Reminiscing in Tempo: Memories and Opinion/Volume Twelve: If you could have dinner with three people, who would they be?

August 26th, 2009

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.” 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.

_____

If you could have dinner with three people, who would they be?

Originally published August, 2009

 


After giving it a few days of thought, the three people I would love to have dinner with without a doubt would be- Sidney Bechet, Lester Young and Charlie Parker. Those three gentlemen embody the history of the saxophone and I would love to hang with just one of them, but all three, Wow! Bash, Prez and Bird, my heroes.

 

 

 

___________________

 

One I would definitely invite is Buddy Bolden, and I’d ask him to bring along his cornet. That would allow me to finally find out what he really sounded like. I’d invite Jelly Roll Morton because he is one of the most fascinating characters in jazz history. Also, he could play piano with Bolden. Perhaps I’d also invite Sidney Bechet because he’d complete the group. And all three of the musicians would have lots of great stories.

If I could expand the table, then Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, Duke Ellington, Bix Beiderbecke, Steve Allen and Clara Bow (my favorite 1920s actress) would be other guests.

It’d be quite fun.

 

 


Assuming I could prevail upon him to prepare the meal himself, I’d love to sup with the famous chef Masaharu Morimoto. I was a big fan of the original Iron Chef, and he was my favorite. Everything he made looked amazing! Cooking is an art, and he’s a master.

Another choice would be President Obama. We’re almost exactly the same age; we’re of a similar political disposition, and obviously share many of the same cultural influences. Most importantly, I’d like to take the opportunity to ply him on the importance of jazz. He’s obviously receptive to that message, being a professed fan of many greats, but I’d cherish the opportunity to convince him of the importance of direct support of the most adventurous jazz artists, whether through the NEA or another organization devoted exclusively to jazz.

Finally (and this would require the ability to travel through time), I would like to sit down with filmmaker Orson Welles circa 1984 or so—near the end of his life, when he could look back upon the totality of his career. Welles is my favorite non-jazz artist in any medium. I’d love to talk to him about not only Citizen Kane, but especially his work outside the Hollywood system. He was arguably the original indie filmmaker and certainly one of the most uncompromising, original directors of all time. I think he could teach me a lot about going it alone, which—as a leftward-leaning jazz musician—I’m inclined to do by virtue of necessity.

 

 

__________

 

 

 

 

Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein and Barrack Obama.

 

 

 

 


That is a mighty tricky subject to ponder. Where is the dinner? IN a home? In a restaurant? The people and the setting must be symbiotic for the dinner to be enojoyable. So, here are the people I would like to sit with, and the context.

Robert Wright: For a dinner with him to be thoroughly enjoyable, I think it would be best to be in the most public place possible. Particularly if we got off into the subject of evolutionary psychology…it would be fun to look for and imagine any of the theories and phenomena of human nature manifest in behaviour of any stranger among and around us.

My mother: As much as I travel, I never get to spend much time with her. And, whenever we do get to sit down for a dinner, a lunch, or even a tea, our conversations fuel my mind and personal/creative growth for months. The best context for that dinner, would be in her house, one of us cooking something up as we chat and read quotes and excerpts to each other from various books and articles.

Joseph Cupertino: If he really did levitate when overwhelmed with reverence by God’s creation…I would love to sit and relish in the company of anyone able to feel that much pure and selfless joy. I would bet a nice picnic of fruit, cheese, cured meat and wine, in a field somewhere under a tree would be a perfect setting for that dinner. Maybe we could share thoughts and ideas about reaching such a state through the pursuit of music. One never knows!

 

 

 

 

Share this:

Comment on this article:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In this Issue

photo of Sullivan Fortner by Carol Friedman
“The Jazz Photography Issue” features an interview with today’s most eminent jazz portrait photographer Carol Friedman, news from Michael Cuscuna about newly released Francis Wolff photos, as well as archived interviews with William Gottlieb, Herman Leonard, Lee Tanner, a piece on Milt Hinton, a new edition of photos from Veryl Oakland, and much more…

Poetry

Art by Russell Dupont
Twenty-eight poets contribute 37 poems to the Jerry Jazz Musician Fall Poetry Collection, living proof that the energy and spirit of jazz is alive — and quite well.

Interview

photo by Michael Lionstar
In a wide-ranging interview, Nate Chinen, former New York Times jazz critic and currently the director of editorial content for WBGO (Jazz) Radio, talks about his book Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century,, described by Herbie Hancock as a “fascinating read” that shows Chinen’s “firm support of the music

Short Fiction

Photo/CC0 Public Doman
Short Fiction Contest-winning story #52 — “Random Blonde,” by Zandra Renwick

“What are 4 or 5 of your all-time favorite Blue Note albums?”

"What are 4 or 5 of your all-time favorite Blue Note albums?"
Dianne Reeves, Nate Chinen, Gary Giddins, Michael Cuscuna, Eliane Elias and Ashley Kahn are among the 12 writers, musicians, and music executives who list and write about their favorite Blue Note albums

Pressed for All Time

In this edition, Michael Jarrett interviews producer Nat Hentoff about the experience of working with Charles Mingus at the time of Mingus’ 1961 album. Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus — recorded for Hentoff’s short-lived label Candid Records

Art

"Dreaming of Bird at Billy Bergs" - by Charles Ingham
“Charles Ingham’s Jazz Narratives” — a continuing series

Poetry

Painting of John Coltrane by Tim Hussey
“broken embouchure” — a poem by M.T. Whitington

Art

photo of Chet Baker by Veryl Oakland

Jerry Jazz Musician regularly publishes a series of posts featuring excerpts of the photography and stories/captions found in Jazz in Available Light by Veryl Oakland. In this edition, Mr. Oakland's photographs and stories feature Yusef Lateef and Chet Baker

Interviews

photo by Francis Wolff, courtesy of Mosaic Records
Maxine Gordon, author of Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon, discusses her late husband’s complex, fascinating life.

Poetry

photo from Pixabay
“The Fibonacci Quartet Plays Improv” — a poem by Gerard Furey

Short Fiction

“The Stories of Strange Melodies” a story by Vivien Li , was a finalist in our recently concluded 51st Short Fiction Contest.

In the previous issue

Michael Cuscuna
Michael Cuscuna, Mosaic Records co-founder, is interviewed about his successful career as a jazz producer, discographer, and entrepreneur...

Contributing writers

Site Archive