Posts Tagged ‘gene krupa’ Winter News

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Philadelphia has been suffering
through its worst winter in history. Right now, I’m looking out at about five
feet of snow, and given the size
of this property, I’ll likely be holed
up here for several more days.
That’s but one of the reason for
delays in orders. But remember,
we do specify two-to-four weeks’
delivery, as each item is custom
duplicated in real time.

Those of you who haven’t ordered
the Krupa at Newport CD
should get it as soon as possible.
Though there are a bunch of airshots
of this quartet–Gene, Ronnie Ball,
Jimmy Gannon and Eddie Wasserman–mainly emanating from the London
House, none are as good as this.
Gene was really “on,” perhaps
because this was a large and
appreciative crowd, and the
locale was not a saloon (as much
as Gene did love The London

Those few of you who continue
to order via mail-order, please be
aware that two crucial factors
have changed: We can no longer
accept checks, only cash or
money orders. Secondly, our
mailing address has changed. It
is now 8500 Henry Avenue / PMB
116, Philadelphia, PA 19128.

I have received no further word
about what will hopefully be the
commercial release of the 1985
documentary on Artie Shaw, “Time
is all You’ve Got.” It certainly
does deserve a wide release,
if only to help fill in the gaps of
what we don’t know–or only
heard about–this enigmatic
genius. He may bave been an
eccentric, but boy, he sure
could play that clarinet. Likely
better than anyone. We have
mentioned this before, but it
bears repeating:
will NOT be making this title
available at any time, but we will
be happy to let you know when
it is released and where you can
purchase a copy.

Those of you who read Jazz Times
magazine may have noticed that
I am now contributing reviews
and features. This is something
I’ve wanted to do for some
years. JT’s legacy of contributors–Martin Williams, Leonard Feather, Nat
Hentoff and many more–constitute
exalted company. Be sure to
log on to their superb website,, for plenty of
reviews, interviews, news and
profiles that you won’t see
in print.

Those of you who pay attention
to such things may have heard
some noise about
being up for sale. The truth is,
I am seriously considering selling
the domain name. The sale would
not include the vintage audio and
video collection, which would
still be offered to the industry.
If anyone out there is interested or
knows someone who is, please
email me at

The Philaelphia / Atlantic City
area has lost a wonderful saxophonist
and entertainer. Jackie Jordan died
in Atlantic City at the age of 71
not long ago, and personally and
professionally, he will be missed.

Jack was one of legion of Atlantic
City-based players who was more
R&B and Louis Prima than pure
jazz–Michael Pedicin, Sr. was
another–but man, he swung.

I spent many hours playing with
Jackie and his wonderful groups,
many times at “after hour’s”
spots (do they still have those?)
until 4 a.m.

I did a piece on Jackie once for
the late and lamented Atlantic
City Magazine, and I asked him
to describe his style.

“I play happy music, Bruce,” was
his reply.

Indeed he did.

New Discoveries

Thursday, November 19th, 2009


Greg Caputo is a talented, versatile and swinging drummer with credits that include everyone from Basie and James to Goodman and Shaw. His academic credentials are impeccable as well. He’s a Hartford Conservatory of Music graduate and studied privately with Alan Dawson, Joe Morello and Jim Chapin.

Caputo even sat in for an ailing Gene Krupa a concert in the early 1970s. Above all, he uses his experience, credits and talents to preserve and perpetuate the big band jazz tradition.

“Classic Swing with a Modern Drive” is a brand new CD by Caputo’s big band, with altoist Phi Woods and vocalist Viv Murray as special guests. Recording a straight-ahead, 16-piece big band CD in 2009? Talk about dedication.

As a whole, it works beautifully. The band swings, and peerlessly tackles vintage stuff like “Sing Sing Sing” and “We’ll Git It,” as well as the complexity of Buddy Rich charts like “Nutville” and “Mexicali Nose.” Ensemble-wise, there’s not a note out of place, but under Caputo’s leadership from the drum chair, there’s nothing stiff about this. The venerable “Shiny Stockings” is the essence of relaxed swing. Certainly, the Basie feel sounds easy, and that is as it should be. It is not, however, easy to play.

Solo-wise, everyone involved is a champ. Phil Woods? He’s still got it.

Congratulations to Gregory Caputo for his tireless work as an educator, percussionist, bandleader, and now, recording artist.

If Basie were around, he might say something like “The Gregory Caputo Big Band is the last word in big bands today.”

For ordering information and other details about Caputo, visit his web site at:


Unless one was prone to do a lot of digging, few knew that the Gene Krupa quartet made an appearance at the 1959 Newport Jazz Festival. In fact, until very recently, it was understood that Gene made only two, Newport appearances, one at the inaugural 1954 bash, and again in 1972 at what was called Newport in New York.

Courtesy of an online music company named Wolfgang’s Vault, owned and operated by Bill Sagan, a good deal of previously undiscovered Newport material is coming to light, including Krupa’s 1959 appearance. Others at the fest, by the way, included the likes of Herbie Mann, Thelonious Monk, Basie and many others, and the recordings were made in pristine stereo direct from Newport stage mikes. Not all sets are complete, though we should be thrilled to have what we have.

No one knows exactly who recorded this material, says a recent New York TImes piece by Ben Ratcliff, and although Voice of America’s Willis J. Conover introduces some of the acts, Ratcliff maintains that VOA could not have taped the shows, as Voice of America’s various Newport tapes were done in mono.

It was suggested that record companies did the recording, but that’s hard to believe, in that around 10 different companies would have had to be involved.

Krupa may have been invited that year in conjunction with the upcoming release of the film about his life, and/or to hype the release of his “Big Noise From WInnetka” LP, as well as the Krupa story soundtrack album.

This version of the quartet, with pianist Ronnie Ball, bassist Jimmy Gannon and reedman Eddie Wasserman, was said to be amongst Gene’s favorites of all his small groups. Fans have had mixed opinons.

The classically trained Wasserman–also one of the biggest contractors on the New York scene in the 1950s and 1960s–was fluent on flute, clarinet and tenor, and brought quite the cool sound into the band. Ronnie Ball, who studied for quite some time with Lennie Tristano, was also quite the modernist. Gene made good use of Wasserman’s versatility, featuring him often on all three horns. What Wasserman didn’t have, say some fans, was the free wheeling swing of a Ventura or Eddie Shu.
But it was a good group, and lasted for a good five or so years before Charlie Ventura returned to the fold circa 1963.

