FROM FULL FAITH AND CREDIT TO FREGULIA AND BACK, OR GETTING JAZZED IN PALO ALTO HISTORY
And I want to first of all thank Steve Staiger for his guidance and leadership in this process. One, two, three, and:
A flowing though rather abstract melody penned by Lee Konitz, wrapped in the smooth yet swinging arrangement of his partner Jimmy Giuffre, this spells cool jazz at its best. Konitz’s sinewy alto blows its way through his solo with supreme, relaxed creativity while the airy sound of the four other reeds weaves a supple tapestry of refined countermelodies around it. The rhythm section, led by Bill Evans, is a model of fluidity and elegance, and the whole thing casts the discreet and intense glow of a gem in its velvet setting. This collective effort by Konitz, Giuffre and their colleagues is definitely one of the major achievements of the so-called “cool school.” “Palo Alto“(1959) reviewed by Thierry Quenum, at jazz.com, history of cool jazz tracks
In Lee Konitz Meets Jimmy Giuffre, Jimmy contributed as soloist and arranger of a five-piece saxophone section. The thoughtful, contrapuntal writing creates a delicate mood, where everybody gets a chance to blow, and the engaging work of Konitz, Bill Evans, and Warne Marsh provides extremely rewarding moments. Jordi Pujol, Fresh Sounds
PART II. Jazz File at Palo Alto Historical Association Guy Miller Archive(Sept. 26, 2013): a man named Jack handed me a blue file, that has about 50 pieces in it, mostly clippings plus a few pieces of ephemera.
a. a sub-file on Tuck and Patty with 20 clippings mostly from Palo Alto Times and Peninsula Times Tribune, many by William Johnson (from Cleveland and not the guy who runs the Weekly); a recent flyer; an article on Adlai Alexander their associate;
b. magazine clip about Herb Wong; says his brother is a dentist Woody Wong in town.
(We last saw Herb Wong at Sam Smidt’s birthday party. They were neighbors. Terry knows or knew Sam well, while I have only met him a few times. I reminded Herb who I was and gave him a not too inappropriately intense rundown of how I saw the jazz scene, and especially the lack of a venue here, as he and his wife were leaving the party the same time as we were. He gave me his card. I only heard of his passing as I was searching for more info on the Guaraldi tribute tonight, April 25, 2014, at Community School of Music and Art – editor The link above is to article in Thursday’s Chron)
c. Gary Cavalli the former Stanford Sports Info Director and a partner of Anne Warner Cribbs, later, was the founder of Palo Alto Jazz Festival which brought nationally known acts to perform outdoors at Baylands, for about 10 seasons, roughly 1980 to 1990;
d. program from a different Palo Alto jazz festival at Gunn High, maybe featuring a guest artist, from 1975, and the players included Tom Politzer on horn and Stanley Jordan on guitar;
e. somewhere in the Jazz Festival clips was reference to a group called Free Credit which featured up to 20 members and was formed by a group of bankers; it received votes in 1981 Downbeats Poll as Artist Deserving More Recognition;
f. Palo Alto Jazz Alliance, assorted fliers, including recent show with Taylor Eigsti;
g. Steve Staiger said that Dick Fregulia was a teacher at Tamalpais High, his teacher, and also corresponded with Matt Bowling and wrote an online article about jazz in Palo Alto; I had read that and it was an inspiration for the first Plastic Alto post; Fregulia has a recent recording out called Jazzitalia about the Italians contribution to jazz, especially perhaps in New Orleans, especially perhaps the idea of funeral marches; I had heard a similar talk in 2002 at LMNOP with Cosimo Matassa.
h. outside the file per se, Jack showed me some flat files storing miscellaneous posters and broadsides including two that I must have dropped off regarding Earthwise Productions, including references to show at Cubberley with Danilo Perez, Taylor Eigsti, Rachel Z, Beth Custer, Kitty Margolis.
i. still outside the file, outside the box and probably outside the solar system, I was telling Staiger about “Palo Alto” by Lee Konitz and later found myself leaving a long comment on Larry Grenadier blog, asking his opinion of my “Palo Alto” campaign; I want there to be hold music at City Hall that plays a slowed down and more hummable version of the song; someone said it is based on chord changes of Gershwin “Strike Up The Band”.
j. maybe they could print this out and put it in the file, getting back to my point about Russell Paradox, but off the jazz topic.
or, edit to add, on October 7:
I still consider this a rough draft of something that may someday be published, but here is my delving further into the topic of “Palo Alto Jazz” recently (and albeit gratuitously marrying part I and part II above, Vijay Iyer has performed at Stanford in recent years — I recall having coffee with he and his band, on the porch of Cantor Cafe — but not necessarily Palo Alto per se, not that individual performances by jazz luminaries rank that high on the official list of “Palo Alto” jazz memes; or maybe they do:
Steve: This is somewhere between a letter to you – what I said I would do, via email – and my sly self-effacing commentary on the new and changing nature of communications in that I have now posted – something I claim is short of “publishing” per se – two successive drafts of “Palo Alto — Jazz – based on the PAHA file — as part of my recent haunting of your hideout.
So far in the two weeks since I posted the first draft of this only one person has viewed it – and I am not sure if that is just me. By the way, in comparison, what is the circulation of your newsletter?
The Geography of Hep, Palo Alto’s influence on Jazz, via music education, guest concerts (Monk, Steve Lacy) and our all too rare gifts to jazz world in terms of artists like Stanley Jordan and executives like Danny Scher, Jason Olaine, plus Herb Wong, James Benham, Ted Gioia, plus Akira Tana, venues like The Bandbox, In Your Ear and The Varsity, and all that jazz
PAHA “Music-Jazz” file comprises 58 items, 43 clippings and 15 pieces of ephemera, brochures, flyers, postcards, programs, mostly announcing events.
