What Is History?

There's a lot of jazz history at that off-ramp ----------- Central Avenue, Los Angeles ---- Santa Monica Freeway ---- October 14, 1979 ---- photo by Mark Weber sitting shotgun

There’s a lot of jazz history at that off-ramp ———– Central Avenue, Los Angeles —- Santa Monica Freeway —- October 14, 1979 —- photo by Mark Weber sitting shotgun

The Thursday Jazz Radio Show

November 2, 2o17 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)

WHAT IS HISTORY?

 

You never forget what
it is to be alone ——–
Come down out of the mountains
and hear the story again
of those who went down to Africa
and brought back fire
that was a good story, long time ago,
able to be told before the interrupters came
and broke things up with their confusion
yelling from broken windows
                  of the Tower of Babel —- these
interruptions make life a lonely place, you
have tea with the old man who tells again
how writing came to be:  Mara the God of
confusion & interruption had taken over the land,
hermits retreated further into
the mountains
where the histories were preserved
                on rocks and caves
there was fire now
and another older man who had invented
writing so that he could finish
what he was saying without interruption

Teddy Edwards Sextet -- July 5, 1980 at Watts Towers Jazz Festival w/ Clora Bryant(trumpet), Fred Carter(trombone), Leroy Vinnegar(bass), Clarence Johnston(drums), Art Hillary(piano), Ernie Andrews(song), Teddy Edwards(tenor) -- photo by Mark Weber

Teddy Edwards Sextet — July 5, 1980 at Watts Towers Jazz Festival w/ Clora Bryant (trumpet), Fred Carter (trombone), Leroy Vinnegar (bass), Clarence Johnston (drums), Art Hillary (piano),Ernie Andrews (song), Teddy Edwards (tenor) — photo by Mark Weber

Kirk Silsbee & Gil ---------- and Kirk Silsbee with Charlie Rouse (note the sketchbook in Kirk's hand) -- backstage at Hollywood Bowl Playboy Jazz Festival -- June 18, 1983 -- photo by Mark Weber

Kirk Silsbee & Gil ———- and Kirk Silsbee with Charlie Rouse (note the sketchbook in Kirk’s hand) — backstage at Hollywood Bowl Playboy Jazz Festival — June 18, 1983 — photo by Mark Weber

Art Pepper & Warne Marsh at Donte's -- February 6, 1977 -- photo by Mark Weber

Art Pepper & Warne Marsh at Donte’s — February 6, 1977 — photo by Mark Weber

 The bopper-at-heart Red Holloway, tenor saxophonist, sailor, and manager of the Parisian Room, one of the great black jazz clubs of Los Angeles -- June 10, 1979 -- photo by Mark Weber

The bopper-at-heart Red Holloway, tenor saxophonist, sailor, and manager of the Parisian Room, one of the great black jazz clubs of Los Angeles — June 10, 1979 — photo by Mark Weber

The Bill Holman Big Band: Trumpets: Bill Stapleton, Frank Szabo, Bob Summers, Don Rader; Trombones: Bob Enevoldsen(valve trombone, sunglasses), Jack Redman, Rick Pulver, Kenny Shroyer; Saxophones: Bob Cooper(tenor), Mike Altschul, Dan Higgins, Bob Shepherd, Kenny Berger(low end); Milcho Leviev(piano); Monty Bodwig(bass), Nick Ceroli(drums), Dave Levine(conga), Bill Holman (tenor & conductor) -- July 25, 1980 -- Bonaventure Hotel, downtown Los Angeles -- photo by Mark Weber -- Bill Holman is the quintessential Angeleno, drives sportscars, chooses his words carefully, has been active on the L.A. scene since the the late 40s, his weekly rehearsals at Local 47 are legendary for his artistic painterly winding travels his arrangements take ---- I got the best understanding over what he was about when he released his CD of Thelonious Monk arrangements in 1997 in that one already knows innately these renowned melodies, and hearing Holman's treatments gave you an insight into his methods, and how Monk's tunes had doorways that Holman opened up and stepped inside