The Krupa Newport tapes, which we hope to make available on CD at some juncture, include versions of “World on a String,” “Lover Man” (one would think Krupa would come on with stronger material) and “Sweet Georgia Brown.”

Who knows what else will surface in the future?

Jazz V.I.E.W.

Bob Karcy may not have “invented” the concept of the jazz video, but then again, when he founded V.I.E.W. Video in 1980, he was certainly the first to issue jazz concerts and other jazz-oriented filmed material on home video.

Almost 10 years later, Karcy is very much at it, with an expansive catalog of jazz on DVD, as well as classical music, opera, documentaries, pop, educational films, and rare television shows. In the jazz realm, featured artists include everyone from Freddie Hubbard and Louie Bellson to Billy Cobham and a newly-discovered opus from the underrated songstress, Damita Jo.

Karcy also presides over the critically acclaimed and award-winning Arkadia jazz C label. V.I.E.W. is not resting on its considerable laurels and impressive list of products. New and rare material surfaces regularly, and I urge all visitors to visit and see what this innovative, creative outfit is up to these days.


Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Drummers of a certain age have their lists of undiscovered, video “holy grails,” which usually include Buddy Rich playing two bass drums at the Paramount Theater in 1949, Gene Krupa’s performance with the Benny Goodman band at Carnegie Hall in 1938, and the Buddy Rich/Gene Krupa drum battle at Jazz at the Philharmonic in 1952.

While these legendary moments have long been available on audio, no filmed images have surfaced, save for some newsreel footage of the Goodman band shot at Carnegie Hall during the actual concert.

These days, however, more and more “never thought to have existed” pieces of video have come to light, so it’s entirely possible that Buddy’s two bass drum bit and the Krupa/Rich duel may be out there somewhere. It is very, very doubtful that any more footage of the 1938 Carnegie Hall concert exists.

There are two meetings of Gene and Buddy on film–from television shows broadcast in 1966 and 1971–but the “original drum battle,” which first took place at Carnegie Hall on September 13, 1952, is considered to be “the real thing.”

In the course of researching a recently published piece on the two great drummers for Jazz Times magazine, and an essay on Gene and Buddy prepared in conjunction for a reissue of some of their material, some very curious pieces of information have come to light.

This info may perhaps lead the way to discovering another Krupa/Rich pairing, whether on film or audio.

“The Original Drum Battle, as it came to be known, took place at the kick off of what was the 12th National Tour of Norman Granz’ Jazz at the Philharmonic. Most of the JATP dates had early and late shows, and Granz, as was his wont in those days, likely recorded them all.

In fact, Billie Holiday actually appeared as a guest star during the early show, singing “Lover Man.” Some 57 years after this happened, a professional recording of it has just come to light. Certainly, there was another drum battle in performed that evening, and at JATP dates in Long Beach, CA and Hawaii, where Krupa and Rich were on the bill.

There’s another possibility: The January, 1953, opening of Broadway’s newest jazz club of the time, the Bandbox, was quite the gala, with a bill that included the trios of Krupa, Buddy Rich, and according to some reports, the Oscar Peterson Trio as well.

Since the demise of his big band in 1951, Krupa re-formed his famed Jazz Trio with pianist Teddy Napoleon and saxophonist Charlie Ventura. It proved to be quite the attraction, and Krupa traveled regularly with that unit when not on a JATP tour. And yes, Gene played without a bass until English bassist John Drew joined Krupa in 1954 at the insistance of Eddie Shu, making the trio into a quartet.

For whatever reason, Buddy Rich was using the same, bass-less format around 1953, with additional trio members being pianist Hank Jones, who sometimes doubled on organ; and star JATP tenor man Flip Phillips. This unit recorded for Granz’ Clef label in December of 1952, and a month earlier, with pianist Lou Levy in for Hank Jones, “The JATP Trio,” as it was called, worked a week at a Denver Club called Rossonian’s.

Was Buddy Rich one-third of a tenor/piano/drums trio without a bass because of the popularity of Gene’s bass-less trio? Or was it a matter of economics? Or at the Bandbox, maybe a simple matter of space? Who knows?

What we do know is that both units broadcast regularly from the club, and that two of these broadcasts were issued on obscure record labels. The Japanese Ozone label released the Krupa set (with pianist Teddy Napoleon identified as his brother Marty on the album’s cover), and the Joyce Music company released something called “One Night Stand with the Flip Phillips/Buddy Rich Trio.” Charlie Shavers, part of the recent JATP tour, was on hand to sit in on “Bugle Call Rag.”

Rich spent a good time at the Bandbox after this date, playing with his own group and sitting in with other acts on the bill like Harry James. Indeed, as a result of the James/Rich get together at the club in March of 1953, Buddy joined the James big band. He would be in and out of the James group until Rich formed his own unit in 1966.

As for Krupa, life after the Bandbox was pretty much the same as it was before, which included regular tours with JATP, recordings in various combinations for Norman Granz, and many gigs in the JATP off-season with a trio that by then included multi-instrumentalist Eddie Shu.

Although there is no recorded documentation on hand thus far, there is evidence that Buddy and Gene continued their battles from time to time through 1957. At joint, 1956 radio interview with the Voice of America’s Willis J. Conover, the two drummers spoke of how they felt about the battles, as well as an upcoming JATP show where they were both set to appear.

On November 1, 1956, they went into the studio with a group of JATP All-Stars, recording an LP called “Krupa and Rich.” Strangely, Gene and Buddy only play together on one tune, with the rest of the tracks featuring one drummer or the other.

Their last in-studio meeting did not come off as well as they could have, and was also something of an oddity, recording-wise. In the 1962 LP, “Burnin’ Beat,” Rich and Krupa were not actually in the studio together. Rich dubbed his parts in, a situation clearly heard in two, unreleased tracks, “Flyin’ Home” and “Wham.” It’s a shame these two greats didn’t take an occasion like this more seriously.b

Sammy Davis, Jr. played host to the mighty two on a 1966 broadcast of his ABC television program. Sadly, Gene was clearly not well that night. Buddy Rich took that opportunity to wipe the floor with him.