I also noted that the PAHA website photo archives yields four photos if you type “jazz” into it’s search function, including this photo of Stanley Jordan, the Gunn graduate whose innovative tapping technique on guitar earned him a gold record (half million in sales) for Blue Note Records. The other photos were Ted Gioia, and two from festivals produced here in the eighties.
I broke down the file into roughly nine categories or topics, (although I was also immediately collecting a list of marginalia and possible related topics, people to talk to, other places to look for info, related ideas).
I am wondering about, in an article, or series, tracing the history of Palo Alto (1892-current) and that of jazz (roughly 1900 to current, or roughly contemporaneous, or compare to Ken Burns version of “history of jazz”, “Jazz: A Ken Burns Film”, 2001, 19-hours), or by Giddins or Balliett, comparing the shape of their respective arcs, so to speak, and where do they intersect, so to speak. Our file, incidentally, starts in 1975 and goes until 2010. It’s scattered.
The most complete element of the file is a set of 20 or so clips from the Times and Times Tribune, 1978- 2000, about Tuck and Patti, (Tuck Andress and Patti Cathcart), who met here, played often at The Varsity, signed their first record deal with Palo Alto’s Windham Hill Records, but are not actually jazz, and live in Menlo Park.
There are several clips about Herb Wong, the educator turned jazz dj, and references in the brochures about his roles in various events and organizations, but he also lives in Menlo Park. His emergence to prominence appears to be connected to the fact that he presented or presents a comprehensive class on jazz via the Palo Alto Adult School (well, that plus KJAZ, of course).
The basic topics are 1), Tuck and Patti; 2), Wong; 3), jazz education – especially via the three public high schools, 4) and 5), the two Palo Alto Jazz Festivals – 1972-1982 and 1986-1988 especially; 6), the Palo Alto Jazz Alliance (which claims to have sprung out of Wong’s lectures, but also now includes a website and newsletter, The Jazz Buff, which is not in the file, n.b.). Seven thru nine would be three relatively obscure local artists or groups referenced by clips or flyers, including the Gunn and Stanford grad Mohini Rustagi, a drummer. (There were also references to many other locals in the various programs and brochures as well as dozens of known acts brought here; maybe as part of my research I could start compiling a list of jazz players who lived here, and or were a product of the schools, perhaps including Stanford. In that context it would be worth at least noting someone like Tom Harrell, a well-known trumpet player who is from Los Altos, and, it turns out, a Stanford grad).
But on the theme of jazz education — whether discussing Palo Alto Jazz Alliance or the history of the jazz programs at Gunn, Paly and Cubberley, at least, and or Menlo-Atherton and Casti — but external to the file per se are three recent programs produced by Montalvo and Gunn Jazz, featuring clinics and performances — and perhaps writing — by Steven Bernstein, Marty Ehrlich (and I am indebted to Stewart Brewster of The Jazz Buff for this scoop, upcoming) Wayne Horvitz (whose work will evidently be performed by Gunn Jazz in December, at a conference in Chicago; Gunn also played a program that included some Horvitz music, led by his friend Sara Schoenbeck, on bassoon, in 2008, again, thanks to Montalvo and the Lucas Residence Program there. And here is Brewster the jazz buff updating Herb Wong, and his famous class at the adult school:
Herb Wong is ready to resume his Palo Alto Adult School class and he will do “A Centennial Tribute to Bandleader Woody Herman” for the fall term. The class will run from October 1 to November 12 (7 weeks), Tuesday evenings, at Palo Alto High School, Room P10. The cost is $127. The contact info is Palo Alto Adult School, 50 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto CA 94301. Phone 650/329-3752. This information is available on the Palo Alto Adult School website: http://www.paadultschool.org. Click on “Music.” Those who are AT&T customers may have trouble accessing the website, unfortunately, but the school says they are working on it.*>25
Two names I noticed in passing in the various 58 items that I feel are worth further exploration outside-the-file are Michael Hedges, a participant in the Jazz Festival who was also known for a residency at The Varsity and was on the cusp of possible national and international stardom before dying tragically – I believe in a car accident – -it is not noted here – although, again, he is not a jazz act per se but more multi-genre or hard to figure; and Full Faith and Credit, which appeared in the first Festival Series, as a guest artist in the high school recitals, but in 1981 was noted in Down Beat and seems to be instrumental in the founding of Palo Alto Records (a Wong project)); Full Faith and Credit was a vanity project of a financial wizard named James Benham (Benham Capital, Benham Wealth Management, et al) – vanity project denoting something that someone does in the arts outside of his or her actual main activity – he was a trumpet player, who worked here and then in Mountain View and now may be retired to Lake Tahoe (further research shows).
On a certain level it is somewhat ludicrous to have such a “Palo-centric” view of jazz history, and to parse between Palo Alto and Stanford, Palo Alto and Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Los Altos, et cetera; maybe a more regional approach to telling a story would make more sense, if a type of Heisenberg Uncertainty applies even here — we can’t see what we get too close too, myopically. But certainly “West Coast Jazz” is too broad, and has been done. (see below, for example). In my own dealings with the jazz world at large, nationally and sometimes internationally, I sometimes think of a kinship with others in “the 650”, which is roughly North Santa Clara Valley and San Mateo County. A “650” view of jazz history would at least let us include two huge players, KCSM, the jazz radio station at College of San Mateo, and Bach Dancing and Dynamite, the venue near Half Moon Bay that has hosted concerts along the beach for 50 years — and would definitely merit it’s own book or documentary.