The Bill Holman Big Band: Trumpets: Bill Stapleton, Frank Szabo, Bob Summers, Don Rader; Trombones: Bob Enevoldsen (valve trombone, sunglasses), Jack Redman, Rick Pulver, Kenny Shroyer; Saxophones: Bob Cooper (tenor), Mike Altschul, Dan Higgins, Bob Shepherd, Kenny Berger (low end); Milcho Leviev (piano); Monty Budwig (bass), Nick Ceroli (drums), Dave Levine (conga), Bill Holman (tenor & conductor) — July 25, 1980 — Bonaventure Hotel, downtown Los Angeles — photo by Mark Weber — Bill Holman is the quintessential Angeleno, drives sportscars, chooses his words carefully, has been active on the L.A. scene since the the late 40s, his weekly rehearsals at Local 47 are legendary for his artistic painterly winding travels his arrangements take —- I got the best understanding over what he was about when he released his CD of Thelonious Monk arrangements in 1997 in that one already knows innately these renowned melodies, and hearing Holman’s treatments gave you an insight into his methods, and how Monk’s tunes had doorways that Holman opened up and stepped inside

Bobby Bradford is not only an artist musician but an historian and in that capacity has served for years as a mentor to both Kirk Silsbee and myself ---- photo and line drawing by Mark Weber -- October 21, 1979

Bobby Bradford is not only an artist musician but an historian and in that capacity has served for years as a mentor to both Kirk Silsbee and myself —- photo and line drawing by Mark Weber — October 21, 1979

Kirk tells me that the very first interview he ever did was with Art Farmer way back when we both were first dipping our fingers into historiography ------------- This shot is from Howard Rumsey's Concerts by the Sea, Redondo Beach, California on the coast of Los Angeles ---- The Art Farmer-Cedar Walton Quartet w/ Sam Jones(bass) and Billy Higgins(drums) -- photo by Mark Weber

Kirk tells me that the very first interview he ever did was with Art Farmer way back when we both were first dipping our fingers into historiography ————- This shot is from Howard Rumsey’s Concerts by the Sea, Redondo Beach, California on the coast of Los Angeles —- The Art Farmer-Cedar Walton Quartet w/ Sam Jones (bass) and Billy Higgins (drums) — photo by Mark Weber — May 5, 1977

I first became acquainted with guitarist extraordinaire Ken Rosser via Bobby Bradford's Mo'tet, but here is in the augmented version of violinist Harry Scorzo's Vio-Fonik -- April 11, 2o10 at Alva's Performance Center, San Pedro, California -- photo by Mark Weber

I first became acquainted with guitarist extraordinaire Ken Rosser via Bobby Bradford’s Mo’tet, but here he is in the augmented version of violinist Harry Scorzo’s Vio-Fonik — April 11, 2o10 at Alva’s Performance Center, San Pedro, California — photo by Mark Weber

On the show this Thursday we'll engage in a telephone conversation with the jazz scholar Kirk Silsbee over the telephone from Santa Monica ----- Kirk and I go way back to the 70s when we'd bump into each other at jazz joints all over Los Angeles --------- His journalism can currently be found at dOWNBEAT, Jewish Journal, the Downtown News, Artsmeme.com, and the Hungry Eye column for California Art Club Quarterly. He can be seen in documentaries on Teddy, Edwards, Frank Morgan, The Lighthouse, and a forthcoming film called Bop! Kirk grew up in Inglewood, which is equal parts rough & tumble and quasi-safe, haha. (I didn't spend a lot of time lingering in Inglewood back in the day. Hollywood Park was there, if you were into watching the horses run.) Kirk says that his first concert he ever attended was The Cream at the Anaheim Convention Center, and that concurrently he was soaking up the blues at the Ash Grove, and jazz at The Lighthouse. We'll have an interesting conversation. You'll like him. Photo of Kirk with Lionel Hampton by Steve Appleford at A&M Studios, Hollywood, December 1994

On the show this Thursday we’ll engage in a telephone conversation with the jazz scholar Kirk Silsbee over the telephone from Santa Monica —– Kirk and I go way back to the 70s when we’d bump into each other at jazz joints all over Los Angeles ——— His journalism can currently be found at dOWNBEAT, Jewish Journal, the Downtown News, Artsmeme.com, and the Hungry Eye column for California Art Club Quarterly. He can be seen in documentaries on Teddy Edwards, Frank Morgan, The Lighthouse, and a forthcoming film called Bop! Kirk grew up in Inglewood, which is equal parts rough & tumble and quasi-safe, haha. (I didn’t spend a lot of time lingering in Inglewood back in the day. Hollywood Park was there, if you were into watching the horses run.) Kirk says that his first concert he ever attended was The Cream at the Anaheim Convention Center, and that concurrently he was soaking up the blues at the Ash Grove, and jazz at The Lighthouse. We’ll have an interesting conversation. You’ll like him. Photo of Kirk with Lionel Hampton by Steve Appleford at A&M Studios, Hollywood, December 1994

