The Lost Generation... ( by-tim price )
- 1st. Chourus -
Krivda turned down Miles
due to he knew he'd be ...LOST... in the din of those 70s funk things Miles had.
I woulda took the gig , but not everyone plugs a bassoon in.
He stood his ground....
When everyone was soundin' Dukoff / MadisonAvenue / Trane etc etc...
the power of individuality started to get lost.
and more guys...got lost in the
change of scene. A lot of us...either worked within the music.
Or-did like Krivda did and stayed within a city that supports you.
I spent decades in big bands (Harry James )and doing the chittlin circuit..with organ groups.
It paid well enuf ( at least 250 a week...in 70s ) and I got calls cuz' I was sober and on time and
NOT sound like a Trane/Dukoff type of guy.
and there's NOTHING wrong with that school btw-
it just became kinda over done.
When I was with Jack McDuff- we traveled 8 months doing music that was
BURNING...6 nights a week- sometimes 4 sets. Bashing FUN jazz.
People in the clubs standing up screaming and partying!!! We went to record-
and the PRODUCER...wanted names. So half way thru the date...NAMES were brought in.
The road band quit on the spot. ( Joe Dukes and Ponder were in this band ) Silly huh??
Execs,,,producers...biz ears...never came out `
to the clubs in Newark, Chicago, Detroit to hear music.
Hell- they barely covered the " Vision" fest in NyC...this year.
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The "powers that be"...
just don't know/or care to know.
media/jazz press..just don't have a clue.
The record companys..just don't exist within
If you take a NyC jazz gig, Its a DOOR gig.
That includes most everyone-unless your Pharoah or Potter.
cats they are-and I love them.
It’s just like walking up glass.
I played a lot with Krivda in Clevland. I love his stuff.
We used Josh Breakstone, Roger Humphries, Greg Bandy etc etc.
Ernie even suggested me to a producer- and once the brew-haha was done. So it goes.
Months-playing phone tag, and ideas flying
in short-NOTHING happened.
It gets exasperating/frustrating and expensive phone wise to keep it up.
month my bill was over 200 bucks, in 80s, due to the phone tag … meant well
I guess, but damn..ya know ~
A larger label, is not going to deal.
As much as I love Bergonzi- he is case in point on... WHY
ain't he on Verve or ??? BlueNote recorded him...and left him sit.
out Ads or PR...people don't know you’re out there. They didn't have to send
him to VietNam...but he's survived....and still kickin' ass.
So- you do what you do…be glad your alive & can play.
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Billy Harper-teaches at the New School, does well. a great run. Played with Lee
Morgan, Max Roach etc. Thad. As great as
he plays, there's not much can be done UNLESS a producer puts $$ and time down.
A few of the gigs near NYC I did with Rachel Z, with my bands, I called
producer/media/biz folks. Just to TRY. hahaha-not one of them
showed. But on the phone...they were coming.."
their people!! " SOS.
I dunno what the answer is.
Wish I did.
Ya try to lead a normal life- pay bills, get medial coverage, own a car.
Ya gotta hustle 24-7 unless you like to.. live for the moment.
Which does NOT work in this era. So ya just keep shedding, and ...
Hope nobody took this as bitter or a rant. Please don't it's a tough
subject when you’re involved head first.
I know MOST of the names mentioned, LOTS are buds.
The business/press ignored too many or just NEVER listened properly.
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Sam Phipps!!! NOW-a dedicated cat. TOP of my list.
Just got a Xmas card from him knows the HISTORY.
turned me on to...A LOT.
Marucio Smith-WOW. Just like my friend, Mario Rivera...
buried in Latin bands to live/pay bills. NOW-
These guys SHOULDA or should get the same HELP
that younger guys do, Like Paquito did etc ....but I'm telling you...it ain't going down. SAD.
is a killer bari player and more versatile than the bulk of NY guys. More
listenable sound wise... plays GREAT flute and soprano, as well as ANYTHING
ELSE. I'd take him over most anyone.
Rockwell..HAD..to split here. He was driving a cab in NYC...while playing w/Thad n' Mel. How depressing is that?
