8 years ago

Volume 14 - Issue 2 - October 2008

JAZZ NOTESHolmes, Sweet

JAZZ NOTESHolmes, Sweet Holmesby Jim GallowayThis is a story involving two trumpet players from California.One of them became a jazz icon- a living legend, but with a selfdestructivelife style which ended in questionable circumstances in afall from his second-story room at the Prins Hendrik Hotel, Amsterdamin 1988.The other is relatively unknown as a player outside jazz circles inLos Angeles where he lives,but has had a rich and varied career as aproducer, composer, manager, and trumpet player, and is currentlythe force behind The Sweet & Hot Music Festival which takes placein L.A. over Labour Day weekend . He truly loves jazz - the kindof straight ahead jazz that openly communicates with people. That'show he himself is - and his name is Wally Holmes.The other trumpet player is, of course, Chet Baker.So what's the connection? Well,one of Wally's friends is a pianistnamed Ian Bernard. (RosemaryClooney, Vic Damone,Dick Haymes, and June Christyare some of the stars he arrangedand conducted for, and he wasmusic director of the hit TVshow "Laugh In" .)In 1949 as a teenager he livedin a small house on AshlandAvenue, Santa Monica. Thefamily had purchased one of theearly home style recording machines,the kind that cut directlyto a vinyl covered aluminum discat 78 rpm and, unlike regular 78s,played from the inner part of thedisc, moving to the outer edge."Inside start" recordings, as theywere called, were not uncommonin the early part of the 20th century,and in later years the processwas widely used for radiotranscription discs.Well, one day in 1949, IanBernard, a bass player calledHershel Himmel, a drummernamed Jimmy Nordwall, andChet Baker on trumpet (withIan's mother turning the machineon and off), recorded two tracks- Jerome Kern's "All TheThings You Are" and HaroldArlen's "Get Happy". After thesession Ian presented the disc toWally who was already a hugefan of Chet Baker.To put the historic moment incontext, Baker, 19 at the time ofthe session, had been in the armyfrom 1946 to 1948, then studiedtheory and harmony at El CaminoCollege in Los Angeles, buthad dropped out. He went on tore-enlist in the army in 1950 andobtained a second discharge tobecome a professional jazz musician.His first taste of fame camein 1951 when he was chosen byCharlie Parker to play some dateson the West Coast. The followingyear he joined the GerryMulligan Quartet and the rest islegend.We now fast-forward to 2002when Wally decided to clean outhis garage. There was a pile ofold 78s which reminded Wally ofthe old Chet Baker disc, but,although he and his friend JeffMichelson searched high andlow, there was no sign of thatparticular record. In Wally'swords: "I knew I had put thedisc in a safe place ... now if Icould just remember where thatsafe place was!"After a couple of frustratinghours, Jeff happened to point hisflashlight in the space betweentwo heavy filing cabinets, andthere it was - completely coveredin a fine white powder whichwas either mould or a salt depositfrom the sea air. But the labelwas readable and the treasurehunt was over!The clean-up job was carriedout by Ron Stark at SIR Labs inAgoura Hills, CA, famous forAN ALL STAR TRIOFEATURING:GENE DI NOVI - PianoRICK WILKINS - SaxNEIL SWAINSON - BassSun. Nov. 2 · 2pmRoyal York RoadUnited Church, Etob.its restoration and conservationof Walt Disney animation cells.Armed with the rejuvenated disc,Wally and Jeff's next stop wasCapitol Records Tower in Hollywood,where they were advisedthat the disc had maybe 10 playsleft on it, so it was important todo the transfer in as few passesas possible.The first attempt ended inminor disaster. Over the years,the record had become warpedmaking the tone arm move upand down, up and down until iteventually jumped out of thegroove! The solution was one Iremember using myself on old78s. They taped a penny on topof the tone arm, giving it enoughweight to prevent it from skippingout of the groove. Success!The finished transfer of coursehad a lot of surface noise, popsand clicks, but modern computertechnology removed most ofthat, and a group of us wasprivileged to listen to the endresult at The Sweet & Hot Festivallast month, where the onstagepanel consisted of WallyHolmes, Ian Bernard (pianoplayer on the 1949 session), JeffMichelson of garage flashlightfame, and a fourth person Ihaven't yet introduced: DavePell.Dave played on the first releasedcommercial recordingmade by Chet Baker - as a memberof the Harry Babasin Octet atthe "Trade Winds Club", Inglewood,CA, March 24, 1952.Also in the band were SonnyCriss, alto sax, Wardell Gray,tenor sax, Jerry Mandell, piano,Harry Babasin, cello, Bob Whitlock,bass, and Lawrence Mara-Chet Bakerble on drums. Dave is a veteranof the big band era, having playedwith Tony Pastor, Bob Crosby'sBobcats, and Les Brown's "Bandof Renown". He formed his owngroup, The Dave Pell Octet, andproduced a number of recordingswhich are now collectors items.He moved to the security of studiowork, and eventually becamehead of artists and repertory(A&R) for Liberty Records andUnited Artists in the 1960s. As agroup, they represented an impressivebody of knowledge andexperience in the music industry.The intention is to make theChet Baker recording available tothe preservation program of TheGrammy Foundation, but in themeantime, on a Saturday afternoonin Los Angeles, a roomfulof lucky people enjoyed a fascinatinghour of interesting discussionand had the opportunity to ·hear a little piece of jazz history.If you want to know moreabout The Sweet & Hot Festival,check out www.sweethot.orgAs always, happy listening!And make sure that some of it islive!Featuring some of Toronto's best jazz musicianswith a brief reflection by Jazz Vespers ClergySunday, October Sth at 4:30 p.m.THE CHASE SANBORN TRIOCHASE SANBORN - trumpet; DAVID OCCHIPINTI - guitar;MIKE McCLENNAN - bassSunday, October 19th at 4:30 p.m.THE ALEX DEAN TRIO18 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM

