Monday, December 26, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- The Cats You Never Heard Of- And the cats you should hear more of.


I'm in that kind of mood today so let's run with it. I just found a great solo of
one my unsung fav's tenor monster- Morris Atchinson. What a great sound- and he is as great as anyone.

"Love Of Mine - Bobby "Blue" Bland

Check these- then read on please ;

Tim Price- The Cats You Never Heard Of

Back in the day...As a teenager I heard a tenor saxophonist ~

~ The tenor players name was- Billy Mitchell! I saw him through a dirty bar room window in my home town in Reading, Pa as a kid. He wa splaying with trombonist Al Grey.That left a huge impression on me as a young player. Every week I'd go stand
outside & look thru the dirty glass window on 7th street ( which is where the railroad is...Eg-Reading Railroad for all you Monopoly fans ) And dig the bands. One time I heard Billy Root with Al Grey.Another time this guy FRANK HAYNES, who was like a Trane -grits type line player with a chitlin' Gene Ammons sound.
Frank later recorded with Lee Morgan & Grant Green.

AS time passed...I started to work on the next street at the C.P Club on
weekends and Sundays. ( C.P means Colored Political ) So I got
to meet some of those sax players while I was still in high school.We'd play a lot of soul music with jazz instrumentals as covers. It gave all of a chance to play but also meet some of these guys at an early age. After all- jazz did not start with " Giant Steps" and " Love Supreme". Years later at Berklee, in my apartment building, there was a guy who lived in my building in Boston Gary Hammond. Came off the road in 1970 to study in Boston..he just left " The Ice Breakers". Hammond later played with Patton and at times still does. Gary is a unsung player and a sweetheart of a guy. I
love his playin'. Hes on some Johnny Hammond Smith records and some Barbara
Donald stuff on Cadence records. I got to mention two guys from Philly who played in that bag-one was the late great Rudy Jones. He never left Philly. He and I used to
play a lot with Don Patterson in late 70's. Another Philly guy who never got
credit was Vance Wilson. Great tenor player. Ask Benny Golson about Rudy Jones
sometime-you'll be good for a half hour talk at least.

I always get concerned about these guys because they were the backbone of tenor playing. Like Bergonzi said " The cats you never heard of". They helped me in many ways...I get concerned because these enviroments like the clubs etc are not around anymore. Even the audiences have changed. And believe me these bands and players were an education unto themselves. I worry that young players will miss the essence of
Fred Jackson , Marvin Cabell, Rudy Rutherford,Rudolph Johnson, Tom Russell, Weasel Parker, Leo Johnson in Newark,Miles Donahue,Sue Terry, Sam Phipps, Arnie Krackowski, Bll Saxton in NYC, Patience Higgins and so many more.With the loss of the record industry and the influx of commercial sales- things have gotten worse.Yes- the " net" is somewhat of a help but the players I'm talking about are of another era. These guys have paid some real dues.Listen for them. AND THERE'S MORE....

~ Till next week step out of your comfort zone and listen to some people that you don't know.

Have a great New Year and see you in 2012. Have a great one!


1 comment:

  1. i met morris today at the hospital. we talked about jazz for a few minutes. im familiar because of my parents. he could use some recognition, or maybe a wikipedia page from a dear fan...