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October 15, 2010

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Tom Bentley

Yeah, you and Count Basie! That reminds me of when I took a photograph of Elgin Baylor (the first Michael Jordan and my youthful basketball hero), and he was so gracious to a little punk like me, at the LA Forum a trillion years ago. Very nice post, Rick.

PS Thelonius Monk also often employed that minimalist note playing to great effect, with the spaces in between contributing as much to the mix as the struck notes.

Rick Wilson DMD

Thanks for the rapid comment, Tom! Aren't these stories great? They entertain and teach, such a nice combination. And there's so much more in them than a Mel Gibson drunken rant or another Paris Hilton shopping spree. Celebrity changes people in different ways, that's for sure.

I'm just discovering Monk, actually. "Blue Sphere" is a current favourite.

Dorothy Shapland

Great story, I'm terribly envious...and I wonder, don't you miss playing sax?

Joel D Canfield

Debs, the friend we stayed with in Toronto saw how much Fiona loved her ukulele; FIona carried it around all evening, and sat on the couch with it the next morning. Debs gave it to her.

If that wasn't enough to put us over the moon, Fiona played it, plunking quite melodically, all the way to Ottawa. She'd pluck three notes and say "Are those good notes, Daddy?" and sometimes it was hard to answer 'cause I'd get all choked up about my progeny loving music so very very much. "Yes, sweetie; those are good notes. Let us hear your song." She makes up words and sings quite well. I'm wondering what she'll do at the age of 7.

They're all good notes, but as you and Tom mention, it's those interstitial spaces that make 'em GOOD notes.

Thanks for sharing, Rick. When I finally arrive in Philly, we'll have to see how mandolin and alto sound together, eh?

Bill Archibald

Rick, thank you sooooooo much for sharing! It's those meetings with men of that caliber that set us up so much for the rest of our lives. An old MN friend, Joe Noce, just posted a video of Art Blakey. Took me back to when I saw Sonny Rollins in March of '76. Was waiting in awe of the master when I met this gentleman who "play a little tenor myself". He went back to his seat. During the set Sonny noticed him, had him stand & introduced him. Hank Mobley! "I play a little tenor myself....." We exchanged #s & during a few periods of hanging, Mr Mobley taught me so much more than I ever could have learned in school. Unconditional love. He had all the right & reason to hate, but I never, ever saw it in him. Was playing across the street from Jeff U's dorms for nursing students - thank You, Lord! - & he dropped by with Jymie Merritt - also in the Blakey video - & Philly Joe! They were all so sweet! Jymie payed me my favorite & highest compliment. "You don't sound like those College of Performing Arts kids, you sound like Sidewalk University!" We'll never see men like that again; Basie, Duke, Blakey, Woody, & so many more. I thank God In Heaven for the time I've lived in & the air that I've been allowed to share! Thank you so much for this post!!!!!

Rick Wilson

Thank YOU for sharing, Bill!
Mr. Mobley simply noticed you passion for music and that was reason enough for a bond.
I recall that you used to play your ax in graveyards at night, on the pedestrian walk over the B.F. Bridge, and that you once even bought a drum kit "to get my rythym down".
That's passion, man...
And- "Sidewalk University"- yah, that was the highest compliment... we were blessed, we were blessed...

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