Some changes are in the offing for 2009 at My sincere thanks for the hundreds who have taken advantage of our “everything $10″ sale over the past few months. I ask for your understanding and patience. We have been deluged with orders, and are thankful for it, but it will take a few weeks to catch up. Remember, we have no inventory, per se, as every item is custom duplicated. While the $10 sale is over for the moment, we are only raising prices halfway, in that everything will be $15, with shipping remaining free all over the world. Many of you have also noticed that we are now using paper sleeves and no more stick-on CD/DVD labels. The paper sleeves are a cost-saving measure and also eliminate that pesky problem of cracked slimline cases. The stick-on labels were causing quality control problems. We listened to the experts who said that the labels, by and large, were at fault for problems in CDs and DVDs playing. We now think we’ve got it licked.

I had the chance to see and to review alto saxophonist David Sanborn here in Naples. I was most impressed and very pleasantly surprised. Here is a link to the review that appeared in the Naples Daily News.


Anyone with even a slight interest in drums and percussion should, without doubt, log on to Now just out of the Beta testing phase, this superb site is developing and evolving into something almost indescribable. Ultimately, visitors will be able to access vintage film footage, interviews, master classes, lessons, access a vast library of biographies and discographies, and share ideas with other players all over the world, 24 hours per day.


R.I.P. 2008

The jazz and popular music worlds lost an extraordinary amount of great ones in 2008. They will never be replaced. May they rest in peace.

Lew Spence, 87; composed “Nice ‘n’ Easy,” the Grammy-nominated Frank Sinatra song (Jan. 9)

Pete Candoli, 84; leading high-register jazz trumpet player, long-time “Tonight Show” band member, who often appeared in jazz contexts with his brother, Conte (Jan. 11)

Teo Macero, 82; forward-thinking reedman and controversial producer of jazz albums for Miles Davis and other leading artists in the 1960s and ’70s (Feb. 19)

Buddy Miles, 60; rock and R&B drummer and singer whose eclectic career included stints working as a sideman for Jimi Hendrix (Feb. 26)

Israel “Cachao” Lopez, 89; Cuban bassist and composer credited with pioneering the mambo style of music (March 22)

William F. Ludwig II, 91; son of the founder of Ludwig Drum Co. and a percussion industry pioneer in his own right. (March 22)

Gene Puerling, 78; leader of the innovative vocal quartet the Hi-Lo’s and a noted vocal arranger whose work influenced the sound of pop groups, including the Beach Boys (March 25)

Cedella Booker, 81; mother of Bob Marley who wrote two biographies of him and recorded two albums (April)

Jimmy Giuffre, 86; saxophonist, clarinetist and composer whose career included big bands (Woody, etc.) and minimalist trios. Perhaps the true father of “new age” music (April 24)

Humphrey Lyttelton, 86; jazz trumpeter who hosted the BBC radio game show “I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.” Among the most popular figures in British jazz. (April 25)

Bob Florence, 75; bandleader and composer won Grammys and Emmys and almost single-handedly helped keep the big band genre alive. (May 15)

Bo Diddley, 79; a primal rock and blues musician who helped cast the sonic template of rock more than 50 years ago with a signature syncopated rhythm that became universally recognized as “the Bo Diddley beat” (June 2)

Bill Finegan, 91; an architect of the big band sounds of Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller who later traded in commercial success to co-create the innovative Sauter-Finegan Orchestra (June 4)

Gerald Wiggins, 86; jazz pianist played with his trio and accompanied many great singers (July 13)

Jo Stafford, 90; a singer who was a favorite of soldiers during World War II (with Dorsey and singly) and whose recordings made the pop music charts dozens of times in the 1950s (July 16)

Joe Beck, 62; jazz guitarist who played with Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra and James Brown (July 22)

Johnny Griffin, 80; “the little giant,” who was once billed as the “world’s fastest saxophonist” (July 25)

Lee Young, 94; brother of Lester, a wonderful jazz drummer who played with Nat King Cole and was one of the first African Americans to integrate a studio orchestra (July 31)

Lou Teicher, 83; half of the popular piano duo Ferrante & Teicher who scored four Top 10 hits in the 1960s (Aug. 3)

Isaac Hayes, 65; seminal figure in R & B and soul music who wrote theme from “Shaft” (Aug. 10)

Jerry Wexler, 91; who coined the term “rhythm and blues,” discovered Aretha Franklin and helped bring African American music to a wide audience as a key executive of Atlantic Records (Aug. 15)

Johnny Moore, 70; a trumpeter and founding member of the Jamaican ska and reggae band the Skatalites (Aug. 16)

Buddy Harmon, 79; popular Nashville session drummer played on more than 18,000 recordings (Aug. 21)

Ralph Young, 90; vocalist was half of Sandler & Young singing team popular in the 1960s to the 1980s (Aug. 22)

Connie Haines, 87; big band singer who performed with Frank Sinatra and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in the 1940s (Sept. 22)

Earl Palmer, 83; legendary session drummer (who started out playing jazz) played on dozens of rock classics including “Tutti Frutti” and “La Bamba” (Sept. 19)

Neal Hefti, 85; a former trumpeter, later arranger and composer for Woody, Basie, et. al. who wrote the memorable themes for “The Odd Couple” and ” Batman” (Oct. 11)

Levi Stubbs, 72; Four Tops frontman whose dynamic and emotive voice drove such Motown classics as “Reach Out [I’ll Be There]” and “Baby I Need Your Loving” (Oct. 17)

Dee Dee Warwick, 63; R & B singer who recorded hits in the 1960s and was a supporting singer for her sister Dionne Warwick (Oct. 18)

Dave McKenna, 78; a master jazz pianist, with Charlie Ventura, Gene Krupa, Woody Herman and as a soloist, who embraced the music of the Great American Songbook (Oct. 18)

Ray Ellis, 85; a versatile pop music arranger who wrote the charts for hits by the Four Lads, Bobby Darin, Connie Francis, Doris Day and Johnny Mathis (Oct. 27)

Mae Mercer, 76; a deep-voiced blues singer who spent much of the 1960s performing at a blues bar in Paris (Oct. 29)

Jimmy Carl Black, 70; original drummer for Frank Zappa’s band Mothers of Invention (Nov. 1)

Rosetta Reitz, 84; ardent feminist started record label for women in jazz and blues (Nov. 1)

Mitch Mitchell, 61; drummer for the legendary Jimi Hendrix Experience of the 1960s, and one of the most influential rock drummers of all time. (Nov. 12)

Charles Ottaviano, 66; his intimate Van Nuys nightclub Charlie O’s developed a loyal following of jazz enthusiasts (Nov. 17)

Robert Lucas, 46; blues singer and former frontman for the ground-breaking, blues band, Canned Heat (Nov. 23)

Odetta Holmes, 77; folk singer was a voice of the civil rights movement and championed black history (Dec. 2)

Elmer Valentine, 85; co-founder Whiskey a Go Go, the legendary West Hollywood night club (Dec. 3)

Page Cavanaugh, 86; a pianist-singer whose trio was a popular nightclub and recording group, and a coach for dozens of singers (Dec. 19)

Eartha Kitt, 81; ageless, internationally famed, sultry song stylist (Dec. 25)

Freddie Hubbard, 70; one of the most influential trumpet players of all time (Dec. 29)

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