One of the many pleasures of my jazz endeavor is that I have been able to shake hands with the Masters: Joe Wilder, Jim Dapogny, Bob Wilber, Marty Grosz, among others: people who have given us beauty and musical wisdom for decades.
Starting in January 2011, I have had the honor of hearing, meeting, and recording the lyrical and intense tenor saxophonist Ted Brown. Here he is with Ethan Iverson, Putter Smith, and Hyland Harris, performing THESE FOOLISH THINGS in December 2012, when Ted was a mere 85, at the much-missed Drawing Room.
March 23, 2019: photograph by Seth Kaplan.
On March 23 of this year, I was able to be awestruck by Ted — at 91 — playing among friends at the 75 Club: Jeff Brown, drums, Paul Gill, string bass, Ray Macchiarola, guitar; Tardo Hammer, piano. What music he and they make! I could write about Ted’s connections to Lennie Tristano, Warne Marsh, and Lester Young, but I’d prefer — as does Ted — to let the music sing, muse, and soar for itself. Here is a substantial helping of searching beauty with a swinging pulse . . . and more to come.
Bird’s blues, RELAXIN’ AT CAMARILLO,
I think Sigmund Romberg would approve of this LOVER, COME BACK TO ME. Or if he didn’t, I certainly do:
Lennie Tristano’s musing line on OUT OF NOWHERE, 317 EAST 32nd STREET:
An energized THE SONG IS YOU:
A pensive STAR DUST, which Ted starts all by himself, gorgeously:
Sweet and tart, TANGERINE:
Ted’s own SMOG EYES, celebrating his first time in Los Angeles:
Asking the eternal question, with or without comma, WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED LOVE?:
Remarkable news: Ted is offering lessons via Skype. Even those who don’t play tenor could all take a lesson from him. You can find him here on Facebook.
This is also seriously relevant here.
And thanks to George Aprile and Gabriele Donati of the 75 Club, which is becoming one of my new homes: even R1 dropped in for cake and music, so you know it’s a place to visit.
May your happiness increase!