The last, on-camera meeting that we know of took place on Oceober 12, 1971. The occasion was a Canadian television special hosted by Lionel Hampton. Buddy Rich came out at the very end of the program to participate in a four-way drum duel featuring Hamp, Krupa, Rich and Mel Torme’. Gene Krupa came off very well in his brief exchanges.

WIth the death of Gene Krupa in 1973 and Buddy Rich in 1987, the battles were over forever.


Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Anita O’Day. There will never be another like her in the history of jazz. Along with Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and perhaps one or two others, she influenced scores of jazz singers and virtually created a language — and set the standard– for true, modern jazz singing.

And yes, she lived what used to be called the “jazz life,” with a decades-long substance abuse problem, destructive relationships, and what can gently be termed as career highs and career lows.

But through her astounding professional life, that lasted from the early 1930s to her death in 2006, she always, always performed at the highest level. As detailed in her 1981 autobiography, “High Times, Hard Times,” life was rarely easy, and she almost lost that life more than once due to addiction.

Professionally, she was a perfectionist who only demanded of her accompanists what she demanded of herself.

Above all, Anita O’Day was a survivor. In the true sense of the word.

Jazz aficionados are fortunate that O’Day was amply represented on recordings, both authorized and unauthorized, from 1941 until her death, and that a good amount of performance film exists. Those films include her film shorts with Gene Krupa from the early 1940s, her memorable appearance in the legendary “Jazz on a Summer’s Day” documentary about the Newport Jazz Festival from 1958 and a guest stint on the Timex All-Star Jazz television show from the same year with Krupa and Lionel Hampton, a wonderful concert from Japan in 1963, a hard-hitting turn on “60 Minutes” profile from 1980, and various other odds and ends.

As incisive as her autobiography was and is (none other than Madonna was reported to have owned the rights to it for some time) along with the great recordings and videos, Anita O’Day’s real story–and the impact she had and has in the world of jazz–has never really been told. Until now.

“Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer” is an award-winning film, completed in 2007 and now available on DVD for the first time, that truly tells the tale of a certifiable legend. Co-directed by Robbie Cavolina and Ian McCrudden, this marvelous production includes film of Anita’s interviews with Dick Cavett, David Frost, Bryant Gumble (that one is worth the price of admission), and comments from her fellow artists and collaborators through the years, including Buddy Bregman, Russ Garcia, Bill Holman, Johnny Mandel, Annie Ross, George Wein and Joe Wilder.

Taken as a cinematic whole, “Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer” is, quite simply, Academy Award-winning material.

Most visitors know O’Day’;s history, but for those who may want a refresher, her first break as a singer was in 1938, when she began appearing at Chicago’s Off-Beat club, where she caught the attention of Krupa. She continued working around Chicago until she joined the GK crew in 1941. Her duet with Krupa trumpeter Roy Eldridge, “Let Me Off Uptown,” became a hit, and she was named “New Star of the Year” by DownBeat magazine. When Krupa disbanded in 1943, she briefly joined Woody Herman’s band, then the orchestra of Stan Kenton, where she again hit on wax with “And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine.” She rejoined Krupa in 1945 and stayed a year. Many fans of that “ace drummer man” consider the his 1945 band to be his best. After that, she worked as a single.

Her contribution to the Krupa band was a substantial one (and they had a number of live and recorded reunions until Gene’s death in 1973). Before her arrival in the Krupa fold in 1941, and the arrival of co-hort Roy Eldridge, the band was a not-particularly-distinguished swing crew that was highlighted by a few decent soloists and more than a few drum features by the leader. When Anita and Roy came on the scene, the band caught fire–and Gene said this many times throughout his career– and remained one of the top bands in the business until Gene gave it up in 1951.

From 1952 to 1962, in addition to touring nationwide, she recorded a series of 17 albums for Norman Granz’ Verve label and its various imprints. On an artistic basis and without exception, they still stand up today as among the most remarkable recordings in jazz history. Individually and collectively, they reveal a timeless “hipness,” sense of swing and overall sensitivity that will never, ever go out of style.

In the latter 1960s, O’Day recorded a well-received series of albums for a record company she owned and operated, Emily Records. Indeed, aside from the efforts of Max Roach, Charles Mingus and Dizzy Gillespie in the early 1950s, Emily was among the few, “jazz artist owned and operated” record companies in the history of jazz.

Her final album, “Indestructible,” was recorded in 2004 and 2005, and released in 2006. It was her first recorded effort in 13 years. She died in November of 2006, seven months after its release.

Singular credit must be given to Robbie Cavolina, who was O’Day’s manager for some years, and truly the mastermind behind “Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer.” He almost single-handedly ensured that O’Day got the credit she deserved as an icon and an innovator during her lifetime, and that, almost until the end, she kept working. That Anita O’Day was around for 87 years–and still singing–had much to do with his dedication.

Jazz has been blessed with a pretty comprehensive filmed history, especially in the last 15 years or so, with performance films, features and documentaries. I’ve made a few of them myself.

This one is the best. — Bruce Klauber

“Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer” is available in two editions: The standard edition is a two-DVD set that includes a 32-page, full color booklet with essays by noted jazz historians James Gavin and Will Friedwald, plus 16 pages of Anita O’Day’s scrapbooks. The deluxe edition includes the above, along with a 144-page, hard bound coffee table book of O’Day’s 1939 to 1969 scrapbooks.This edition contains much rare Krupa material as well Both are available via most online ordering outlets. For more information, visit, the official web site of Anita O’Day.

Benny Goodman’s 100th: Long Live the King

Monday, June 1st, 2009

On May 30, 2009, Benny Goodman, a.k.a. “The King of Swing,” would have been 100 years old. There were and are several Goodman tributes, including a BBC Radio “Centenary” episode, concerts by Paquito D’Rivera, the Boston Symphony and a Lincoln Center “Jazz for Young People” show entitled “Who is Benny Goodman?”

There are several players and leaders out there who do ensure that the Goodman legacy continues. Ken Peplowski (who will do a Goodman tribute concert at The Rochester Jazz Festival on June 13), Brooks Tegler, and especially Loren Schoenberg — who could and should write the definitive Benny Goodman story—are three who immediately come to mind. And Schoenberg, by the way, paid tribute to BG, and Lester Young, via several, recent WGBO radio programs. While all this is great stuff, it seems to me that there should be more, given the scope of Benny Goodman’s fame and more than substantial contributions. But memories fade as time goes on, so maybe we should be thankful for any tributes at all.

