[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
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
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