But to the extent we do nurture a Palo Alto exceptionalism — and not without reason — why not try to tell a “Palo Alto Jazz history” story. Certainly no one would argue that there is absolutely no effect of jazz on the history of our fair city, or no impact on jazz history by Palo Alto and its denizens. We are zealots to try to stretch the story from this format — the blog post –to journal article, or chap book or book-length tale. But by Chaos Theory and the Butterfly Effect, who’s to say how minimal their pull on each other actually is?
My friend and Gunn classmate Dan Adams might be illustrative of the potential timbre of this project; the son of a Stanford professor, Dan was a music prodigy on both drums and piano, winning soloists prizes in both disciplines, at the Monterey Jazz Festival student competitions. By day he has cultivated a career as mechanical engineer, at places like Hansen Medical Devices and Tesla Motors, but he has also kept a hand in music, with his indie rock band, and the occasional jazz hit. His jazz career is documented, for example, in PAHA’s folder in that in 1987 both he and his brother Bob Adams are listed as highlights, among local acts, for the Palo Alto Jazz Festival, the one that featured the likes of Carmen McCrea and the Yellowjackets. (He also told me once that in the early days of Jim Nadel’s Stanford jazz workshop and festival, he was the house band, on drums, as a teenager — presaging the eventual appearances of teaching pros like Matt Wilson). An article like this might ask questions like how does Jazz influence the creative instincts of Palo Altan industrialists, like a Dan Adams.
Back on the case at PAHA history hideout, I suggest to the Chief that we include Fred Ho in the official file and he threatens me with a sharp object about my insubordination. No, he says to clip and label the article about the Palo Alto-born jazz musician, and voila! I’ve official sullied the waters here covering the historiography of Palo Alto jazz and by the observer effect influencing it, that in addition to having produced 20 or more shows here, lobbied City Council for a jazz venue, and all that jazz.
Mostly culling thru my own now 5,000 word manuscript or rough draft, I have a list of about 111 Palo Alto jazz memes*. I am guessing that you could get up to about 500 if you tried. Staiger and I debated briefly the merits of Ho’s inclusion – if you are about 57 or were born in about 1957 you may remember him as Fred Houn, from elementary school – or if you met him at Harvard years later, like Joshua Shedroff becoming Joshua Redman (whose cousins, by the way, went to Gunn) post-Cambridge – for my Rock and Roll Archive I have been including people who went to PAUSD for even one year – Steve drew the line at people from Redwood City born at Stanford NOT being Palo Altans. Ho’s big and generous write-up in the times, by Allan Koznin, is included but on a provisional basis – further clippings on the topic will be included on a case by case basis. And as I say below, I am tempted, or at least permitted myself, in a Walter Mitty-esque moment, to imagine writing to Ho and asking him to clarify his Palo Alto –connection, and or how he thinks geography influences artistic vision or identity – how has Palo Alto shaped him, since we asked?
I also read thru a biography of Stan Getz, the parts about either Nathan Oliveira, Ted Gioia or Joey Oliveira, to tell a crude version of Getz’s days here.
Stopping in at library here, the former Cubberley Multi-Purpose room – where Broun Fellinis once performed, giving the place an acid-jazz bath, as distinct from an acid test – I circulated (checked out) the latest The New Yorker (10/14/13) for about six reasons, including this blurb, I will plagiarize, about Tom Harrell, who, sources indicate, beyond being from Los Altos, went to Stanford(in Goings On About Town, the sadly truncated recent version, one of only four such touts):
Jazz has had its share of triumph-over-adversity tales, but few have been as inspirational as that of (Tom) Harrrell. A compelling trumpeter and composer whose roots go back to an early-seventies run with Horace Silver, Harrell is also a diagnosed schizophrenic. Yet his condition hasn’t kept him from establishing himself as an active bandleader. While his communication with audiences is minimal his forthright skills as a player are not affected. He begins a two-week engagement, splitting the time between two different ensembles; his longtime quintet, featuring the saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, is up first (Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th Street 212-255-4037. Oct. 8-13
In terms of the task of not merely waxing on a handful of unrelated jazz stories but trying to lie my way and hallucinate and evangelize for some type of through-story, and the dual tasks of also, by way of context, defining both “jazz” and “Palo Alto”, I cracked open Nat Hentoff “Jazz Is…” to a set of quotes from Monk (whose birthday I noted, the day after I started in on this), something about playing what you know is you, and not worrying whether people get you. (Which also reminds of a jazz griot quote I caught not so long about, something about putting everything in your life experience into every note you play, sounds like Wynton Marsalis to a ten-year old on a PBS special…)
Marcus Shelby is a San Francisco composer and bassist and leader who has made at least two Palo Alto appearances, both at City Hall, oddly enough. Recently he was a sideman for an event produced by a real estate developer, to raise money for the Martin Luther King archive at Stanford (it was actually to enhance that project’s website, on the 50th anniversary of “The March on Washington). Although you had to squint to see him and focus to hear him – we in the cheap seats, the free seats, and not the in-the-know section – he held down the bottom of jazzy versions of spirituals performed by Kim Nalley, aided by Stanford’s Aleta Hayes (who is a jazzbo, and plays with William Parker). About two years earlier, Shelby was hired to lead a duo (that’s all there was budget for) to honor visual artist Mildred Howard, who was commissioned to build a temporary installation, a bottle house, called Clear Story. There was a ceremony in council chambers that maybe 40 people attended. Shelby’s bandmate, a guitarist who went by Truth, later pulled out a flute and smudged the structure more directly – he walked thru the art, improvising on the flute as he moved. Although it is not obvious, there is something that these rituals add to our culture, and something about us that we impart on the musicians as well.