IN THE CLUBS: PRICELESS JAZZby Ori DaganBad news first: it seems that after twentyyears the Pilot Tavern on Cumberland willno longer be home to Sunday afternoonjazz. Featuring the best bands in the land,this was an impressive series thanks to thehigh calibre of musicianship, the sophisticatedatmosphere, and the no cover, no tipjar policy. Thankfully, Saturday afternoonsare still being booked.While it lasts, the no-cover policy canstill be found at various venues acrosstown. Quotes at King and Bay features"Fridays at Five". Folks start their week-lisa Particelli. See Ch.alkersend swingin' with Canadian Jazz Quartetand an esteemed instrumentalist each week. Award-winning vegetarianrestaurant Le Commensal sounds delicious every Friday and Saturdayeve from 6:30-9:30, this month featuring some great singers includingElizabeth Shepherd, Beverly Taft and Sarah Jerrom. Ten Feet Tall onthe Danforth offers a Sunday matinee from 3:30-6:30. Be sure to reserveSaturday Oct 20 for Julie Michels and her delightful "Latin Pop"band Parley featuring Barrett and Laliberte, both splendid guitaristsnamed Kevin. Statlers Piano Lounge on Church features live musicnightly, including Michels & Barrett every Wednesday, and the charmsof vocalists like George Evans and Heather Bambrick on weekends.It's always worth the hike to Challcers Pub Billiard & Bistro onMarlee, which now serves hot live jazz with dinner every Friday, Saturday,and Sunday evening. Owner Steve Greco is doing a positivelyradical thing by presenting Canada's best players all weekend long andvowing never to charge a cover. On Thursday nights this venue is alsothe adopted home to a jazz jam like no other: Girls Night Out, wherethankfully "gentlemen are welcome too". Since January 2005, vocalistand flautist Lisa Particelli's open mic has given singers of all backgroundsthe opportunity to perform backed by real jazz musicians. PianistPeter Hill, bassist Ross Macintyre, and legendary drummer NormanMarshall Villeneuve accompany. Lisa Particelli's Girls Night Out hascreated a strong sense of community among hundreds of vocalists, instrumentalistsand jazz enthusiasts, for which we are all grateful. Formore information visit the official website: all the jazz club buzz, club listings start on page 44.r!!~ presentsNight of Musicin Celebrationof Norman AmadioFeaturing: Tommy AmbroseMC: Ted O'ReillyRick Wilkins, John Macleod,Rosemary Galloway and Don VickeryAdmission FreeCash BarDinner Reservations Guarantee seatingSunday, October 5th at 6:00pmLula Lounge1585 Dundas Street West (West of Dufferin) TorontoTo reserve call please contact Lula Lounge - 416-588-0307Online - www.lula.caFor more information: 416-248-4952Q UALITY & SERVICE SINC E 189 0STUDENT LEVEL TO RARE MASTERWO RKS,BOWS, A CCE SSOR I E S, R ENTALS & S E R VICEWith three generations of experience and an Internationalreputation, we continually strive to fulfil! the exactingrequirements of players, teachers and progressingstudents alike.Whether you are a student, professional artist or enthusiast,we can help you with all your musical requrements.Each of our instruments are carefully seclected to ensurethe finest quality, sound and performance at every level.REM E N Y I.COMSTRING S P IA N OS PR I NT M U S IC GUITA R S2 10 BLOOR S T. W E S T, TORO N TO · 4 1 6 .961.311 11455 1 6 TH AVE . #6, R IC HMO N D H I L L • 9 0 5 .881.3400O CTOBER 1 - N O VEM BER 7 2008 W WW. THEWHOLE NOTE.CO M 19

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