As much a part of the Goodman legend, if there is such a thing, is the not-so-fondly-remembered issue of his personality. Though I don’t like getting involved in the personal lives of any celebrity, the Goodman “personality,” or lack of it, is just so darn amusing and very, very public, that it just cannot be ignored. Especially on BG’s 100th.

One of Goodman’s biographers, perhaps James Lincoln Collier (and whatever happened to him?) once pointed out that, in all probability, not a day goes by without a story being told about the enigmatic behavior of BG. (Buddy Rich stories are another issue.) Gene Lees’ essential “Jazzletter” devoted a bunch of past issues to what went down on the famed tour of Russia in 1962, and Bill Crow’s “Jazz Anecdotes” retold some of the more infamous stories.

The one I particularly like is the one told in the late, Peter Levinson’s great biography of Tommy Dorsey, published in 2005, entitled “Tommy Dorsey: Livin’ in a Great Big Way.”

As the story goes, BG was doing a gig somewhere on November 27, 1956, the day after Dorsey died. One of Goodman’s sidemen told Benny the news about TD’s tragic and unexpected death. “Benny, I hate to tell you this bad news, “ the sideman related, “but Tommy Dorsey just died.” The King’s reply? “Is that so?” he said. You’ve got to love it.

Another frequently-told story through the years that has again been making the rounds of the internet, is pianist/vocalist Dave Frishberg’s hilarious tale of the evening Goodman sat in with Gene Krupa’s Quartet at The Metropole Cafe’ in New York city. Track that one down. It’s a riot.

I haven’t related my personal Benny Goodman story in years. In line with the 100th birthday business, this seems like an appropriate time to retell it.

In the mid-1980s, I had the bright idea of writing a biography of Gene Krupa, which later became “World of Gene Krupa: That Legendary Drummin’ Man,” published in 1990 and still in print via Pathfinder Publishing of California. For an unpublished author writing about someone relatively forgotten back then, the project was an uphill battle from the start. Still, I forged ahead, and though a good deal of the book was a compilation of edited, previously published materials, I obviously had to get some first-person interviews to give the project some credibility. When I started, I had no publisher and not much of anything else, other than my credentials as a drummer and newspaper editor, but players like Teddy Wilson, Eddie Wasserman, Carmen Leggio, John Bunch, Charlie Ventura, and later, Mel Torme’ (who wrote a wonderful introduction to the book, where he revealed that Gene was, in fact, Goodman’s absolute, favorite drummer of all time) were just marvelous to me.

But it was always in the back of my mind that any book about Krupa just had to have an interview with one, Benjamin David Goodman.

My plan was this: Find the New York phone number and ask BG’s’ long-time secretary, who I believe was still Muriel Zuckerman, if there was a chance at setting up a future phone interview. Goodman’s office number was listed, and having heard all the stories about this strange guy through the years, and the fact that he remained one of my musical idols, I really had to get some serious courage going before I dialed the phone.

Zuckerman answered the telephone, and I did not misrepresent my credentials or the project’s status. “I’m writing a book about Gene Krupa,” I told her, “and I was just wondering…next to setting up an interview with God, how difficult would it be to set a time to do a five-minute phone interview with Mr. Goodman?”

Always the merry prankster, I thought injecting a bit of humor into the proceedings might help pave the way.

“You’d have a better chance with God,” Zuckerman replied, and then asked if she could put me on hold for a moment.

Several moments later, someone picked up a telephone extension and said, “Hello?”

The voice was instantly recognizable. It was “Him.” I was not prepared for this at all.

“Mr. Goodman, I’m writing a book about one of your friends and colleagues, Gene Krupa, and I was wondering if I could set up a time to talk to you over phone about him for a few minutes,” I related.

“Well…what kind of questions do you want to ask?” was BG’s reply.

Man, was I on the spot, as I had absolutely nothing prepared, but I thought I came up with something reasonably intelligent.

“I’ve always wanted to know something, Mr. Goodman,” I answered while stalling for time. “You played with Gene at the very beginning of his career, and you played with him at the very end. Maybe you could explain the difference in how he accompanied you through the years.”

I thought that was a great question, and I still do. I’ll remember Goodman’s comments until the day I die.

“He played pretty much the same,” he explained. “He was rather consistent. As you know, he started with me and then formed his own band, which was rather successful. When did you say he died?”

“He died in 1973,” I told him.

“How old was he when he died,” asked BG.

“He was 64 years old, Mr. Goodman.”

“My, that was rather young, wasn’t it? Goodbye.”


That’s my Benny Goodman story and it was printed, verbatim, in my Krupa book. Several Goodman fans were not happy about it.

When players like Teddy Wilson gave a sensitive and intelligent analysis about how Krupa functioned—and evolved—as an accompanist and a soloist through the years, Benjamin David Goodman could only relate that Krupa’s playing “was pretty much the same” over a 40-plus year span.

But as one wag –who heard all the stories and more through the years—once put it: “Yeah, but he sure could play that clarinet.”

Happy 100th and long live The King.


Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Thankfully, the presidential election is over. And thankfully, someone else will be the President of the United States as of January 20, 2009. I have no quarrel with the character or intellect of John McCain, though I have been questioning the latter via his interesting choice of Sarah Pallin as Vice President. President Elect Barack Obama deserves our respect and support. Yes, he may be a bit short on the experience side–which is why his choice of Joe Biden as VP was such a good one–but above all, Obama is, quite simply, an inspiring presence on a scene that really needs some inspiration.

But let’s get our priorities in place. Sure, the economy is in shambles as is just about every other area of our society, and sure, we’re at war. But we all know what the most important issue is here at the site: Jazz.

With that in mind, our crack team of investigative reporters has discovered the President Elect’s history with jazz and his true feelings about it.

According to a February 8, 2007 profile in the Honolulu Star Bulletin newspaper by B.J. Reyes, which covered Obama’s time spent at a Honolulu prep school, “Barry” Obama started listening to jazz in earnest while he was in junior high school. “Barry was into things that other kids our age weren’t into,” said a one-time Obama school mate Dean Ando. “I remember when we went into a record store just to browse. He went through the entire jazz section while we were there. That affects me to this day. He’s the one who introduced me to jazz. When everyone else was into rock, Obama was into jazz.”

