[Dixielandjazz] VT Jack Buck...a great guy

Artwoo at aol.com Artwoo at aol.com
Thu Jun 22 23:16:21 PDT 2006

I knew Jack. We played together in the 60's and 70's  He was a great  friend 
and always very helpful. Jack was always ready to laugh and never  bragged 
about his playing. I was in awe of the fact that he worked with Bob  Scobey. Jack 
also introduced me to Wingy Manone once, for that I am thankful.  Jack's son 
Tom Buck is a very talented cornetist.
Jack was a proficient barrelhouse piano player as well as a  trombonist.
Jack could also smoke a cigar and play the trombone at the same time. I  used 
to work in a latin band where the trumpet section all smoked and blew the  
smoke out of their horns while playing and used their cup mutes for  ashtrays, 
so I guess I had some bad habits too.
He worked the "dime jigs" in the bay area and told me that was a great  
training ground for a musician. To break the boredom while playing for the taxi  
dances, the guys in the band would trade instruments. Jack said he cut his piano 
 chops by playing for taxi dances.
I remember one such "joint" in Oakland was the Rosebowl. It was still open  
in the 60's mostly to entertain visiting military from Treasure Island, the  
Alameda Naval Base and the Oakland Army Base. 
You would buy $10 worth of tickets, each good for a dance with a lady. My  
memories were that these ladies were actually very friendly and seemed to  enjoy 
the work. I was too shy to make much of the situation and mostly  bought 
tickets to hear the band. I was very impressed that they could play a  night's 
worth of music almost constantly without reading music. They did it  effortlessly 
with a blase attitude. These guys were journeymen musicians would  could play 
while sleeping. 
The bay area was a fun place for a young musician in training. I only wish  
that I could have been around in the 20's, 30's and 40's, but I am lucky to 
have  known musicians who made their living in that era and enjoyed their  
Art Wood

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