Not sure how to describe and qualify and prioritize the significance of these events, but this exercise encourages me to recall my experiences trying to affect the environment here by bringing music to Cubberley. Maybe in conjunction with this effort, I can release a tape of one of the Cubberley performances, for the benefit of PAHA or its members. (I have a small cachet of performances, maybe 40 hours of music, about 10 hours of which is jazz, the remainder being rock and folk – the artists and record label have significantly more say in what can be done with these properties than the venue do (although venue or promoter has more pecking power than mere tapers, or bootleggers, although things are changing in the “information-wants-to-be-free” post-Napster, post-Lessig age).
Rebecca Wallace in November, 2010 profiled the local band Hot Club of Palo Alto, in the Weekly, which includes the promising reeds man Chazz Alley, who definitely belongs in the pantheon along the lines of local products like Dan Adams, Bob Adams, David Brigham, Tom Yoder, Milgrom the bass player, Enemark, Mohini Rustagi. There is also Brian Ho (no relation to Fred), who holds a regular dinner jazz gig at Pampas on Alma; he is an organ player and music teacher, with a cd of originals out. (Weirdly, I noticed that the flipside of the Hot Club clip has an article about visual artist James Su, who Terry and I recently met at the Pat Sargulski show at Triton Museum in Santa Clara).
M_____ G_____is a lawyer and former Planning Commissioner here whose hedge in front of his North Palo Alto home is topiarily shaped to look like a f-hole (the part of the bass, the soundhole). And it’s an actual hedge, or a set of two, of low cut bushes as opposed to the financial device or the guitarist. I was also tempted to snap a photo of the Jazz for Hair sign on Charleston just east of El Camino, on my way over here.
I’m also wondering about the working title, “Geography of Hep” which plays on Stegner’s essay “Geography of Hope”, but it moves us from history or historiography to geography per se. I also have a book on South Carolina jazz, that I bought while on tour with a lesbian rock musician in Greenville, at the record store next to the club, a couple hours up from Atlanta. My former client John Ellis, who I mention below as an example of a false lead and true red herring apropos of palo alto , because a website lists what became a cancelled appearance here, has a geographic resume that includes North Carolina, New Orleans, New York and Brooklyn, but could also include Bay Area proper due to his affiliation with Charlie Hunter. Apropos of someone exaggerating his New Orleans trope, a review once panned and slurred John Ellis’s cd by saying that perhaps his band had left their hangers in their suits – a reference to the fact that Wynton Marsalis, at least when playing at Lincoln Center, would be attired in suits, whereas John’s band, in Brooklyn, would more likely wear knit ski caps than fedora or suits – John’s band had a Marsalis, Jason Marsalis on drums – along with Roland Guerin on bass — but did not otherwise look like any of Wynton’s band. Jazz is a rather diverse field and writers and observers and outsiders have to be careful not to imply too much, or make too much about any particular observation. Similarly, it sort of saddens me when I see high school bands dressed in pork-pie hats –jazz is more a living thing than a period piece, despite the staying power of some repertoire, or its considerable canon.
Somewhere all this could lead to some pontificating about jazz as a folk art and not becoming too classical. I like to see jazz shows in the ten to twenty dollar range and not in the fifty dollar range. Although I do have fond memories of seeing Steve Lacy Mal Waldron duo in the Kaplan Penthouse at Lincoln Center, I would not want to completely gentrify jazz or see Lincoln Center is its home. (Oddly, I am sort of boycotting SF Jazz’s new palacial digs; likewise I haven’t exactly flocked to Stanford’s Bing Hall – in some ways I am more impressed with the development as a venue for jazz of Dana Street Roasting House in Mountain View).
The Cubberley shows had a type of cultivated frumpiness. They were for everybody, but maybe not for snobs. Dan Ouellette in the Chronicle printed my quote about calling Cubberley the poor man’s Montalvo. (maybe someone should compare Leland Stanford to Phelan – there’s also nearby Filoli Jazz series, and Spreckels Mansion – I think John Santos did a show in Burlingame there – also, the Stierlin House at Shoreline has had some chamber jazz shows – Speaking of mansions with gardens, the jazz producer Jason Olaine is descendent, he says, from Leland Stanford’s gardener. There is a Charles Olaine pictured in the PAHA photo archives as “the caretaker” of the newly installed Community Center, the former Hospitality House, also now known as 27 University, and sometimes Arrillaga Towers, not to get ahead of myself. Somewhere along the way the writer goes from an objective third person narrative story teller to a first person personal and subjective attack on the oligarchs, or attacker, especially on their refusal to support the arts by, for example, aiding the grassroots effort to find a qualified operator — from the jazz or rock fields — to take on 456 University, and instead pissed on the idea, from the bully pulpit.
I prefer the Village Vanguard or 55 Bar to Lincoln Center in New York. I remember when Taylor Eigsti as a teen was quoted as saying his goal was to play Carnegie Hall.
I had a mental riff about Lee Konitz and “Palo Alto” his 1950 composition: if it really is a send-up of “Strike Up the Band”, could it be commentary on the military-industrial complex (the original is from a show about militarism – could the newer version be something about Hewlett-Packard’s post-war boom; by 1969 HP dominated local politics enough to have 100 homes ripped out by the foundation tossed into the bay to permit an expressway leading from the freeway to their headquarters. Doubtful.
Caught a couple minutes of 89.1 KCEA the big band station at Menlo-Atherton High School. Also, at Stanford Theatre, the film noir “Blue Dahlia” was it William Bendix whose PTSD and head injury make him go ballistic listening to loud jazz music, what he calls “monkey music”?
