all the details of the contents at this early stage, I can tell you two things: Gene was a loyal human being, and through his life, he only endorsed one brand of drums and one brand of cymbals. So count on seeing plenty of pictures of Slingerland Drums and Zildjian Cymbals. God bless and keep swingin’. 

By Bruce H. Klauber, D., Mus.