[Dixielandjazz] Jim Beebe's lamentation

Don Ingle dingle@baldwin-net.com
Wed, 7 Aug 2002 08:11:22 -0400

I have to share a few thoughts about my old friend and fellow Jazz Ltd.
house band alumnus, Jim Beebe.
Jim wrote >"My trombone sits over on a stand looking at me and says, "don't
you come near me..." <
That is a sad thing in many ways. First, because Jim was one of the better
slide men I ever worked with or heard. His was a somewhat raw and gutsy
sound that was just right for the style of music we played. No smooth, Urbie
Green sound, but elemental tailgate of the highest plane.
Second, Jim was one of the easiest guys to work with that I have ever had
the pleasure of sharing a bandstand with.
We had many a fine exchange of differences of opinion on a variety of
subjects, and our debates were joyous exchanges. Jim is a thinker...so his
debate points were often more interesting than the subject by far.
Jim's retirement is not his choice, but rather that of a set of lungs that
have been hard hit by several problems. It's hard enough to fill a trombone
in any case, but with a pair of ailing lungs...well it just is too much.
When he told me he was looking for a lampshade (the old saw about brass men
who made lamps out of their horns on retirement)
I knew it was getting serious, for no one loved playing more than my friend
If he comes over as a curmudgeon at times, so be it. He's paid his dues, and
like many of us he's earned his road warrior scars; so I just grin when I
read him on a rant. Been there, done that, etc.
But Jim speaks from experience...and more often than not from the heart. How
many of you caught his referral to Big Bill Broonzy? A Chicago blues legend.
He could have mentioned Lil Green as well, since he knew most of the great
Chicago blues artists of  the 40's-60's period, and respected their music.
I am happy to call Jim my friend. I treasure the near-three-years I worked
with him in the '60's at the legendary Jazz Ltd. That he is not still
blowing that trombone is the hard part, but I heard him at his prime, and
wait for his next flow of memory or comment as an extension of his
playing -- if in another form.
So -- "shoot off" that mouth" of yours, as you said, anytime you want to
Jimmy. I'm listening.
Don (time to tug the Reinhardt collar) Ingle