[Dixielandjazz] Irving Fazola

Roger Wade rwade1947 at comcast.net
Tue Mar 31 20:23:39 PDT 2009


Thanks for that great story about Irving Fazola and the chair.  I had  
heard about it before but not in quite the detail that the article  

Here is a link to one of my favorite Fazola recordings:


The soulful tone and feeling expressed by Fazola via his clarinet  
belied the personal excess in his everyday life.  Ya gotta love jazzmen.

This recording was on a Commodore 78 by Jess Stacy and his Orchestra  
and features Stacy on piano, Eddie Miller on tenor sax, Billy  
Butterfield on trumpet, and of course Fazola.

Roger Wade
Really Old Records






On Mar 31, 2009, at 10:01 PM, Stephen G Barbone wrote:

> Since things are slow on the list, I thought I'd post this, even  
> though I posted it on another list which some of the DJMLers would  
> have seen.  It is about the various appetites of Irving Fazola, a  
> wonderful clarinetist. Al Rose was a Jazz impresario here in  
> Philadelphia before moving permanently to New Orleans. There, he  
> was associated with Larry Borenstein and the beginning of  
> Preservation Hall.
> Rose was a very interesting man, with many contacts among jazz  
> musicians. For a real treat go to http://rexrose.com/alrose.htm and  
> read about Al Rose, Larry Borenstein, Preservation Hall and some of  
> the inside views about the jazz world and those who kept the torch  
> burning.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
> http://www.myspace.com/barbonestreetjazzband
> Excerpted from Al Rose's Book, "I Remember Jazz" - Pages 24 & 25   
> (WONDERFUL BOOK OF STORIES like this one about Irving Fazola)
> Once he invited me to his room in the Picadilly Hotel in Manhattan  
> where I found him en deshabile in bed with a pair of seriously  
> battle-worn chippies. A third superannuated Venus slept noisily on  
> a nearby rollaway bed. Faz generously let me know I was welcome to  
> participate in the festivities, but I explained that I had too much  
> business to take care of. I managed to get him out of bed long  
> enough to say; "Look, Faz,. You're supposed to play a concert for  
> me in Philadelphia a week from Friday. That means you don't drink  
> anything that day, understand? No beer no whine, no whiskey.
> He favored me with a stream of selected uniquely New Orleans style  
> expletives, the utterence of which was his second most noteworthy  
> achievement, but in the end he pledged himself to abjure all  
> intoxicants on the Friday in question". . .
> Come the Friday evening of the concert. At about 7 PM I got a call  
> from a Horn and Hardart's Automat Restaurant . . . The manager was  
> on the line and wanted to know if I knew a Mr. Fazola. He went on  
> to explain that Mr. Fazola had eaten more than he had intended and  
> as a result had found himself wedged, apparently forever, in one of  
> those captain's chairs. He could not be pried loose . . . I  
> immediately sent an ambulance and hurried over there myself. . .
> There was Fazola clearly jammed into the chair. "What the hell  
> happened?" I demanded . . .
> "Well, I gave you my promise . . . I told you I wouldn't drink  
> nothin' today and I didn't."  He gotten into town on the train a  
> little early and had just decided to while away the time over a  
> hamburger or two.
> "How many did you eat?" I asked him.
> "Thirty Six, he admitted. I still feel OK, I just can't get up out  
> of the chair.
> So the two ambulance attendants, the two busboys, the manager and I  
> carefully loaded him, with the chair, into the ambulance, drove to  
> the Academy of Music, and unloaded him carefully right at center  
> stage of the Auditorium . . .
> Patrons of Journeys into Jazz who remember that night might recall  
> thinking it odd to come to their seats promptly at 8:30 and see one  
> of the great stars of jazz sitting contentedly on stage putting his  
> clarinet together . . .
> During the first half of the concert, Faz kept his seat, playing  
> magnificently, but not standing fir his solos as was customary. At  
> intermission time, pianist Joe Sullivan, trombonist Munn Ware and I  
> pulled him loose. The second half of the concert went off without a  
> hitch, though I did substitute a chair without arms. Faz then got  
> up to do his solos and nobody could tell we had started the evening  
> with an emergency/
> After the concert, Faz sheepishly suggested he'd like to go  
> somewhere to eat. I took him to Bill Yancy's (He was once a black  
> major league baseball star). And Faz ordered - You guessed it -  
> hamburgers.
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