When Louis Steinman, my father (1915-1982), would meet a friend on the street, the dialogue would go like this,
“Hey, Charles, how’s every little thing?”
“Oh, things are tough all over.”
And they’d both laugh.
For the moment, things are tough all over. No, I must be more accurate: things are Tough all over.
I mean Dave Tough (he hated “Davey”) — one of the greatest drummers, percussionists, creators of sound-clouds, ever. Cousin Uwe Zanisch (more about that later) sent along a wondrous YouTube clip, beautifully done, of an American jazz band that recorded in 1928 in Germany and featured Tough and Danny Polo on clarinet. Given the fidelity of the 78 rpm record and the way that engineers recorded the drum kit eighty years ago, the listener will have to get deeply inside the sounds to hear what Dave was doing — but his steady, flexible bass-drum beat is a reassuring foundation of the band, and his cymbals and accents are there and they are right! I hear echoes of the Jean Goldkette band in this and think you will too:
Cousin Uwe is someone I embrace through this cyber-medium, even though we have never met. He is Sole Proprietor of a wonderful blog, SATCHMOTUBE — devoted to collecting and sharing performances of Louis Armstrong on film and television: http://satchmotube.blogspot.com/2010/05/pops-singt-italienisch.html. It’s a delightful blog. It makes me feel happy whenever I visit it.
But why do I call Uwe “Cousin”? It srikes me more and more that we have Internet families — people we love and admire who send the same feelings back — who we might never meet in person.
Thus Uwe has been taken into the Steinman entourage, whether he likes it or not! And maybe my ever-expanding jazz family will help me feel better about my dead father, someone whom I miss terribly as I write these words. He lives through me, and I hope he knows that.