Similarly, how does the name Jazz Pharmaceuticals influence a local manufacturer? From their website:
The name “Jazz Pharmaceuticals” was inspired by the talented jazz musicians who come together — each a musical specialist with an individual style — to make music in concert that is greater than the sum of its parts. Jazz musicians are known for working together to create new and exciting riffs or new variations on familiar themes. Jazz music showcases the coexistence of improvisation and structure.
At Jazz Pharmaceuticals, we believe that each member of our team makes integral contributions working toward a common goal to improve patients’ lives. The hallmark of our collaborative spirit is our ability to work together in creative teams to accomplish not only research and development goals, but also commercial and corporate objectives.
Maybe that’s a red herring — and the Porter Drive / Stanford industrial park based company is actually headquartered in Ireland, for what that’s worth, or maybe its emblematic, especially for linguists and semanticists who believe language is prescriptive. And there’s also, nearby, 650-ish, Odwalla Juices, named in tribute to a jazz song-poem by Roscoe Mitchell and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. There’s also Jazz For Hair barber on Charleston.
In the case of the jazz-loving, uber-capitalist James Benham, I found an interview in which he describes how the practice of trumpet, and his breath work, had a meditative effect on him — a calming — that perhaps and arguably helped him with both his insight (founding a fund) and his stamina (remaining a player for 30 years, in his field).
Two jazz griots I visited with, members of the Mingus Big Band giving a clinic for Stanford student-musicians, told a perhaps apocryphal story about a jazz musician undergoing open heart surgery and being comforted by the fact that the surgeon has studying jazz and could improvise. “If you were lying there on the table and something went wrong, wouldn’t you want a heart surgeon who could improvise?” (I have a photo of this somewhere).
If Palo Alto actually is a hub for innovation, as proponents of the computer industry here — sometimes bordering on advocates for a neoliberal pro-corporate downsizing, privatizing and inundating of the public sector — often claim, then perhaps — and to my thinking, for better or for worse — jazz, even in trace elements, shapes and informs the innovating. Or as the pharma company tries to say, jazz at at most basic level is a type of dialogue or discussion, or conversation among people, and can be the basis for all kinds of industrious performances or pieces or hits.
I noticed that the former Art 21 Gallery is now an office for one of the real estate groups; part of that property, one door down so to speak, north towards University and the Pampas restaurant is sublet to what is obviously a high tech start-up. Seeing a piano in their space makes me want to barge in and ask if they were aware that their space hosted a concert series and included piano shows featuring two artists who had graced the cover of Downbeat: Ethan Iverson and Esbjorn Svensson. The EST show is poignant because he died in a scuba accident a couple years after his Palo Alto show. It’s illustrative of the fact that as it happens the tech bubble seems to displace the arts per se. Or maybe the ghost of Esbjorn is there guiding whoever these guys are towards their first billion. (Jack Walrath, the former Mingus sideman, also played in the space, doing a trumpet tribute to Jerry Garcia, riffing on “Touch of Gray”, the week Palo Alto’s Mayor issued a proclamation for the dead Dead leader and onetime local music teacher. In terms of bad historiography and or the limits of the new media reality, jambase lists a cancelled John Ellis show at Art 21, from November, 2004. After a run of nine shows featuring folk and jazz acts of some note, the gallery’s owner and I had a falling out and she yanked Ellis’ gig at the last minute. His drummer that tour, Scott Amendola led a show there at 539 Alma earlier that fall and featured one-time Palo Altan Jenny Scheinman on violin — she also gave clinics at Ohlone Elementary and Castilleja, not to digress or self-indulge too much; Scheinman did a fantastic job with the two clinics).
The actual, albeit “palo-centric” chronology of EST and Esbjorn Svennson is: 2003, Monterey Jazz and Yoshis; 2004, Palo Alto’s Art 21 Gallery; 2006, cover of Downbeat; 2008, dies in scuba accident in Stockholm. Iverson, meanwhile and for comparison, with The Bad Plus was already on cover of Downbeat by May, 2004.
Another perhaps illustrative example of the significance of Palo Alto’s gifts to the jazz world is Matt Haimovitz, the cellist. Born in Israel, moved with his parents to Palo Alto, presumably because his father or parents worked in high tech or Stanford, discovered by the (classical) music world and urged to move to New York, studied and debuted at Carnegie Hall as a prodigy, profiled in the New Yorker, stopped out of the mainstream classical scene to slum it with jazzbo’s in 2004, touring with Steve Bernstein, Charlie Hunter and other Rope-A-Dope All-stars, which hit SF but not the 650 (and has returned to Stanford a few times for classical and klezmer shows in their performing arts serie).*>16
I have a notion of finding 50 jazz memes, using the file as a starting point but certainly not limited to the file. Names, places, ideas that are jazz references and connected somehow to Palo Alto; perhaps I could sort them by significance, beyond chronology.(Why stop at 50? Try 500!)
I made a short list of 8 possible topics for a Jazz Palo Alto (lecture) Series, again, not necessarily related to the file per se: I am stuck on whether I am writing about the file per se or about the broader subject of Jazz per se. Historiography versus history, not just what we know but how we know what we know, or how or why we think we know what we know.
I have my own jazz files and history – not sure what amount of my own story to bring to the fore – want to help PAHA more than self-aggrandize.
