Dan Morgenstern is a remarkable person, lively and kind, and would be so if he had been a veterinarian with only a passing interest in music. But even better for us: he hung out with [and wrote about] some of the greatest artists we know and still revere. I continue to feel immensely fortunate that I could visit him, and that he so generously shared some candid loving stories of people who many of us know only as a photograph or a sound emerging from a speaker.
For those of you who have been otherwise occupied, and I understand, I have posted videos where Dan speaks of Tommy Benford, Frank Newton, Al Hall, Mary Lou Williams and her friends, Donald Lambert, Eubie Blake, Willie “the Lion” Smith, Nat Lorber, Buddy Tate, Gene Ramey, Lester Young (twice for Pres).
But before you leap in, a small caveat. Dan is soft-spoken, and my few comments from behind the camera are louder. Friends have pointed this out, and I have been penitent, citing inexperience rather than ego and I will balance the audio better on our future encounters. The first five videos are here.
More friends and heroes. Eddie Condon (and I had to say a few things, given my reverence for Eddie):
Buster Bailey, Stanley Dance, Coleman Hawkins, cameos by Milt Jackson, Roy Eldridge, Joe Thomas, John S. Wilson, Billy Kyle, Louis, and Dan’s thoughts on writing about artists:
More about Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter, Ben Webster, with comments about Sir Charles Thompson, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charlie Parker as well:
Notice in the second interview that Dan took an unpaid gig because “it will be good for the musicians.” And I am touched by Coleman Hawkins’ generosities (acceptance in to the tribe) to Dan — which Dan has repaid us ten thousandfold. More to come.
May your happiness increase!
I haven’t watched any of these yet but I think I am going to have to put House of Cards on hold 🙂
Sent from my iPhone
Beautiful precious historic. Thank you Dan and Michael.
Great! I wanted to send the one about Eddie Condon to our friend Marty Grosz, but apparently there’s no way to make a copy of the videos…?
You can copy the YouTube link below
and send that to Marty in an email, or to Jim Gicking.
ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL, MICHAEL!
Praise in capital letters belongs to Mister Morgenstern . . . !
Your efforts represent Divine intervention. Some day your interviews will be in the Smithsonian. Merci beaucoup for capturing for the ages Dan’s memories. We have hours of stuff ‘on the record(s)’ but not much off the record. These guys were human and their work, as Dan said about Ben Webster, frequently illustrated their humanity.
What an extraordinarily lovely thing to say! All I want is for the interviews to be watched and appreciated while the two participants are around. . . .
Thanks so much Michael and Dan for these wonderful interviews. The Eddie Condon memories were especially appreciated and the compliments to his playing which is so often overlooked. Michael, you mention some of the recording sessions where you can really hear Condon and Dan mentions how impressive he was with tempo and transitions. I just want to recommend Condon’s Dec. ’44 session recording of When Your Lover Has Gone as my favorite example- Teagarden, Hackett, Caceres and Butterfield are monumental on the side, but Condon’s chords and rhythm come through behind them, and they are so beautiful. Wish I had met him.
A great series with a great jazz historian. Dan has a magnificent recall and he makes me feel as If I was there. As I said before, Dan is one of a kind. Thanks for the interviews, Michael.
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