[Dixielandjazz] Trummy Recollection
lennielsen at telus.net
Tue Feb 18 21:53:48 PST 2003
These are the kind of stories that make the list so interesting. Keep
them coming, please.
Most of us know the names, have heard the music but in many cases know
little about the musicians and in some cases may not have seen even a
picture of them.
These stories make them seem more personal and improves the listening
experience, for me at any rate.
The CDs or tapes that I have purchased at a live performance are by far
my favourites. When I play them at home it's like a mini video runs
through my imagination showing the group performing the tunes.
Your stories give a similar feeling when listening to groups I have
never seen live.
"Think my group could sell 872,000 copies if we record "Get Rich Or Die
No!! But if you made a CD of real music I would buy a copy of that.
> Richard Broadie wrote:
> Jim Beebe and I agreed to send each other stories - he with his Jack
> Teagarden almost lesson and I with my Trummy Young recollections. Jim
> posted his to the list while I sent mine priavately to Jim. While
> IMHO Jim's is far more interesting, at his suggestion, I'm posting
> this for you folks. Hope you enjoy. Dick Broadie
> I met Trummy in LA several times at jazz concerts, usually with
> tribute bands to Louis. Trummy was living in Hawaii at the time. I
> knew him to shake his hand and I just felt good that he knew who I
> was. He always looked at least 30 years younger than he was and,
> based upon his physical apperance, I was amazed to learn that he was
> in his 70s when he died around 1984.
> I recall that we had a conversation about Jazz at the Philharmonic and
> that Trummy said he worked with Charlie Parker, Roy Eldrige "and all
> the guys at JATP." He amazed me back stage after a performance with a
> trad group when he played Bird's Donna Lee at full tempo - flawlessly
> - and "confessed" to me his love of bop. He indicated that he loved
> Louis and considered himself a very lucky man to have played with such
> wonderful musicians all his life. He told me about playing with Earl
> Hines and then discovering modern jazz and going that way until he
> joined Louis. I asked him if he didn't feel like he was going
> backwards in his musical development when he left bop to join Louis.
> His reaction was something akin to saying nobody goes backwards when
> they're joining God! (A good answer to a bad question)
> Trummy was quite proud of the fact that he played trombone with Louis
> longer than anyone else. On the down side was the musical "rut" he
> found himself in with Louis virtually playing the same songs and in
> some instances, the same notes, night after night. He told me that
> when he worked with Benny Goodman, that BG frequently played identical
> "ad lib" solos night after night - telling Trummy that when you get
> something about as good as it's going to get, there's no reason to
> mess with it. Louis felt much the same way. Louis, of course, was
> expected to play the same opening on "West End Blues" and other such
> standards of his, and Louis was not one to let his audience down with
> anything less (different?) than what they expected. The last time I
> saw Trummy a few months before his death, he told me that he was
> enjoying his retirement, meaning that he was infrequently on the road,
> and that he never realized how good it was to simply stay home. I
> believe he called Hawaii his home for at least 30 years and that he
> was gigging there with his own small groups most of the time after he
> left Louis.
> When I started the above, I didn't realize how much I had to say about
> Trummy. I likely didn't spend 30 minutes alone with him in the 5 or 6
> times we met. While I shared the bandstand with him at several jazz
> festivals, (same stand, different bands) I never performed with him.
> I almost got to play with him at Louie's 70th birthday party at the
> Shrine in LA. I was Barney Bigard's stand-in, should he be unable to
> play. Barney had an extremely sore lip at the time and asked if I
> could cover for him. So I was in the wings but didn't get to play.
> On the other hand, I met Hoagy Charmichael at that time and we became
> good friends when I moved to Palm Springs the following year. But
> that's another story.
> Now that I think about it, I'm not sure Trummy made it to the Louis
> 70th tribute. It seems that it may have been Tyree Gleen on that
> occasion. I remember vibes being on the stage. Maybe Hamp was
> there. I sure wish my memory was better. I don't mind sharing the
> above with you, Jim, inasmuch as 90% is likely accurate, but I'm not
> willing to claim that extra 10%. The one thing I am certain about is
> that my memory is better on the years 1970-1985 than it is on what I
> ate for breakfast yesterday am.
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