So much immortal music has been recorded in that building that it appears to levitate (the recording studios are on the ground floor -- the echo chambers are in the basement) -- February 5, 2011 ---- photo & squiggle by Mark Weber

So much immortal music has been recorded in that building that it appears to levitate (the
recording studios are on the ground floor — the echo chambers are in the basement) — February 5, 2011 —- photo & squiggle by Mark Weber

 Harold Land, of whom our guest today Kirk Silsbee in one of this newspaper articles once called "the Dapper Buddhist" with Warne Marsh on Sunset Boulevard -- April 12, 1985 -- photo by Mark Weber

Harold Land, of whom our guest today Kirk Silsbee in one of his newspaper articles once called “the Dapper Buddhist” with Warne Marsh on Sunset Boulevard — April 12, 1985 — photo by Mark Weber

Collage and self-portrait by Kirk Silsbee ----------- Somewhere along the line Kirk went to art school, but he got sucked into jazz writing instead-------Kirk is what historians are: they synthesize, analyze, contextualize, and all those other eyes, like Lester Young says, he's got eyes for history and bringing forth the important elements with reverence and insight, all put forward with the cool self-assurance of one who knows whereof he speaks (and not in the breathless hyperbolic caffeinated style of pop critics who blaze across the page with unnecessary urgency like a flaming press release) and covering a subject as irreducible as jazz, a music that is largely underground in America, but prevails, thanks to guys like Kirk Silsbee (I would characterize Kirk as more Herodotus than Homer, with maybe a dash of Hesiod, who glorified existence).

Collage and self-portrait by Kirk Silsbee ———– Somewhere along the line Kirk went to art school, but he got sucked into jazz journalism instead——-Kirk is what historians are: they synthesize, analyze, contextualize, and all those other eyes, like Lester Young says, he’s got eyes for history and bringing forth the important elements with reverence and insight, all put forward with the cool self-assurance of one who knows whereof he speaks (and not in the breathless hyperbolic caffeinated style of pop critics who blaze across the page with unnecessary urgency like a flaming press release) and covering a subject as irreducible as jazz, a music that is largely underground in America, but prevails, thanks to guys like Kirk Silsbee (I would characterize Kirk as more Herodotus than Homer, with maybe a dash of Hesiod, who glorified existence).

View from Quarry Farm of the Chemung Valley and Chemung River and the town of Elmira (where my Janet grew up) in upstate New York ---- March 27, 1988 ---- Quarry Farm is on East Hill and was the summer home of Mark Twain, this view is directly from where his writing studio used to stand (the renowned Mississippi River Pilot House is now located at Elmira College down below) ---- Twain had such mastery over the English language and one of the largest vocabularies on record (we each have 3 vocabularies: 1) our reading vocabulary 2) our writing vocabulary 3) our speaking vocabulary -- #1 being the largest, we understand more words reading that we don't necessarily use in talking or writing) Now, Twain was so hip -- because it's all about communicating, right? -- He could use an unfamiliar word, but by its placement you knew intrinsically what it meant! Would that we all could be so hip

View from Quarry Farm of the Chemung Valley and Chemung River and the town of Elmira (where my Janet grew up) in upstate New York —- March 27, 1988 —- Quarry Farm is on East Hill and was the summer home of Mark Twain, this view is directly from where his writing studio used to stand (the renowned Mississippi River Pilot House is now located at Elmira College down below) —- Twain had such mastery over the English language and one of the largest vocabularies on record (we each have 3 vocabularies: 1) our reading vocabulary 2) our writing vocabulary 3) our speaking vocabulary — #1 being the largest, we understand more words reading that we don’t necessarily use in talking or writing) Now, Twain was so hip — because it’s all about communicating, right? — He could use an unfamiliar word, but by its placement you knew intrinsically what it meant! Would that we all could be so hip

11 Comments

  1. please tell Kirk “hello” and “thank you” from me. Thanks, Mark !