Claire Daly plays great- and she has NO manager, nadda. And she won
the DownBeat poll. And she can draw-she's a beautiful player and beautiful woman.Creative redheaded mommacita in Eb. SOS. The business....
just like some geek in a joint talking when your into your 3ed chorus in that ballad.
ALL those years in Basie band-ya think SOMEONE
boosted Kenny Hings career a tad huh?
Anyhow- when ya put the horn in your mouth and play...
what could be better??? Myself, I want to play.
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To be out here all these years is a
blessing. I create stuff to do,
if someone hears it , cool.
I've felt the "lost" serves well, but as Bert Wilson said,
" The Ignored".
Some it has to do with marketing of "who’s hot" and
sales. I can live with that. No problem. It’s commerce. But, if one thing CAN
sell...sure as heck so can others.
There's a lot of players…over
the years I've tried to mention here...to just promote interest.
Twenty years of writing in Sax Journal.Not one bad review orlame article
on a saxist. I did the Unsung...the real...the cats you never heard of.
The street cats made phone calls to thank me....the ivory tower guys_NEVER_said thanks.
I really wasn't looking for thanks....I was looking to expose the music.
Yesterday, I ran into in NyC...
me back in 1969 when we were young cats
in Berklee. WHAT A SOUND HE HAD.
And~still does. Todd SHOULD of...
been dealt with as a player, eons ago. Again, if you check him out, not only IS
he a fantastic player, who HAS to make his rent by recording engineer work, but...
HE'S AN INNOVATOR. Funky, in your face tenor with a big soul.
Funny side story- this cat also BEFORE Berklee studied with my man Bert Wilson.
about CONNECTIONS. No wonder I dig him.
Listen to his stuff. You'll hear it.
But, to step further,
most all of the jazz critics are NOT
musicians. Many are pretty much ~followers~
if PLAYER XX...is doing RECORD OF THE YEAR...
they ALL climb in that wagon. I've met a few.
Case in point- in this past summer...in mid day.
At 2 in the afternoon in NyC at a great NyC art gallery in Chelsea, Sue Terry and I did 4 CONCERTS.
Which were well attended. I invited a LOT of the "jazz press" to stop by.
various Saturdays. Ya think SOMEONE might have the time??!!!???
The FOCUS or lack of...that gets " lost" people lost ,
is that only a certain amount do things.
Its kinda like the same dozen players record/do festivals and function.
Just look Its easy to see. AND...many "name" players are very hip to this but stay silent.
Some promoters have even TOLD
the musicians, about what NAMES they want in the rhythm
section. A great friend of mine was telling me this…and I was
STUNNED that it was even that far.
This _friend_has played with Mingus & is one of the bad
cats on alto sax.Very Bird based yet at this point in his life he SHOULD
be able to hire WHO he wants. Trust me he was very mad.
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The only way..is to just KEEP ON.
Survive and remember that your main purpose IS playing music.
IF..that gets whacked...you have nothing.
You gotta learn to tell_SOME_people to fuck off.
It's a 50/50 thing. They understand. Matter o' fact...they feed on it.They want it.
So in that case- Don't do it!! That's jazz....the hidden meaning.
Yea, WHAT DID MILES PLAY??????? Hmmmmmmm?!!!!!!!
One critic I am aware of is a Philly MD. He has a medical practice. Nice guy but has NO
CLUE. He writes for 2 jazz mags. Not only
drenched in stupid remarks but just-NOT COOL.
If I would say to this so called ....CRITIC. Look I'm cool with your
opinion...but first just show me where "middle C" is on a piano. Come on do it.
where can a guy like that, get off at writing about players who SET THE STAGE in this ART FORM.
I mean show some class, and respect for a person who’s ...DONE IT.
I am glad this is being properly talked
about. It makes me feel very good. It’s a good
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ALSO...by the way. There's another
player...David Valdez. Lives in Portland area...BAD
ALTO cat. Then there's this dude...Tommy Russell..lives NEXT
DOOR to Bert Wilson in Olympia
who is aMaZiNG. Plays from Pee Wee Russell to ANY
Bert tune. Then you got
my friend Jenny Hill in NyC... who will funk ya outta the room with her LIQUIDHORN.
theres..Eric Person. FANTASTIC alto. ( and bud )
ALSO- Tony Dagradi in NO. What a soulful sound.