In terms of his favorites, those in the know claim that Obama is a big fan of Miles and Coltrane. And Herbie Hancock made an appearance in one of Obama’s television commercials. No word yet about the President Elect’s feelings about Eddie Shu.


There’s a new book out on Sammy Davis, Jr., entitled “Deconstructing Sammy,” written by a newspaper and magazine investigative reporter named Matt Birkbeck. My recommendation? Pass it by.

Whatever your feelings about Davis, there is no denying that he was among the most versatile and energetic of performers. No one has come along before or since who had the range of talents he had, which included singing, dancing, comedy and some swinging instincts as a multi-instrumentalist on drums, vibes and trumpet. His knowledge of jazz was encyclopedic, and in terms of breaking down racial barriers in the entertainment industry, Davis was a maverick. . Until he sadly became a caricature of himself in later years, he was something to see, and I was fortunate to have seen him many times. I spent some time with him at Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino shortly after he had hip replacement surgery in 1985. I was struck by the fact that he didn’t seem to be a happy fellow until he hit the stage. Remembering that he was responsible for engineering only one of two filmed appearances (that we know of) of Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich together (available on “Buddy Rich Jazz Legend” and “Gene Krupa: The Champ” on this site), and recalling that drumming was once a part of his stage act, I asked if he was still playing. “I put the drums Buddy gave me in storage,” he said. “The more I listened to Buddy the more I realized I could just never, ever be that good. No one could. So I gave them up.”

Unfortunately, Sammy Davis is best known today, if he is known at all, for things other than his music. And that’s what this book is about. It focuses on his alleged mob ties, admittedly legendary tangles with the Internal Revenue Service, the suffering and illness of his widow, and other juicy tidbits that have nothing whatsoever to do with why Sammy Davis, Jr. was famous during his lifetime. And presumably, it was Davis’ fame as an entertainer that made the publication of this book possible, but author Birkbeck all but ignores his talents, capabilities and contributions as an artist. “Deconstructing Sammy” has my vote for the most depressing book of the year. It’s like watching an autopsy. If that’s your taste…solid. Go out and buy one of Sam’s records or DVDs instead.

The 100th birthday of the man who made the drums a solo instrument, Gene Krupa, will be upon us on January 15, 1909. Modern Drummer magazine plans a tribute of sorts, and in the newest issue of Down Beat magazine, one of my favorite human beings, John McDonough, has a good piece on Gene and several other drumming legends, including Sid Catlett, etc. McDonough, of course, continues to refuse to acknowledge the existence of the Krupa or “Legends of Jazz Drumming” DVDs, but that’s not going to change. There is serious talk of a few major, major events that will celebrate Gene’s 100th, so watch this space. Carefully.


We often get emails about the availability of Krupa big band charts. There are several sources out there, but one of the very good ones is, who also offer just about every commercially -issued DVD and CD in the universe. Charts include “Disc Jockey Jump,” “Boogie Blues,” “Opus One,” “Leave Us Leap” and several others. On some of the Krupa charts I’ve obtained through the years, the orchestrations were about 89 percent faithful to the originals. There were some wholesale changes made here and there, for reasons that I still cannot figure. I hope the ones out there today are a bit closer to the originals. The only way to ensure complete accuracy is to go to the expense of having someone transcribe the charts right off the record.


Our good colleagues at are now in the Beta testing phase of what is certain to be an incredible, 24-hour internet drum channel. Even at this early testing stage, DrumChannel is incredible. Log on and join up to read incisive bios, get lessons, trade information, view vintage footage (check out the promos of the legendary Buddy Rich show from the Statler Hilton hotel) and much more.


We continue to do our bit for the economy by offering everything we’ve got for $10 per. But again, we do ask that you please seriously consider buying more than one item at a time so that we can continue to provide free shipping all over the world. Until then, keep swingin’

Bruce Klauber
November, 2008


Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Those of us who are concerned about such things continue to be confused and disappointed about what the Gibson guitar company has done to the name of Slingerland and to the Slingerland line. To think that the drums– endorsed by Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and dozens of other drum stars through the years–has virtually disappeared, is simply a disgrace. The situation is beyond understanding, especially given the news that Yamaha is bringing out a Rogers drum line, even though the drums are nothing like the original or classic Rogers line. What counts in that case is the name.

A number of us– including Arthor Von Blomberg, the mastermind behind the upcoming 100th birthday celebration for Gene and the future Broadway musical play based on Gene’s life and music–have contacted Gibson about buying the Slingerland name. Our point is that Gibson is doing nothing with it and at the very least, our consortium would keep the name alive. After contacting the Gibson offices in the United States, Europe, Asia, Japan and China about this, we have not heard word one about any of this, which is hardly unexpected. There is no information on whether any Slingerland inventory exists, and Slingerland drums are not offered in any national catalog or the Modern Drummer Drum Buyer’s Guide.

Slingerland might not have been the General Motors of the drum industry, but they were among the “big four” of drum manufacturers, with the other three being Gretsch, Ludwig and Rogers. All but Slingerland are still with us, and that is a disgrace to the industry and to America.

The big question, and feel free to address this in the forum, is: “If Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich were alive today, what brand of drums would they be playing?”

From what little I know, I am pretty sure that these giants would have played drums made in America, and I’m pretty sure the brand would have been Drum Workshop, a.k.a. DW. Indeed, DW did offer a Buddy kit at one time.,

The last time I spoke to anyone within the company, I was told that they cannot manufacture their fine product quickly enough to supply retailers and players. Their story, indeed, is a singular one. Herewith is some background info, courtesy of DW founder Don Lombardi and the DW web site:

Their slogan is, “The Drummer’s Choice® ” and Lombardi maintains that it’s more than a slogan, “it’s a fact.” Shades of Buddy Rich!

“It’s remarkable that in our 31st year, the excitement level of coming to work is every bit as much now as when we started,” he says.

It all began in 1972 when Don, at age 26, opened a small teaching studio in Santa Monica, Calif. He called the studio Drum Workshop, offering both private lessons and monthly workshops.