From Jim Harrington I am only guessing and the Palo Alto Weekly:
Earthwise Productions has done quite well with young, pop-oriented jazz bands–and, hey, why mess with success? After scoring with the likes of the Charlie Hunter Quartet, T.J. Kirk, Broun Fellinis and Medeski, Martin and Wood, Earthwise chief Mark Weiss has booked the Greyboy All-Stars into the Cubberley Community Center, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, for Wednesday, Sept. 11. The Greyboy All-Stars are a San Diego-based jazz unit which appeared on the “Get Shorty” soundtrack. The band features young lion Karl Denson on sax, flute and vocals.
I produced a jazz series at Cubberley, for example, in 1997 called A Quantum Decoherence of Jazz Shows that featured Charlie Hunter, Will Bernard, Ledisi (booked as Anibade), Galactic, Dave Ellis and others, and a poster for the series. While visiting Palo Alto Sport and Toy to ask them to put the poster in the window I met Danny Scher buying shoes for his teenage son, Scher the Paly grad who once booked Thelonious Monk into the Paly Theatre and later, with Bill Graham built both Shoreline Amphitheatre and the Sacramento shed. He said he had seen an article about my series and later brought me into the BGP offices to schmooz with their machers, and years later apparently was the only music executive on a list of 10 names given to the City to tour The Varsity and comment on its viability as a music venue, in 2012, as opposed to, say, a Halloween novelties pop-up store.
I would try to play down my small role in this story. But while I am on the topic I found just now the 1997 New York Times story from which I grabbed that catchy jazz term, “quantum decoherence”. The term, as I understood it, had something to do with the possibility of all the venues in the world, and all the makers of jazz, what is the likelihood that if you show up at Cubberley on a particular date and time that there would be jazz?
It’s a different task than writing a Matt Bowling type article based on the files, but I have thoughts on how to flesh out this file, who to talk to about them perhaps donating from their archives. There’s also tactics like going through the Palo Alto Weekly archives and culling a subset of articles about jazz, or the high school bound volumes (Gunn Oracle, Paly Campanile, Cubberley Catamount, et cetera).
List of venues per se. Ted Gioia, in his 1998 book “West Coast Jazz” has an anecdote about the relationship between Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond, and states that The Bandbox in Palo Alto was one of the sax player’s first gigs. Two other sources, including the Stanford Jazz Workshop newsletter, concur, although some refer to the venue as “near Palo Alto”. Gioia would also obviously be an excellent source on this topic, if you are expanding the subject from the PAHA files to an obvious next research step. I have borrowed this from Palo Alto library but must must admit I might have dug further into it — the search engine gives us a page citation that even includes the curiosity that as part of his deal there, Desmond composed a Bandbox ditty:
List of sources: Fregulia, Danny Scher, Akira Tana, Dan Adams, Jason Olaine — ok, that is a little weird to print, even here, a list of potential sources. Fregulia was mentioned in Leah Garchik’s column last week about a gig that was cancelled due to the federal shutdown. Wait, that was yesterday, she said that Dick Fregulia’s gig at the Cliff House was cancelled Friday due to the Federal Shutdown or whatnot. (Glossing one of these memes also sent me to a reference to sax-man Fred Ho, born 1957, a Palo Alto product, via the Feather/Gitler encyclopedia online version).*>22
Where to publish this info? The distinction between my blog “Plastic Alto” and PAHA Newsletter or supplemental publications like the streets and parks chap books, or the Matt Bowling book.
There could also be a soundtrack per se, starting with Lee Konitz “Palo Alto” and including Stan Getz, Stanley Jordan, Julie Lake of Gunn High “Tweedle Dee”, Taylor Eigsti live at Cubberley, the best of Palo Alto, Black Hawk, Monarch or Quartet Records, et cetera. (While searching for a confirmation of my assertion about Julie Lake — that the then-sophomore won a national contest for best jazz vocals, according to Downbeat, I did find this reference and four tracks posted by a contemporaneous sax player –a Gunn and Cal Grad –named Daniel Enemark)
(What does publishing mean these days? I could cut and paste this internal memo to my blog as a rough draft and make it public which is a sort of publishing but not more than 50 people are likely to see it, and I will know that and track that, but it is not that different than leaving my notebook spiral notebook open a park bench such that people who wander by might peruse while they eat their Rick’s Rather Rich, who incidentally were the official ice cream sponsor of the 1986 Palo Alto Jazz Festival at the Baylands, produced by Gary Cavalli for the Chamber of Commerce and Recreation Department, that featured Stan Getz, Woody Herman, Joe Williams, et al or was that the year Getz took ill and was replaced by the Yellow Jackets.)
There are also issues about improvisation versus innovation, what is jazz?
I want to quote from Mike Cobb’s proclamation of 1986 September “Jazz Week” and “our native culture” (Jazz is) but wonder about seeing the proclamation per se and not squinting at a PMT’d version of it in the newspaper insert/program.
My Webster’s Ninth lists 1904 as the year that the word “jazz” entered the language and as far as the history of the art form, which even Cobb, in his proclamation, credits as a “native” American form, here, I would wonder about people getting “hipped” or “hepped” to it, even, via the cinema; I would wonder if cross-referencing lists of jazz movies with the records kept by the Stanford Theatre — easier perhaps than poring over microfilms of actual newspapers from that era — we could guess at when certain faces and sounds got to peoples ears and eyes here. More recently, for example, I saw the noir film “D.O.A” and wondered at the plot point where the poison is introduced during a jazz concert — this was shown at the Theatre recently. The jazz seemed to underscore the sinister nature of the crime –as if the protagonist was being punished for his curiosity about jazz. Which is probably consistent with the average Palo Altan’s sense of jazz, or the official sense — to be perhaps feared, or watched with caution. Compared to Dooley Wilson in “Casablanca” — which showed locally last month, and probably 100 times in recent years — which is probably more accurately pop, although even the script says that he improvises and perhaps composes — “that’s just something I made up.”
