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!