Reminiscing in Tempo
Memories and Opinion
“Reminiscing in Tempo” is part of a continuing effort to provide Jerry Jazz Musician readers with unique forms of “edu-tainment.” Every month (or as often as possible), Jerry Jazz Musician poses one question via e mail to a small number of prominent and diverse people. The question is designed to provoke a lively response that will potentially include the memories and/or opinion of those solicited.
Since it is not possible to know who will answer the question, the diversity of the participants will often depend on factors beyond the control of the publisher. The responses from the people who chose to participate in this edition are published below with only minor stylistic editing. No follow-up questions take place.
What recording session do you wish you could have witnessed?
Originally published February, 2006
It was not too difficult for me to find an answer to your question. Although I was privileged to witness many great sessions, the ones I most regret having missed were all the Miles Davis/Gil Evans series. Combining these two geniuses with such great composers as Gershwin and Rodrigo has produced a monumental musical experience unlike any other in jazz history. These recordings will be the first on my list when I retire to that desert island.
I didn’t think there were any at first — but then — seconds later I thought how interesting it would have been to be at an early Ella Fitzgerald session with Chick Webb and/or the Jazz at the Philharmonicconcert recordings. Both situations were totally opposed to my quite “formal” recordings with Ella in later years of seventy-seven arrangements I did for her!
To answer your question, the musical recording session that I wish I could have witnessed is: The studio recording of “Manteca” by Dizzy Gillespie, his big band, and Chano Pozo on congas in the 1940’s.
I wish I could have been sitting in a front row table at the Village Vanguard when Bill Evans recorded the Village Vanguard Sessionswith his trio with Paul Motion and Scott LaFaro.
The Jazz at the Philharmonic Concert, Vol #4 in Los Angeles, with Nat Cole, piano and Les Paul, guitar on “Blues.” Illinois Jacquet (ts), Jack McVea (ts), J. J. Johnson (tb), Shorty Nadine ( = Nat King Cole) (p), Les Paul (g), Johnny Miller (b), Lee Young (ds). Recorded live at the Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA, on July 02, 1944.