And this is a little tangential, but it dovetails from what Ted Gioia might say about Stan Getz and Stanford, or Getz and Nathan Oliveira, but the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco recently hired the North Beach Jass Band (including Ed Ivey, bass and Tom Griesser, reeds) to do a tribute to Richard Diebenkorn, the Stanford painter; the Stanford Cantor Museum denotes that the innovating Bay Area painters like Oliveira, Elmer Bishoff, David Park, Frank Lobdell, all either played jazz (as Studio 13 Jass Band) or listened to it, and drew inspiration from those new sounds as they broke new ground in their form: a good story, mostly true, if not down the center of the plate at least nips the outside corner of “Palo Alto Jazz History: It Heppened Here.”
Randy Lutge, whose family owned and managed The Varsity has a library of video he shot of musicians playing the historic Theatre, or in this case, with Michael Hedges, in front of the Theatre:
and that’s about 7000 words and 18 links (later, 35 links) but if it were a talk and not a text I would go with Scher, Olaine, Gioia and Wong, or an artist like Jordan, and then some of the younger players. This gives you a way to go, to fill out the story or the file. -mbw
Another source either for our narrative per se or as a benchmark is blogger and lecturer Piero Scaruffi who has an online jazz archive, and contextualizes “new age jazz” with movements like “acid jazz” and glosses Will Ackerman’s Windham Hill. And I’m also realizing I exaggerated or mis-stated above to say I own Gioia’s book — I borrowed it from the library and then gave it back. (Or type “jazz” “history” and “palo alto” and see what other leads you get).
And when I describe an ambivalence about jazz in the history of Palo Alto, I am probably influenced by Matt Bowling’s handling of the St. Michael’s Alley story. He has Fregulia describing its piano, and also how the scene had reached the radar of the conservative power structure, and Bowling uses terms like “bobos” and “beatniks” and calls the venue “a hangout for ‘narcotics users and homosexuals.’ ”
Edit to add, October 11, 2013: Fred Ho, the Brooklyn-based composer and performer who was born in Palo Alto, is featured today in The New York Times, regarding his work “Sweet Science Suite”, about Muhammad Ali and martial arts, debuts tonight at Brooklyn Academy of Music. The article mentions PA, so it makes me want to donate the clipping to the Guy Miller Archive at Palo Alto Historical Association, Cubberley Center, Room H-5, even though that clearly obfuscates the task of merely writing about their “Music-Jazz” file and not impacting it as I go. Ok, I admit, Steve now says he I can write about jazz, for potential readers who are also his 600 subscribers, and he will edit and direct me editorially, and I can make suggestions about what else to put in the file, and or do some of the legwork thereby implied, and or organize a talk by some of these actual knowledgeable sources, for the PAHA group (the mention of which probably jinxes such from ever happening and breaks one of my fundamental rules as a promoter not to mention works in progress). And yeah maybe it would be better to put energy into bringing something like Fred Ho “Sweet Science Suite” or Vijay Iyer “Still Life..” or Wayne Horvitz “Joe Hill..” to Palo Alto rather than merely talking or writing about it. But when given apples, make apple-slosh, as they say. And although it is a false start or red herring to start this essay with Iyer, merely because the news of his award came to me by radio as I was driving to library to post to my blog about PAHA, it did inspire me further to at least imagine calling the number in my artist directory out of curiosity to see if it was current — I recall hearing him for the first time in studio on KCSM and calling the station to get his number — and asking him, since he is a genius, how geography shapes, informs or colors his music, his nine years or so in the Bay Area, relative to New York, or growing up in Rochester, or touring, or New Haven was it?, and if he has any insights on how a Palo Altan might try to explain “geography of hep”, the intersection of jazz and other culture here; or I can imagine asking Fred Ho that, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
* 50 Palo Alto Jazz memes, in no particular order:
1. Full Faith and Credit @
2. Dick Fregulia @
3. Palo Alto jazz file (“music-jazz”) at PAHA #
4. Tuck and Patti @
5. jazz writer William Johnson $
6. Adlai Alexander @
7. Herb Wong $
8. Gary Cavalli $
What might get at the heart of the matter would be a close look at the Jazz Festival; at the time, Chamber of Commerce was loaded with heavy hitters; City Rec department was fully funded and had momentum; the Super Bowl had just been at Stanford — although it was a Quentin Kopp / SF production, Stanford and Cavalli played key roles and hosted a successful satellite event, a banquet; they did go into the festival shooting for the moon, hoping to compete with Monterey Jazz; compare the story to Stanford Jazz Workshop, and maybe to Earthwise — which is or was a much smaller deal, admittedly, but did have its moments of delusion of grandeur; if Earthwise had succeeded then there would be a bona fide arts venue element to the current round of Cubberley planning — and there is NOT — and or The Varsity would be back on line for live music. Palo Altans it would seem start labels and festivals that will enter the firmament, somehow forgetting that, by the Doppler effect, our targets are moving away from us.
9. Palo Alto Jazz Festival (1985-1987) ^
10. Palo Alto Baylands ^
11. Palo Alto Jazz Festival (circa 1975, 1972-1982)^
12. Spangenberg Auditorium ^
13. Maynard Ferguson @’
Was a guest artist at Gunn’s Spangenberg auditorium and I either went to the show or perhaps saw the same band perform in Saratoga, prior to 1974 – – my brother Rick played clarinet in grammar school and may have catalyzed a family trip to see Maynard Ferguson when I was 8 or 9 — it was a big sound.