  2. michael vlatkovich

    October 26, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Mark the trombone player in Bill Holman picture is Rick Culver.

  3. michael vlatkovich

    October 26, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Mark I noticed some other misspellings also

  4. I’m humbled by your post, Mark. My work is not about me, so it’s a little strange to see so much Silsbee business going on; but so be it.

    That Gil Evans shirt I’m wearing in the Playboy Jazz Festival photo was designed by my late friend and jazz mentor Patrick Fitzgerald (1929-2016). He was a graphic designer from St. Paul who played drums in a bebop band at a black-owned place called Howard’s Steak House. Players from touring bands led by Charlie Ventura, Georgie Auld and Herbie Fields used to jam at Howard’s on Sunday afternoons. Serge Chaloff wanted Patrick to go on the road with him (on the tour when Serge cut his last album, for Capitol) but Pat had to decide if he was going to try to make it as a drummer or put his graphic design education and skills to work. He chose the latter.

    I met him in the early ’70s and, for whatever reason, he took an extraordinary amount of time breaking down jazz and its history to me. His sensibilities were acute and his taste was superb. Every door he pointed me was a sonic world unto itself: Armstrong’s Hot Fives and Sevens, Big Sid Catlet’s drumming, Ellington’s Blanton-Webster band, Sonny Greer’s drumming, Lester Young–with and without Basie, Jo Jones’s drumming, Goodman’s ’41 band (with the Eddie Sauter arrangements) and his sextets with Charlie Christian, the Herman Herds, Dave Tough’s drumming, Claude Thornhill, Tiny Kahn’s drumming, Lennie Tristano and Konitz/Marsh, Max Roach’s drumming, Monk, Philly Jo Jones’s drumming, Gil Evans–with and without Miles, Shelly Manne’s drumming, the Coltrane Quartet, Elvin Jones’s drumming, Whitney Balliett’s writing, and many other inside tracks on the music.

    In the 1980s Patrick taught himself how to use a computer and designed several original fonts. He combined his two passions and designed a CD-Rom on the history of jazz. He managed to get it to a number of important people and firms who were interested in marketing it. But it always came down to those entities either wanting to own the property outright or they weren’t interested. Herbie Hancock and Artie Shaw were two of the people who were dazzled by it. I own one of the few copies extant and it’s damn good.

    Patrick passed on last year. He gave me critical tools for my work, and priceless stories: Johnny Hodges and Otto Hardwick nudging each other when they spotted the two white boys from the previous show at the Orpheum–back for more, Jo Jones looming magisterially over Basie’s rhythm section, Lee Konitz playing an extended intro to “Ornithology” that stopped the befuddled Thornhill band in its tracks, drummer Ed Shaughnessy and trombonist Benny Green sitting in at Howard’s, Buddy Rich playing to an empty house in San Diego and being gracious, the Gil Evans Orchestra levitating the subterranean Concerts By The Sea.

    We’re gonna have a good time on November 2nd.

  5. Kirk,

    I hardly recognize you in your youth. Thanks for the fine article and the nostalgia.

  6. Kirk! Mark! Man oh man… Would love to hear the conversation but I will be playing (“Lovers” music) in Warsaw. Life is very interesting! Thanks to you both for your historical passion and acumen. XO N

  7. great stuff, as always…..love the Warne Marsh photos…. to me he was the ultimate improviser

  8. Mark Weber

    November 3, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    —————————–playlist——————————–
    The Infinite Variability Jazz Radio Show
    November 2, 2o17
    KUNM Albuquerque
    Host MARK WEBER