Not to mention wildman Marty Krystall or Sue Terry, Dick Johnson, Bootsie Barnes.
Bergonzi sais he wants to write a tune called " The Cats you never heard of".
I might just beat him to it!! could write a Maceo version and a bop version.
Hmmmmmm- not a bad idea.
Fantastic MUSICIAN. Chopin, Bach , Brahms and deep
classical. composed symphonies and Concertos. Hope someday
they get played.
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A friend sent me this while I was on the road. It's a drag because
Don was really one of the living legends.
Don Lanphere was a real friend and inspiration to me. Via the soul
and spirit and musically. He'd call me
on the phone every couple of weeks and talk about music and
related things.....on the level with a Lucky Thompson.
Don's soprano playing was some of the best ever
His ""time"" feel on tenor was a knock out. Ideas...
really well placed note choice and depth of character.... saxophone wise.
EG-he WAS a master.
know a guy on this level...for me...who was associated with Bird & the
"cats" was a blessing for me as a fellow traveler.
Once I came back from a long drive from Cleveland....via Ernie Krivda gigs etc...almost 15 hours
in my old "Ford Exploder"...on the Pa Turnpike.
I was drained and beat from driving.
As I got in my home...I looked at my mail...here was a letter
from DON LANPHERE!!!!! And...I never met this guy as of yet!!
His letter stated that we had mutual friends ( Mariano, Jimmy Mosher..etc etc ) and how much he LOVED
my "Great Tenor Solos" book.
This was a 5 page letter with a separate pak of ALL
Could you imagine...how I felt then??
What a thrill......
As time moved on he'd fax me tunes...
exercises he was doing...or just great un-sung
a guy of my generation was not privy to.
His candid advise on my playing was a HUGE
he was a huge help to my evolution....he was such a nice guy..and everyone loved him.
I remember well when Joe Zawinul saw Don his face lit up...and it seemed his embrace to Don was over 10 minutes.
Later I took Don to a session...and without a doubt those notes he played are in my ears for life!!!
It was standing aside of Bird or Bud.
I mean...he was that cool.
This older cat....
a pony tail and the look of a sage.
When he played....you could see "the zone" he went to.
That state of mind that few go to...it's beyond anything.
Like what Getz called "The Alpha State".
AND..I never saw anyone sound so good on
I think he used like stock Couf pieces with fibercell reeds. On Yani saxes.
He was NOT concerned with any of that stuff. Just that he could pick his sax up and it worked.
REST was on him he said!!! ( lesson learned from Bird I bet )
Anyhow there is a nice story below...and I hope some of you
go listen to Don. He's a link to past but a big link to your future if you study him.
I am bummed that this guy has left us...
he was so hip and cool. VERY INSPIRATIONAL.
I was lucky...to know him....and
I think there was a reason WHY...I did.
(( If that makes sense ))
Go listen to my friend Don Lanphere.
was a legend!!
I'm gonna really, really miss him...
When talking to Don, I felt good.
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Somedays on 43 st you'd see Ashby sittin' with Frank Lowe and Schnitter and just cracking up on Ashbys crazy humor.
Lowe was always inspiring...' One day...I went to his place...and he was listening to a young
tenor player from the south....THEN....he'd immediately throw a record on by Jr Walker. THEN- he'd grab his tenor and try to join the two sounds in his head. I asked HIM ....WHY?
HE SAID I like to get inspired!!!
MAN,, he WAS inspiring.
of sound. Lowe-Windo. Who remembers that
played hard,,yet understood the inside of
jazz from the horn-OUT.
Ashby..had this great juice machine. Always making juice and fasting.
With-set lists on post it notes ALL over his refrigerator.
shed w/Ashby...and comp simple chords on his piano for him. Or
-play Ellington melodys on tenor. Trying to get INSIDE
those beautiful melodys Duke or Billy wrote.
