|Don with Pete Gemski 2012|
1st International Jazz Festival May 31 - June 3 1962
I went to this concert my senior year in High School... I was just getting into jazz, buying 33 1/3 rpm records and listening to them on an inexpensive record player which I had bought at a drug store for about $24.95.
I went to the Saturday evening event and it was a barn-burner. It looked like a sellout crowd because I
did not see many empty seats.Oscar Peterson Trio led
|Oscar Peterson Trio, early sixties|
|Basie Band in 1962|
I returned for the Sunday, June 3 concert. The Count Basie Orchestra opened to a packed house. I remember the fantastic trumpet section featuring solos by Thad Jones and Snooky Young. And yes, the drummer was a powerhouse named Sonny Payne. I think Frank Wess and Eddie Newman were also there in the sax section along with Marshall Royal. I remember Basie trying to wave the spotlight off him and onto the soloist then performing. He tried several times and the lighting man finally got the message. An uptempo chart called "Whirlybird" had the crowd going and then, of course, they ended with the immortal "One 'O Clock Jump". The Slide Hampton Octet was next followed by Gloria Lynne and the Earl May Trio.
|Thelonious in NY 1962|
I had a great two days there and saw/heard a lot of the top masters and legends of jazz. By the way, I don't
remember how much tickets cost, but they were not expensive. A lot of things were cheaper back then.
Thanks so much Don - for giving us a glimpse into such a momentous occasion for jazz and the world! You can check out some of Don's music and playing at his very stylish blog. - PCJ
|Woody Herman at the Uline Arena;|
photo courtesy of 1959 BHS Mustangs.