    1. Joe Pass Quartet “There is No Greater Love” — 3am 6feb1964 w/ Mike Wofford(piano), Jim Hughart(b), Colin Bailey(drums) cd box THE COMPLETE PACIFIC JAZZ JOE PASS QUARTET SESSIONS (Mosaic) w/
    liner notes by Kirk Silsbee
    2. Bill Holman Band “Misterioso” –Feb.1997 cd THE MUSIC OF THELONIOUS MONK (JVC)
    3. “Straight No Chaser” as previous
    4. Live telephone conversation with KIRK SILSBEE
    5. Buell Neidlinger band THELONIOUS w/ Marty Krystall(tenor), Billy Osborne(drums), John Beasley(piano), Buell(bass) “Thelonious” from Lp on K2B2 Records w/ liner notes by Kirk Silsbee
    6. Mose Allison “Stop the World” — 9nov1962 (Atlantic) Lp
    7. John Graas Quintet —– altho, this track has only Graas(Fr.Horn), Jack Montrose(tenor) & Buddy Clark(bass)
    simply because the track is called “Trio”(Graas) from cd JAZZ LAB 1 & 2 (Lonehill Jazz) —– one of those
    perky post-war happy 1950s optimism melodies
    8. Bobby Bradford solo cornet “Redwood” — 7july79 from COMPLETE REVELATION SESSIONS (Mosaic Select)
    9. Chet Baker & Gerry Mulligan Quartet “Cherry” —24feb53
    10. Joe Pass Quartet “Bag’s Groove” ibid.

  9. ———————————playlist——————————
    the constitutionality jazz radio show
    November 9, 2017
    KUNM Albuquerque
    Host MARK WEBER

    1. Kurt Rosenwinkel Standards Trio “Reflections”(Monk) cd REFLECTIONS — 2009 release date
    *KR bringing a quartet into the Outpost this night in Albuquerque
    2. Birgetta Flick Quartet “De doda kattomas grotta” — Jan.2o12 w/ Andreas Schmidt(piano), Max Andrzejewski(drums), Andreas Edelmann(bass), Birgetta Flick(tenor) — cd YINGYING * I urged listeners to go to YouTube and see Birgetta in duet with pianist Carol Liebowitz playing Tristano’s “Ablution”
    3. Paul Horn octet “Pony Tale”(PH) –30dec57 cd PLENTY OF HORN (Fresh Sound) w/Fred Katz(cello), Red Mitchell(bass), Chico Hamilton(drums), John Pisano(guitar), Larry Bunker(vibes), Paul Horn(flute), Gerry Wiggins(piano)
    4. Conte Candoli sextet w/ Ira Sullivan(tenor) March 1954 — “Night Flight”(Pete Candoli) cd COAST TO COAST (Fresh Sound)
    5. Mike LeDonne Groover Quartet “AwwLright1” –15apr2015 cd AWWLRIGHT! (Savant) w/ Eric Alexander(tenor), Peter Bernstein(guitar), Joe Farnsworth(drums), LeDonne(organ)
    6. Mose Allison “Your Mind is on Vacation” –15mar62
    7. Gary Foster & Putter Smith, tenor & bass duet “Jam for your bread” — May 2006 cd PERFECT CIRCULARITY
    8. Muhal Richard Abrams (R.I.P. Oct 29) from his first album, the title track LEVELS AND DEGREES OF LIGHT (Delmark) Lp –21dec67
    9. Arlen Asher Quartet “Nancy with the laughing face” — c.2016 cd LOVESOME JAZZ WOODWINDS
    10. Lester Young “I Guess I’ll Have to Change My Plan” cd THE COMPLETE LESTER YOUNG STUDIO SESSIONS ON VERVE — 12jan56
    11. Richie Kamuca – Bill Holman octet “Star Eyes” w/ Conte Candoli(trumpet), Richie(tenor), Bill(Bari), Stan Levey(drums), Monty Budwig(bass), Vince Guaraldi(piano), Ed Leddy(trpt), Frank Rosolino(trombone) –1959
    cd JAZZ EROTICA
    12. Gerry Mulligan – Chet Baker Quartet w/ Lee Konitz sitting in “These Foolish Things” –January 1953 *Lee
    in town on tour with Stan Kenton on a night off —- Recorded at The Haig, Los Angeles w/ Carson Smith(bass), Larry Bunker(drums)
    13. OrnEtc. cd THESE TIMES — a Santa Fe quintet: Lee Steck(vibes), Chris Jonas(tenor), Dan Pearlman(cornet), Noah Baumeister(bass), Dave Wayne(drums) “Dinclusin”(DW) — April 2o17

  10. Thanks for playing the OrnEtc album!

  11. * I didn’t notice until this morning when listening to the aircheck that I had cue’d the wrong Lester Young track as I had to dart out of the control room take care of some pressing business, but it still was a great languid version of “I’m in the mood for love” w/ Lester + rhythm section

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