HANK O’NEAL CELEBRATES BOB WILBER (August 17, 2019)

Bob Wilber with the superb drummer Bernard Flegar, after their gig in Bülach, Switzerland, June 11th 2005.

Once again, it is my great privilege to have asked Hank O’Neal to talk about the people he knows and loves — in this case, the recently departed jazz patriarch Bob Wilber, whom Hank knew and recorded on a variety of rewarding projects.

But even before we begin, all of the music Bob and other luminaries (Earl Hines, Joe Venuti, Zoot Sims, Dick Wellstood, Dave McKenna, Lee Konitz, Ruby Braff, Dick Hyman, Buddy Tate, Don Ewell, Mary Lou Williams and dozens more) created can be heard 24/7 on the Chiaroscuro Channel. Free, too.

Here’s the first part, where he recalls the first time he saw Bob, and moves on — with portraits of other notables — Marian McPartland and Margot Fonteyn, Eddie Condon, Bobby Hackett and Vic Dickenson, the World’s Greatest Jazz Band, Teddy Wilson, Bobby Hackett, Soprano Summit, Bobby Henderson, Pug Horton, Summit Reunion, and more:

Bob’s tribute (one of many) to his wife, singer Pug Horton, from 1977, with Scott Hamilton, Chris Flory, Phil Flanigan, and Chuck Riggs:

With Kenny Davern, George Duvivier, Fred Stoll, and Marty Grosz, SOME OF THESE DAYS (1976):

Here’s the second part of Hank’s reminiscence:

and a magical session from 1976 that sought to recreate the atmosphere of the Thirties dates Teddy did with his own small bands — the front line is Bob, Sweets Edison (filling in at the last minute for Bobby Hackett, who had just died), Vic Dickenson, Major Holley, and Oliver Jackson:

Summit Reunion’s 1990 BLACK AND BLUE (Bob, Kenny Davern, Dick Hyman, Milt Hinton, Bucky Pizzarelli, Bobby Rosengarden):

and their 1995 WANG WANG BLUES, with the same personnel:

Too good to ignore!  DARLING NELLY GRAY:

and my 2010 contribution to the treasure-chest or toybox of sounds:

Thank you, Hank.  Thank you, Bob and colleagues.

May your happiness increase!

3 responses to “HANK O’NEAL CELEBRATES BOB WILBER (August 17, 2019)

  1. Girish Trivedi

    Hi Hank,

    Yes, Bob Silver was an exceptional Reed man.

    I remember writing to you the day Conti Candol passed on.

    Best

    Girisj

  2. Many years ago I heard Bob Wilbur playing clarinet in a performance with a chamber music group (I think it was something by Mozart) and it completely turned my head around regarding European classical music.

  3. Girish Trivedi

    Hi Hank,

    Bob Wilbur and Kenny Davern “Birds of Feather.

    Condon’s gang: Bobby Hackett, Pee Wee Russell, Matty Matlock, Wild Bill Davison (the only one of the group I heard live during daytime show on Liberty Is in the mid seventies or so),Spanier, Settling.

    Out of this personnel the one I would have loved to hear live was the Louie follower with a sound of his own Hackett on the Cornet (his melodius work with Gleason is one for the book).

    Did get to hear Big Tea with Kaminsky, Fuller, Stan Puls and others.

    As I travelled, heard ,Diz, CT, Farmer, Sweets, Vibes Hampton, Curtis Fuller, Doc Cheatham, Jon Faddis, Akiyoshi, Woody Herman, Did Bascomb, Golson, Newborn, MJQ , Rodney and many other luminaries.

    Would love to hear from you if possible.

    Best

    Girish

    Mumbai, India

    Yes, that was the band with a very wide appeal.

    Best

    Girish

    Mumbai, India

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