“My fascination with drums started at 12 with a neighborhood teacher at a local music store,” Don recalls. “Over the years, I had such great experiences with renowned teachers that as my love for playing drums grew, so did my love for learning and teaching about drums. The day I got my driver’s license, I started driving to teach at a local music store where I had taken lessons.”

Seeing an ad for Drum Workshop in the Yellow Pages, John Good, now DW’s Vice President, signed up for lessons at age 17 to improve his drumming and reverse what he refers to as “bad drumming habits.”

“After three months of lessons, Don approached me and said, ‘You know, I’ve had lots of successful students. I don’t think you’re going to be one of them’,” John says laughing. “So I said, ‘Great…now what are we going to do?’”

The two ultimately hooked up to market the first DW product: Don’s new design for a height-adjustable trap-case seat. Selling about a dozen seats a month, John quit his day job and went to work full-time for Don.

When DW received a purchase order for 100 seats from Camco Drum Company, Don and John realized that they had an innovative product that would sell. Thirty years later, DW is now offering a new version of the trap-case adjustable seat, made out of a lighter weight material, called the 6100 Adjustable Trap-Case Seat.

However, when DW created the original trap case seat, they had the capacity and personnel to create only a dozen seats a month, not 100. Don was still teaching and playing a nightly gig while John built the products. Shortly thereafter, Camco Drum Company owner Tom Beckman approached Don in 1977 with an offer to sell him Camco’s machinery, dies and molds, everything it took to make Camco drums and hardware-everything except the Camco name itself. This gave Don the opportunity to expand his capacity for creating the seats and to expand his product line.

At that point, Don made the decision to accept the offer and change the direction of Drum Workshop from teaching and selling to manufacturing.

(For those who do not remember, the Camco outfit offered a fine and most individual looking line of drums–their round lugs, still a DW design feature today–really made them stand out. Camco was never as big as the “big four,” but they did have some endorsers, including the drummer of The Beach Boys.)

“The idea of failing never really occurred to me,” Don remarks. “Based on our mini-success with the seat, we had learned that if we could offer drummers products that would improve their drumming, we could be successful. Of course, having a desire to go into manufacturing and having the money to do so are two different things.”

Borrowing most of the money from his parents and some from outside investors, Don purchased Camco’s tooling and reintroduced the Camco 5000 nylon strap bass drum pedal under the DW name. The pedal was refined to improve consistency, quietness, smoothness and adjustability of its mechanical operation. As the pedal was rapidly becoming “the drummer’s choice,” Don continued to search for ways to further improve it.

The rest is history. The ever-expanding line of DW drums, kits and hardware is the drum industry standard. Specifically, with their “Classics Series,” “Jazz Series” and 6000 Series of ultra-light stands, DW has successfully brought a legacy of percussion tradition to the year 2007. Call them “traditionally innovative,” if you will, or as they deservedly say, “The Drummer’s Choice.”

Would Gene and Buddy be DW artists? You bet.

I urge each and every visitor from around the world to visit DW on the web at

We look forward, at some time in the not-too-distant future, to contact the fine DW folks about becoming involved with, as well as with the Gene Krupa upcoming 100th Birthday celebration and subsequent show based on Gene’s life and music.

It’s not only because I have a vested interest in these titles, but two, brand new DVD projects from Hudson Music constitute essential viewing and study. “The Art of Playing with Brushes,” presented by Adam Nussbaum and Steve Smith, presents the drum and brush masters–Billy Hart, Eddie Locke, Joe Morello, Charli Persip and Ben Riley–in performance and in instructional segments. This incredible, three -DVD set is, as the copy accurately says, “an educational and inspirational resource that will never go out of date and is certainly one that belongs in every drummer’s library.” visitors will also enjoy the vintage clips by the likes of Kenny Clarke, Denzil Best and many more.

And finally, “Classic Rock Drum Solos” is here. Despite the fact that helping to write and produce this incredible DVD took a year off my life–these vintage rock drummers were a handfull–the result is incredible. JazzLegends visitors and guests, though not rock-oriented, will love the clips by Louis Prima’s Jimmy Vincent, Billy Haley’s Ralph Jones, Louis Jordan’s Shadow Wilson, The Ventures’ Mel Taylor, Lionel Hampton, Gene Krupa, host Carmine Appice, and the many clips where the influence of Buddy and Gene are quite obvious. For ordering info, log on to

Finally, our Krupa drumsticks are getting great reviews and seem to be very much in demand. For ordering info, log on to

Keep swingin’

Bruce Klauber


Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

After six months of living in the relative paradise of Naples, FL, adjustment to being in big city Philadelphia has been rather difficult. The good news is that just as I have almost adjusted to Philadelphia, Joy Adams and I will be returning to Naples on July 15th. No, we won’t be there for six months, but will be taking advantage of the inexpensive air fares from Philadelphia to Fort Myers, and spending, perhaps, a month here and a month there. If playing opportunities existed for me in Philadelphia, my attitude might have been different. However, there are no playing opportunities for me in Philadelphia and there are several in Naples, FL. Don’t ask me why.

Some seasons back, we were asked to remove one of our most popular and important CD titles from the catalog. This was and is called “The Drums by Jo Jones.” For those of you who did not obtain it, this historic document was actually a two-LP set cut in Europe in the mid-1970s. Papa Jo spoke of the drumming legends he knew, demonstrated percussion styles, tributes, rudiments, how to use the drum set’s components, and much more.

After a few months of offering this for sale—and by the way, the original LP was given to me as a gift by the great organist/pianist/arranger Milt Buckner—we started receiving calls from various record labels, manufacturers and distributors from France and England who claimed they owned the rights to this project and that they were looking for a proper and wide distribution deal in the states. We almost had a distribution deal with Hudson Music in New York, but the people supposedly in charge of the Jones project were asking for far too much money (that we wish we had). The deal fell through, and shortly after, we were sent a cease and desist letter, saying that if we didn’t remove “The Drums by Jo Jones” from our catalog, there would be legal ramifications.

Despite the fact that other outfits were selling this, we removed it. We’re in the music education business here, not the legal ramifications business. The saddest thing of all is that, even though “The Drums by Jo Jones” is supposedly available in a deluxe, CD edition via the French people who first produced it, the project is almost impossible to find anywhere. That’s sad, as all we ever wanted to do was make this available.

