NEWS AND NOTEWORTHIES
There was a marvelous and touching tribute held in honor of Buddy Rich’s featured tenor saxophonist of 12 years, the late Steve Marcus, this past Sunday at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in New York city. Performers included Steve Smith’s “Buddy’s Buddies,” featuring Andy Fusco and Walt Weiskopf replacing Marcus on saxophones; bassist Baron Brown and pianist Joel Weiskopf. The Buddy Rich Alumni Big Band, kicked unbelievably by Smith, would have made Buddy proud. Guitarist Larry Coryell, who pioneered with Marcus what later became known as “jazz-rock,” spoke beautifully and played “Our Love is Here to Stay” from the heart. A terrific reception followed, at New York’s famed P.J. Clark’s, and on hand were some notable guests, including members of the Marcus family, the legendary Freddie Gruber and Stanley Kaye, Rob Wallis of Hudson Music, yours truly, and jazz singer Joy Adams. What a night!
Two Krupa discoveries will be featured on the JazzLegends web site shortly. Actually, one already is, and it’s a fascinating document. This comes to us courtesy of Chuck Slate and Jazzology Records’ George Buck, and it’s a reunion of the Chicagoans, recorded in 1969 at a Holiday Inn in Connecticut. I believe that this December 5, 1969 concert may have been held shortly after Gene decided to come out of retirement. A year or two after this show, Gene explained to another New England audience that he tried to do too much too soon after laying off for almost two years, and that it “really showed.” In this wonderful concert, Gene is really, really swinging, but something happens in the midst of “I Found a New Baby.” I believe that maintaining that quick tempo for more than a little length of time may have been too much for Gene then. You decide after you hear what happens.
Expected here shortly is something that most of us knew existed, but few of us ever heard. This is another Krupa appearance on “The Steve Allen Show,” circa 1955, yet another appearance made in conjunction with “The Benny Goodman Story.” There are a number of tunes included in this segment, which features Gene and Goodman clone Sol Yaged (who tutored Allen on the clarinet so that he could more accurately portray Goodman in the movie), includes numbers like “Tom Tom Workout.” I can’t wait to hear this myself.
Alfred Publishing Company, the outfit behind the new Krupa pictorial book, is seriously considering the “commercial” release of a number of legendary titles that we’ve been putting out “semi-privately” for years, such as “Chicago and All That Jazz,” a couple of the Timex shows, etc. These will not only be remastered in terms of audio and video, but will come with detailed booklets and be offered for sale at really bargain prices. They are good people at Alfred.
At Hudson Music, Steve Smith, myself and the boys continue to make inroads with our “Classic Rock and Roll Drum Solos” project. Latest to join up are Danny Seraphine (Chicago) and Carl Palmer (ELP) and posthumously, Cozy Powell. After months of work, we finally have received permission to use footage of Keith Moon. Moon was no soloist, and this clip, in fact, is said to be the only film in existence of Moon soloing. Still, he did personify rock drumming to many, and to do a project like this without him in it just wouldn’t be right.
My congrats to all of you for making the forum a real exciting place to be. Keep swingin’ and God bless,