With Lowe...it was just great to talk to him for a second-He was always telling
you someone to dig.
When Lowe got ill...
Lovano sent him a get well package and cards to the hospital. Lowe was touched.
once that cancer got in…We all knew.
Two guys...off the 43ed st scene..GONE.
Somehow..things ain't what they used to be. Frank Lowe had everything.
Frank Lowe was a beautiful human being- talk about passion. I learned it from him.
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Harold Ashby passed on Friday...in New York City in his hospital room..
He played with Duke Ellington...was an early session blues saxist in Chicago playing
for the likes of everyone from Jimmy Witherspoon
to Muddy Waters to Ike
Turner to Otis Rush.
Ashby was the protege of Ben Webster, the Swing-era tenor saxophonist
renowned unique, magisterial, creamy-to-barking tone was designed for ballads,
was aces on medium-to-fast swingers too
Frog (a Webster nickname) took fellow Kansas City native
“Ash” under his wing and ultimately introduced him to Ellington, with whom
Ashby worked on and off until Ellington’s death . Even tho he was linked
His sound, gorgeous like his mentor’s, often has a shade
more edge and darkness, more facility than Ben, handling fast tempos with aplomb.
He played an old re-worked LINK mouthpiece
that Frank Wells opened up for him.(as did Frank for Ben Webster!! )
When Ashby last recorded and he sounded better than ever. I
told him that when I was hangin' out with him one day in N.Y.C ....and he
seemed to agree. Tho, he was never satisfied. Ash to some might of seemed like
he was just chillin' but more often than not...when I visited his small room in NYC,,, he was practicing
tunes and making set lists for his gigs. He had set lists on "post it" notes all over his fridge.
LOL-His horn of choice was a Selmer balanced action.
One time when I was complaining about reeds to him he stated to me..." Look
here Tim..I don't care wht's happening in those boxes...as long as they ain't
broke....they gonna play because I'll make em' play".( Dig that..)
He was also an amazing clarinetist but denied it when asked. Think
about it...to play those Ellington parts on clarinet...ya had to be able to play.
What drew me to his playing immediately was he doesn’t play a lot of notes,
often going with short phrases for maximum rhythmic impact; and he
can make a repeated single note swing like mad. High tones shake with his sure
vibrato, and contrastingly low bottom notes pop right out. He had superb
tonal and timbral reproduction, and outstanding sonic clarity and detail.
Not to mention...his NOTE CHOICE...was pure good taste. ( ears!!! )
grace. .I loved him madly for sure.
AND- learned A LOT from his friendship- I was very lucky
to have known him like I did.
-Once... I went to Battery Park- to hear him with Illinois Jacquets big band. ASH
sat there for a set with NO solo. The 2ed set...Illinois let Ashby play on " Sweet Georgia Brown"...the chart
had a few hip key modulations that woulda stopped a lot of tenor players a bit. Ashby went to the mic' lika boxer...and tore
Battery Park up. BROUGHT THE PLACE DOWN!!!!!
People went nuts....it reminded me of Gonsalvez at Newport with Duke. WILD!!@#@#!
Another time- I heard him play with Jimmy Rowles at a dumb bar in Hells Kitchen.
I wish I had a tape player with me then.
On the cover of the Sax Journal, he had a G# key covered with tin foil
so it wouldn't stick...along with a black ring he wore that was Ben Websters. I just look
at that pic'....I'm glad I had...THE PLEASURE....
of knowing this man.
He defined tenor playing at it's highest level.
He was so inspiring....a benchmark for all
the tenor players for decades to come.
What a player, 43ed street ain't the same.
No more Ashby.
No more Frank Lowe.
Sometimes..I sit with Schnitter...with Marcus too.
It's ..Frank Lowe & Harold Ashby.
Ashby was funny cat too...if you got a gig...like one gig in 5 months.
He'd tell ya...YEA.. YOU GOT ALL THE GIGS.
And, ya probally did.
Things ain't what....they used to be.
Special thanks for his great editing to Neil Sharpe, net cowboy SAX PLAYER at large for his advise and groovy editing.
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