Thursday, August 16, 2007

the drum beat of majors

Max Roach, jazz drummer extraordinaire, passed away yesterday. This photo was taken shortly after moi came to Kansas City in the early seventies when Max Roach was in town for a jazz seminar with the likes of The Count, Ella, and Jo Jones. This was back in the day (pre-HS BS) when throwing more than one Nikon SLR around your neck and taking lengthy strides immediately got you pegged as someone with enough cred to march up to the front of the crowd. This trick worked until I encountered a Jimmy Carter Presidential News Conference. But at least then the clean shaven SS boys just saw me for the overzealous amateur photographer that I was and sent me to the news room to watch the action on the tv monitors. Such bravuro today might land me in jail under some little known law "whereby it's illegal to imitate anyone with an imagination." Must keep all linear thinkers in line.

Moi's first digs in KC was a one-bedroom apartment that was only a couple of stone throw's away from the Charle Parker Memorial Foundation. The Foundation was housed in the basement of an A&P Grocery store and served as the defacto Mutual Musicians Foundation for awhile. Jazz greats, such as Count Basie, Mary Lou Williams, Big Joe Turner, Charile Mingus, and Max Roach would occassionally rumble through Kansas City and it wasn't uncommon for late nite free gigs to surface - which was awesome because it was such a short walk. And those were the days when staying up 'till 5 am didn't seem to have the same repercussions as it does today.

Photo montage: Collection of Warrior Ant Press. Acquired, Sept. 1977.
Left to right. Jo Jones, Max Roach, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Harry "Sweets" Edison
Check out the hi-tech blackboard with the list of artists in the upper right.


Anonymous said...

Given the pretty good depth of field with not much in motion I'm guessing ISO 400 1/60 sec at f11. No flash. Makes one wish for frogbread.

Anonymous said...

Maybe thre was a flash. I see a light in her glasses.