It is a great tribute to Dan Morgenstern that this series of video interviews is captivating. (If you think I am being immodest in writing this, the light shines on Dan.)
Some of this comes from Dan’s warmth: these are not only the musicians he respects, but also people he likes and feels connected to. (I use the present tense intentionally, because no one in these segments is truly dead when remembered so clearly and fondly.) Here you can find all the earlier segments, with affectionate and sharply-realized portraits of everyone from Lester Young to Jimmy Rowles, with interludes about race relations in Georgia and soul food in Harlem.
And these interviews offer the rare pleasure of first-hand narratives: rather than reading a book whose pages tell us about what a writer thinks a musician sounds like, we have Dan talking about drinking Ballantine’s with tenor saxophonist Brew Moore. In the two segments that follow, we also have a Charlie Parker story — where, for once, Bird is not treated with appropriate reverence — and one of Lee Wiley behaving ungraciously. Soon to be major motion pictures!
and . . . .
Two more interview segments from the March 3 session (we did thirteen in all) will be posted soon, and Dan and I have a date to meet again for more. Thank you, Dan!
P.S. In the segment above, I mis-remembered the name of the record producer who arranged for Lee Wiley’s final session: it is Bill Borden, not Dick Borden.
May your happiness increase!