[Dixielandjazz] CD- Wild Bill "Live At The Chester Inn"

Edmetzsr at aol.com Edmetzsr at aol.com
Fri Oct 13 12:28:08 PDT 2006

In a message dated 10/12/2006 10:31:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
marnichols at yahoo.com writes:
If anyone is informed about those guys in Slates group, please inform me. My 
  is that all of them had been playing as "subs" or even regulars at Condon's 
at one time or another. So many instances of doing it just as the Condon gang 
would have- breaks, riffs,
  tags, etc.  Personnel:
  Chuck Slate -drums
  Marv Ross-clarinet
  Marty Bergen-trombone
  Lou Levi-piano
  Warren Vache Sr.-bass
Mart, perhaps you didn't expect so much info on Chuck Slate and company, but 
here's a little more.
I arrived in NJ from Michigan in 1976, about the time the Chester Inn was 
shutting down its Dixieland format. Sometime that year, Chuck began a long stand 
at Rod's Ranch House in Convent Station, NJ, near Morristown where I began 
working with him for several years on Thursday nights. During that period, he had 
Marv Ross (Rosenthal) on clarinet, a variety of trombone players including 
Alex Watkins, a variety of trumpet players including Benny Ventura and Randy 
Reinhart (just before he left NJ for San Antonio to join Jim Cullum).             
Chuck, Marv and I also played in a trio format for several years at the Ride 
and Hunt Club in Bernardsville, NJ and the Public House in Chester, NJ. We 
also played for the first ever Penna. Jazz Society mini festival in 1978 with 
Chuck, Marv, Marty Bergen, Randy Reinhart and myself. This is where I met Parke 
Frankenfield, Bobby Levine and Paul Hubbell for the first time. As you may 
know, that's a relationship that continues on to this day with Paul.
    Marv and I continued to work in trio and quartet formats after Chuck had 
to cut back after suffering some wrist problems. My sons Eddie Jr. on drums 
and Tim on bass joined us frequently, along with guitarist Wayne Wright.
    Coincidently, Marty Bergen was my college room mate in Philadelphia and 
one of my closest friends. Many a night we'd lie in our bunks after lights out, 
and I'd drill him on chords - "G minor"........."G, B - no Bb, D". "Next, F# 
minor"........."what are you trying to do? Ask me and easy one". This went on 
for four years while we were members of the City Line Five which also become 
the St. Joseph's Basketball pep band... originators of "When the Hawks Come 
Flying In" - still used today, 50 years later.
    Chuck has bounced around in northern NJ for all of these years, always 
finding work somewhere, despite his ailing wrists and many bouts with the 
medical folks. He is truly a jazz legend in that part of the country, and surely 
would have become known on the festival circuit, had it started a bit sooner. He 
almost single handedly kept jazz alive in NJ during the doldrums of the 1960s 
and early 1970s, and was very instrumental in the founding of the NJJS.
    Regards,  Ed Metz

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