Some old roadhouse in the middle of Ohio —– that’s me & blues guitar slinger Son Seals — June 26, 1987 — and is that a pack of cigarettes in my pocket? Yeh! (I had to give it up, but I still smile when I see the remnants of my past — my wife is a doctor and doctors frown on cigarette smoking, though judging from the date of this photo I can see it took her about a year to convert me over to the true path of abstemiousness)
THE RABBIT HOLE JAZZ RADIO SHOW
July 17, 2o14 – Jazz @ Noon every Thursday (starts at 12:07 after the satellite news) Host MARK WEBER – KUNM Albuquerque, USA – 89.9 FM (Mountain Standard Time) also streaming on the web > KUNM.org – Current time zone offset: UTC*/GMT -6 hours (*Coordinated Universal Time)/Greenwich Mean Time)
THE GEOLOGIC ERA OF THE GUITAR
Why are there so many great guitarists in the Albuquerque-Santa Fe area? There’s also half a dozen guitar shops in Albuquerque, alone. Why? Of the purely first-rate guitarists, we have: Lewis Winn, Tony Cesarano, Michael Anthony, Bob Brown, Jim Fox lived here for a couple minutes, Stefan Dill (not a jazz guitarist but a good one), the late Clyde Hankins, Pat Malone, and the two disciples of Michael Anthony: John Maestas & Claudio Tolousse Perez, Dimi Disanti, Dan Dowling, and Bill West, and Vic Romanelli.
I asked Cal Haines, the workingest jazz drummer in New Mexico, if I missed anyone, because he’s played with everybody, and he added guitarists: Reed Easterwood, Andy Gabrys, Daniel Ward, Tim Drackert, and Marcos Cavalcante.
On today’s radio show our guests playing in duet will be Bill West & Vic Romanelli.
Bill was born and raised in Waverly, New York, in 1939, just south of the Finger Lakes. Career in the Navy (submarines) 1957-1976. Sailed in Merchant Marine as Radio Officer 1981-1989. Has lived and played guitar all over the country — arrived in Albuquerque from Seattle in 1989. In 1990 began jazz guitar studies with Bob Brown. On the show he’ll be using his Benedetto Bravo guitar through an Acoustic Image amp.
Vic Romanelli — Brooklyn born 1955 — raised on Staten Island — graduated from New Dorp High School, same school that Santa Fe drummer / KSFR jazz dj John Trentacosta attended, where trumpeter Michael Morreale’s father Nino Morreale was the band teacher (see Michael Morreale w/ legend Don Joseph on YouTube). Also, during high school years studied with Chuck Wayne (John Trentacosta has hilarious stories of doing prison gigs with Carmen Leggio, who always packed a pistol). ALSO, guitar studies with Peter Prisco, “who taught the all instrument Lennie Tristano Method for improvisation.” Lived in Tampa Bay, Florida, 1979-1995 working in the science & engineering field, of which a job transfer to Sandia Labs in 1995 brought him to Albuquerque, where he immediately began guitar studies with Lewis Winn and Michael Anthony. “These days I normally play on an Eastman 805 through a Quilter Micro Pro amp, but on the show I’m going to plug into whatever Bill brings. I met Bill through New Mexico Jazz Workshop classes and enjoy the pleasure of getting together was often as possible.”
[ untitled poem ]
When it seems like the whole world
just get out your guitar
and strum a few chords
slowly arpeggiate an acquiescent Major 7 chord
and luxuriate in the enveloping sonic waves
Where I grew up, in Cucamonga,
there was an old Mexican
who kept a rattlesnake rattle inside his guitar
to ward off evil spirits as the rattlesnake
mediates between life and death
Remember when we used to slice an apple
or a potato
and keep that in our guitar case
to humidify the guitar?
I asked bluesman Philadelphia Jerry Ricks
what the old Delta guitarists meant when
they sang about their “special rider”
and he said it was the highway rambler’s
code for their guitars —- proof that
you must keep the guitar close, it needs
the oils of your body and humidity
or it disintegrates
A thousand years from now
when the archeologists dig up the 20th century
they’ll be baffled by all these little ceramic
bowls with a slit in the side, but they’ll also find
a lot of guitars!
This has been a Geologic Era of the Guitar . . . .
Old resonator blues guitar like Son House used to play — the legendary Claremont Folk Center asked me to photo their collection —— I was talking to Ray Crawford about guitar strings and how often he changed his and which types he preferred, then I asked how often did the old blues guys on the Mississippi Delta change their strings? Ray said, “They didn’t,” couldn’t afford the luxury —— July 1978 — photo by Mark Weber
Charlie Haden & Bobby Bradford presented an entire concert of duets: February 17, 1980 at Century City Playhouse, Los Angeles —— photo by Mark Weber —— they played BB’s tunes: “Comin’ On,” “Woman,” “Snuffy,” and Charlie’s “Song for Che,” Bird’s “Confirmation” and reprised “Law Years” that they both made with Ornette, released on SCIENCE FICTION album —– R.I.P. Charlie Haden (August 6, 1937 – July 11, 2o14) —— Bobby celebrates his 80th this weekend (b. July 19, 1934), we’re hoping he’ll join us on the telephone for next Thursday’s radio show . . . . .
Bucky Pizzarelli & Bill Biesecker — Santa Fe, New Mexico — July 29, 2011 — photo by Mark Weber —— Bucky was playing with his son John this night at the Lensic Theater —— Bill used to own one of Bucky’s uncle’s guitars and had recently gave it back —— Bill was guitarist in the National Symphony Orchestra in D.C. until a stroke slowed him down
Bill West, guitar; Arlen Asher, woodwinds; Rick Fairbanks, bass —— June 14, 2o14 — photo by Mark Weber
Clora Bryant & Her Swi-Boppers — Watts Towers Jazz Festival — July 11, 1981 — Clora, trumpet; Jeff Clayton, tenor sax; Clarence Johnston, drums; Larry Ball, bass; Cal Green, guitar; Clay Lawrey, trombone, Munyungo, conga; Buddy Gordon, trumpet; Tollie Moore, piano —— photo by Mark Weber —— cool thing about a radio show with Live in-studio guests is that we interleave Live music with recorded music and we’ll be hearing from Clora Bryant keeping things popping
Mary Halvorson guest on my radio show December 19, 2o13 —— photo by Mark Weber —— she was in town with her Quintet to play the Outpost —— I can’t remember what she said that guitar was, but it’s not what it says on the headstock —— note the ElectroVoice RE-20 microphones we use in that broadcast studio, the best!
The late Hans Reichel, table-top guitarist (w/ cigarette) at the bar with Harry Miller, while Peter Brotzmann & Vinny Golia discuss intergalactic sonic convergences — I see flutist James Newton in rear, and on extreme right that might be Alex Cline —- The Lighthouse, Hermosa Beach, California —- December 3, 1980 —— everybody convened to catch Horace Tapscott Quintet (David Bryant & Roberto Miranda, basses; Gary Bias, alto sax; Fritz Wise, drums)
The workhorse of the jazz guitar: the Gibson L-5 —— There’s even a photo of Frank Zappa playing an L-5 in the early days of the Mothers (not his typical guitar) —— This is Mundell Lowe —— In the cut-through (Cahuenga Pass) from Hollywood over into the Valley is a wonderful outdoor theater, the John Anson Ford Theater, built into the side of the hills, where Angelenos keep their tradition of Sunday afternoon jazz —— Mundell was playing in a quintet this day with Plas Johnson, Monty Budwig, Nick Ceroli, and Lou Levy —— May 28, 1978 —— photo by Mark Weber