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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Al Grey and Buddy Tate @ The Corner House - 1987

In the various lists that we've been kicking around over the past week or so the inevitable, why didn't I think of that one?, crosses my mind. Lying in bed last night one glaring omission sprung to mind. The legendary JNE sessions at The Corner House in Heaton by Al Grey with either Jimmy Forrest or Buddy Tate and backed by the  Malcolm Saul or Bill Harper Trio. The photo, incidentally, is from an earlier session with Malcolm Saul - you can just see his head in the bottom corner - Bill Harper was the pianist on this particular night.


Grey was a larger than life character, a veteran of the Hampton and Basie big bands - when he was in the trombone section very few of the others got a chance to solo - and a full house was guaranteed when he was in town. These days, when I hear young David "Showtime" Gray blowing, I can't but help thinking about his namesake(ish). Al Grey too should have been referred to as "Showtime".

Jimmy Forrest was a hard act to follow but Buddy Tate was up to to the task. Another ex Basie man, he provided a most memorable moment on December 6, 1987, when he was featured on Polka Dots and Moonbeams. That song remained in my head for days afterwards.

Many years later, Billy Harper, who'd been on the gig, told me that that was the last time Gray and Tate worked together and that they'd had a big falling out during and after the gig due to the trombone player's failure to stick to his own arrangements and that he was as high as a kite.  I don't remember that - probably I too was close to the ceiling - however, I do remember Polka Dots and Moonbeams...

If nothing else, this lockdown business certainly gives you time to reflect upon those days of yore.
Lance

1 comment :

Ron Ainsborough said...

Lance, I too was at that terrific gig at the corner house.

After the gig was over I Remember buying an LP and Al Grey signed it which said it all about the definition of jazz.

The words said 'To Ron, Jazz is a feeling'

Can't be anymore succinct than that can you?

Another boring tale from me.

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