Fw: [Dixielandjazz] Russians In Sacramento

Robert S. Ringwald robert at ringwald.com
Mon Oct 17 23:51:54 PDT 2005

Ed Metz Sr. wrote me the following.  Contrary to what he says at the end of 
the piece, I think this would be of interest to most DJML members.

It is in regards to the Russian band that appeared at the Sacramento Jazz 
Jubilee some years ago, before the Iron Curtain went down.

--Bob Ringwald

 ----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Edmetzsr at aol.com>
To: <robert at ringwald.com>
Sent: Monday, October 17, 2005 6:15 PM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Russians In Sacramento

> In a message dated 10/16/2005 3:38:49 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
> robert at ringwald.com writes:
> Some  years ago, when the Cold War was still on, we had a Russian band at 
> our
> Sacramento Jazz Jubilee.  They had a couple people with them who were
> supposed to be translators but were really KGB
> Dear Bob,
>    I was with Parke Frankenfield in those days, and  when we were on our 
> way
> to Sacto, we ran into the Russians from Leningrad while  boarding for our
> second leg of the trip in Chicago. Both groups were evident as  musicians 
> because
> of the instruments being carried on to the plane. So, we got  to know them 
> as
> we were all seated together, and before long were swapping  stories as 
> best
> we could. Our clarinet player, Paul Hubbell, had just returned  from 
> Russia,
> having made a trip with a high school vocal group which  included one of 
> his
> daughters.
>    Long story short, we met with the Russians after  one our sets on the
> Saturday night, where they played on an adjacent  venue (in the Convention 
> Center
> I believe), and we went back to their hotel  nearby when we all finished.
> They got out their vodka and plastic cups, and we  all crowded into one 
> room,
> about 20 people in all including interpreters, KGB  agents (the drummer 
> was their
> internal spy), State department people (our  spies), and a wife or two.
>    After a while trying to communicate through two  translators became a
> quite frustrating, and the Russian trombone player (their  leader) decided 
> to
> toast "Loooie Armstrung" and "Jock Teagaar-den". He then  started to scat 
> sing
> "Indiana" and Parke joined in by humming a trombone part.  Soon the whole 
> room
> was scat singing various parts. My son Eddie Jr. joined in  by playing 
> rhythm
> with his hands on the bedside table. It was a blast. Here we  were, two 
> bands
> who could barely speak with one another, totally at ease scat  singing 
> "Back
> Home In Indiana". There should have been a recorder  present!!!
>    On the Monday night at the Volunteers party, the  Russians invited us 
> to
> join them on the stage at Freeway Gardens. Both bands  were on stage 
> together
> for about a half hour, with me and the Russian pianist  trading places and
> playing 4 hands from time to time. After the closing tune,  the ovation 
> from the
> crowd was deafening, and the young Russian pianist got so  excited he 
> leaned
> over and kissed me a big smacker on the cheek. Interesting  evening.
>    Thought you might like to hear this little tale. I  didn't include the
> rest of the DJML list since it may not interest too many  folks out there.
>    Hope all is well with you. My best to all.  Ed  Metz

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