The good news is that we have acquired a series of ultra-rare and quite unbelievable European footage of the one and only “Papa” Jo Jones, in mini-concerts with Illinois Jacquet and Milt Bucker. “Jo Jones in Europe,” which we offer on DVD (and VHS for those who want it that way) is top-quality audio and color film from the early 1970s that features almost an hour of Jo Jones as the superb soloist and accompanist he was. Footage of Jo, as you’re aware, is very, very rare, so this is a must have. Bonus footage on this DVD is a mini-concert, featuring another great drummer (and this may be the only film footage that exists of him) by the name of J.C. Heard. J.C. backs a great little band that features Doc Cheatham and Sammy Price, among others.

When “The World of Gene Krupa” book was first published some 17 years ago, most of the other jazz books on the market were, mainly, the same titles that had been on the library shelves under “jazz” for the past 20 years. Things have thankfully changed since then and these days, it seems that almost every jazz player of note has an autobiography on the market, to say nothing of histories, compendiums of a writers’ works (Dan Morgenstern, Stanley Crouch, Andre Hodier, Gary Giddins, and Frances Davis among them) and works on vintage instruments. Most are well worth reading, and some of the newer titles include bios of Wayne Shorter, Al Haig, Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, Paul Desmond, Lennie Tristano, Tommy Dorsey, and a bunch of titles on Miles Davis (pass by the one written by his son); a big band history from Hal Leonard Publishing written by Dr. William F. Lee; a history, believe it or not, of the Coon-Sanders Nighthawks; a book on vintage metal/engraved snare drums also published by Leonard, histories of Impulse Records and The Village Vanguard; photo books from Lee Tanner and others; and auto bios by Horace Silver , Arturo Sandoval, and George Shearing. The list is by no means all-inclusive. What the jazz book market needs, in one opinion, is an unbiased, detailed history of the life and music of Buddy Rich. The book written by Mel Torme’, rest his soul, was more of a personal remembrance as was the odd duck of a work called “The Torment of Buddy Rich.” Doug Meriwether has no equal as a Buddy discographer, but a discography is only a small part of the Buddy Rich story. Steve Peck has dozens of one-of-a-kind Buddy photos, and dozens of those who new and loved BR are still around. I will say it here and on the record that if Cathy Rich and family will allow me to bury the hatchet where Buddy is concerned, I will do everything in my power to help get a book off the ground.

We recently told you about the wonderful the new drum magazine, “Traps.” There is another jazz magazine that’s hit the stores recently, and it’s a good one. “Jazzed,” published six times per year, is devoted to the large, and most significant area of jazz education. To our knowledge, only the IAJE Journal has been solely devoted to the education area. “Jazzed” is most welcome, and for subscription information, log onto

Our Krupa “The Great Concert” CD, recorded in 1966, is one of the best we’ve heard in terms of music and sound quality. In addition to being available on, it is also out there on It’s so good, we want everyone to know about it.

Michael Berkowitz and the New Gene Krupa Orchestra have a new CD coming out shortly. This is the best Krupa tribute band (and one of the best big bands, period) that we’ve heard. Watch this space for more news.

We’ve had many, many requests and queries about the status of the new Krupa model drum stick. We do have, after long months of negotiations and waiting, an agreement from the Estate, but we are just waiting on the acceptance of a few modifications of said agreement. Believe us, this is going to happen.

You may recall that I was pretty knocked out by the performance of Steve March Torme’, Mel’s son, at The Philharmonic in Naples, FL, earlier this year. Steve’s management has posted my review on the home page of his web site. For those who missed it, check it out, especially those who are booking theatres and arts centers around the country. Steve gives one of the best performances of any kind…and he sells out.

Keep swingin’

Bruce Klauber

June, 2007


Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

After some good reviews both in and out of the industry and decent sales for a project of this scope, the backlash against “Gene Krupa: The Pictorial Life of a Jazz Legend” has begun, as I knew it inevitably would. The e-mails being received in this regard, and thankfully there aren’t many of them, concern a number of errors that these readers found, all told, totaling about eight, and one was a typo. Some suggest that Gene is deserving of a more “scholarly” work. Others claim that I am spouting inaccuracies because, since the subject of the book is dead, no one will know the difference. Wow. 

Regretfully, there are errors thousands of publications of every kind. Some of the publications, like the errors they contain, are of every size and type. One, very, very well-known mail-order catalog, just as minor example, continues to say that “drugs destroyed (Gene’s) life” in their copy advertising “The Gene Krupa Story. DVD. One very well-known writer for the jazz magazine “of record,” recently reviewed a big name singer and credited his drummer for doing a fine job. Problem was that the drummer he named only appeared on two tracks recorded 20 years ago, because said drummer has been dead since 1989. One great newspaper review of a concert, that appeared in Philadelphia publication years ago, was a rave, rave write-up of a Ray Charles concert. The problem this time is that Charles actually cancelled the concert and there was no such show. The year after, Philadelphia’s major newpaper and Pulitzer Prize winner had a review of a Count Basie concert. The reviewer remarked that he especially enjoyed the Count’s rendition of the famous song, “Chinese Stockings.” I’m not even going to talk about the minor inaccuracies that pop up in many jazz books. It’s a fact of life, and it happens. Always did, always will. 

Hopefully, whatever screw-ups made by my publisher, my editor and me—individually and collectively—stand as more minor than Count Basie’s “Chinese Stockings.” That reviewer is still working, by the way. 

Some of the errors mentioned in my Krupa book are some reputed misspellings (Frank Bellino’s name was spelled Bellino in no less than “Down Beat” magazine, though someone insists it is spelled otherwise), the exact year when Gene began using a swish cymbal (told to me, by the way, by both Charlie Ventura and Eddie Wasserman), dates of photos that may or may not have been off by a year or two, some background figures in photos that may or may not have been misidentified, etc. 

I do regret two errors: One was a simple typo, naming my good friend Bruce Crowther as Bruce Growther. It happens. Just as another crazy example, a major drum magazine which should know much, much better, spelled my last name as “Kaluber.” And I’ve been working with them for almost 20 years. Like I said, it happens. So, to my friend Bruce, and we refer to each other as “the other Bruce,” 

My sincerest apologies. 

The other grievance concerns a photograph that is evidently owned by that great drummer, Krupa fan, Krupa supporter and keeper of the Krupa flame, Brooks Tegler. I will not—nor will I ever—dispute the fact that the photograph in question is owned by Brooks Tegler. I know Brooks and his dad, the great John Tegler, for many years. If the Tegler’s say it—about anything—you can bet it is so. From my end, on the copy of the photograph I had, there was absolutely no identifying mark or photo credit on or near the photo itself. Several others, whom I will not name, have also evidently used it uncredited. Believe me, as was said in the book’s introduction, if an error was made in terms of credit, it is deeply, deeply regretted and I will do everything within my limited power to make things right. I have been in the Tegler’s home and in their company many, many times. What they do for the cause of jazz simply cannot be measured. Brooks, by the way, is heading up a jazz cruise this coming August, where his crackerjack big band will pay tribute pay tribute to Gene, Benny, Glenn Miller and various others in the most authentic manner possible. John will offer commentary and plenty of inside stuff along the way. Check out the latest issue of “Jazz Times” for details. 

As some of you know, this book was caught in the transition between publishers, when Warner Bros. Publications was sold to the Alfred Publishing Company. If things hadn’t become so complex during this changeover, and I am told that the Krupa book was one of the few projects that survived the change, there likely would have been fewer mistakes than the eight or so reputed ones that there could be. In using over 200 photos, most of them not credited in any way, shape or form, it’s quite possible that some of them may be off by a year or two in terms of identification. Unless you where there, your guess is as good as mine…believe me. I am not offering excuses, but the accusers should know some of the details involved in a production like this before they accuse so negatively. 

There are several “little guys” (to use Gene’s term) out there who, it appears, want to claim some kind of “ownership” of Gene and, for whatever reason, want to nitpick to death projects like these and those who do them. One, in particular, who is no longer with us, virtually “nixed” the promotion of a Slingerland, “Krupa Tribute” drum set, as he insisted that Gene “invented” the Radio King snare drum, insisted that Slingerland include a 16 X 18 floor tom in the kit, etc. Look whavt happened to the “new” Radio King line. 

Let me give you some names of those who have given my books and videos a good deal of support through the years: Charlie Ventura, Marty Napoleon, Bobby Scott, Eddie Wasserman and John Bunch. They all played with Gene, and yes, I had the good fortune of playing with them as well. Then there were Mel Torme’, Teddy Wilson, Louis Bellson, Jack DeJohnette, Ed Shaughnessy, Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones, Steve Gadd, Max Roach and many more with whom I’ve worked over the years. The contemporary drummers in the new Krupa book, who know more about Gene than anyone can imagine, have also been behind me since day one and have never suggested my various works be “more scholarly” or bugged me about the date Gene used a swish or sizzle cymbal. 

I decided long ago that the jazz community was much too small for us to be criticizing each other, and that was the time I made the decision that I would no longer function as a critic…of anything. Here’s one example why: In the “critical” arena, there’s an author and reviewer out there who stands as about the most prolific author and reviewer on jazz in the jazz industry. This guy must be watching DVDs and listening to CDs in his sleep, and good for him. We were, at one time, colleagues and associates in this very small community. As a matter of professional courtesy, I sent this fellow a copy of a semi-private CD release by a vocalist I helped produce—and I played on it as well. My only request to this guy was, “If you dig it and want to say a nice word or two about it, please have a ball. If it’s not to your taste, just toss it out and forget it existed, as it’s mostly a self-produced private thing, anyway. This was some years ago, and I didn’t discover until recently that Mr. Jazz Author reviewed this project, posted on some inconsequential website, and absolutely “skewered” the vocalist and those involved. It was mean-spirited. What was the writer’s purpose in doing this? As Jackie Gleason one said, “What does it get you?” The negatives hurt. Forget the fact that I may be hurt. The negatives hurt the industry. How many of those, after all, are there in what we call “jazz?” 

Good, bad or indifferent, I believe that the various Krupa projects over the years—whether video, DVD, books or magazine articles, tribute bands and drummers, CDs and web sites—have really helped bring Gene’s name back before a public that may have forgotten him, and have helped garner an entire new audience for the man and his music. That, I believe, is the point, not whether Gene used a swish cymbal before 1962. 

Three books have been written about Gene since 1992: one by Bruce Crowther and two by me. If any of you, mainly those who really do know volumes about Krupa, I cordially invite you to write your own. I’ll help you get a publisher, too. 

I am so fortunate that my friend, and yes, my musical idol, Charlie Ventura lived to see my first Krupa book come out. Other than those in the Goodman Quartet, Charlie, I believe, had the longest on-and-off association with Gene. I asked Charlie one night what Gene would have thought about my book. “He would have loved it, Bruce,” Chaz said. And that was and is enough for me. 


There is a lot of controversy these days about the famous—or infamous, depending on your point of view—website called YouTube. I believe there has been some discussion about it on our Forum, as well. The fact is, and you can ask anyone from NBC and CNN on up and on down, that YouTube is using copyrighted material. By the droves. I am told that the numbers of those now lined up to sue them are more than equal to the population of a small state. Yes, they are showing Gene Krupa clips, and yes, most of them are mine. And yes, I paid thousands for them through the years. And yes, this is copyright infringement of the most obvious kind. It will be an eye-opening experience for some of you to see the hoops one must go through in order to actually prove copyright infringement. One has to provide everything from your waist size to the maiden name of your next-of-kin. Though this is an exaggeration, check it out. I did, and I have neither the time nor the desire to attempt to fight what is rapidly becoming the internet version of big brother and city hall. If YouTube, reportedly a billion-plus dollar company, gets its rocks off by showing a clip of Gene playing “Leave Us Leap” that I paid Turner Entertainment a thousand-plus dollars for in 1993, then so be it. I wish I had the support that they did, and in line with that, as has been mentioned before, is now accepting appropriate paid advertising. E-Mail me if you’re interested. Maybe I’ll pitch YouTube. 

Talks are continuing with Vic Firth about a Krupa drumstick, and I do hope to meet with Vic personally after the holidays. Likewise with our concept for “The Great American Drum Catalogs” book, which has already garnered the endorsements and blessings of Gretch and Ludwig. Stay tuned and have a swingin’ Thanksgiving and beyond. 

Bruce Klauber 

November, 2006

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