14. Joe Williams @’
15. Palo Alto Jazz Alliance (1992-current) $#^
16. Taylor Eigsti @
17. Earthwise Productions ^
18. Cubberley High School ^
19. Cubberley Community Center Theatre ^
20. Danilo Perez @’
A funny or embarrassing thing about putting on a Steve Lacy show at Cubberley Theatre is that it took me two attempts: the first time, which was actually his trio, reuniting with Roswell Rudd, the basis for a new cd and a tour that started here, kind of, and finished at Iridium in New York City, I was afraid it would “stiff” at Cubberley so, perhaps idiotically and certainly quixotically saved the $500 rental fee of Cubberley by booking the show into my sound guy’s storage space in San Carlos; the second show, a year or so later, was a duo with his wife Irene Aebi and featured Will Bernard Miya Masuoka duo as opening act. Steve and I also visited Foothill College to do an interview at KFJC; I remember discussing the avails of a Danilo Perez show and Steve encouraging me to go for it — which in itself turned out, for a variety of reasons, to be one of the most satisfying jazz concerts in the Earthwise run. Not that anywhere but here would Danilo be a footnote to a Steve Lacy anecdote; I also remember drinking at the Carlos Club with Steve and his band — the one with the big neon sign – but being chased away when the karaoke crowd came in, ironically enough. San Carlos should put a plaque on the sidewalk there. Steve Lacy the genius grant winner (MacArthur Foundation, 1992) who was too big a mensch to call me a schmuck; who was the first besides Monk himself to play a program of Monk, “how many soprano motherfuckers do you think I know?”, Monk himself wondered, or so I read. Steve’s agent told me that he appreciated those two shows.
21. Rachel Z @’
22. Beth Custer @’
23. Kitty Margolis @’
24. Lee Konitz ‘ “Palo Alto” %
25. Larry Grenadier @
26. my campaign to make “Palo Alto” by Konitz the official hold-music for Palo Alto City Hall *>23 (see also, in PART V, under “hypothetical memes” or footnotes, the text of my post to Larry Grenadier about this topic, i.e. below, #23) %
27. Stan Getz @
28. Woody Herman @’
29. Bobby Hutcherson @’
30. John Handy @’
31. Michael Hedges @
32. Stanley Jordan @
33. Tom Politzer @
34. Ted Gioia $ @
35. Windham Hill Records %
36. Palo Alto Adult School classes about jazz #
37. The Jazz Buff %
38. Mohini Rustagi @
39. Montalvo-Gunn clinics #
40. Tom Harrell @
41. Steven Bernstein @’
42. Marty Ehrlich @’
43. Stewart Brewster #
44. Wayne Horvitz @
45. The New Varsity ^
46. Palo Alto Records % (wiki lists 63 titles including sets with Richie Cole, Mal Waldron, Elvin Jones, Tom Harrell, Denny Zeitlin, Lalo Schifrin, McCoy Tyner and Phil Woods)
47. James Benham $ @
48. Dan Adams @
49. Bob Adams @
50. Carmen McCrea @’
51. Yellowjackets @’
key: @ artist, $ professional, % entity/label, # education, @’ visiting artist (and as I said, I have a list of 110 but would imagine with any effort whatsoever we could reach 500 jazz memes, and maybe publish them in a little chapbook, to be archaic or conforming)
this just in, or PART IV, let it flow:
Hi, here’s a recent recording with the JEK Experiment, myself on alto, James Armstrong on piano, Kazuto Sato on bass. It’s pretty out there, so my feelings won’t be hurt if you hate it. But, you might love it….. I’m interested in your reactions, if you have the time to check it out.
MEET THE CELLIST: FROM BACH TO HENDRIX
Pianist Connie Crothers and tenor saxophonist Jessica Jones, both of whom grew up in Northern California, returned to Berkeley’s Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse to record this finely entwined set, primarily comprised of standards. They imbue such classics as Duke Ellington’s “In A Sentimental Mood” with their own distinctive musical personalities. The duo closes with some brilliant improvisatory flourishes on Jones’ appealing original tune “Family.” Jones and Crothers, who’s a Palo Alto native, bring a wealth of experience and intuitiveness to their musical conversations. It’s fascinating.
AAnd meanwhile a blogger perhaps in Canada named Rick Keene claims she was born in Palo Alto but graduated from nearby Sequoia High (as did Virginia Mayhew maybe) the other somewhat related point is that while checking with Paly High librarian about whether Connie is in the 1957 yearbook she recalled a similar query about Lew Welch, the Beat poet, who did graduate from Paly, as a track star, later to become also the step-father of pop star Huey Lewis (whose name is a tribute to the poet) and makes me want to follow this or start simultaneously since this is apparently infinite, with “A Beat History of Palo Alto” albeit another semi-null set, with only Welch, Shig Murao and then, what, me and Tommy Jordan reading “Howl” at Lytton Plaza fifty years late to the party? (Beat History of Palo Alto might start and end with Lew Welch, we shall see. I also spied in Parkinson “A Casebook on the BEAT” somebody’s review of Kerouac OTR as stopping in on crammed little clubs spinning jazz records or some such…
21. So, yeah, there is a PART V, which is a blurt or blast of another 3,000 words and mostly retells 19 above, but I will include in entirety here for now. There is also some notes on Getz book which I can cut and paste and move above as appropriate.10/29/13conclusion or the argument:The history of Palo Alto jazz starts, in can be said, in spring of 1968, when 16-year-old Paly High sophomore presents Thelonious Monk in concert, sixty days after the shots ring out in a Memphis night, while the fire that time is still smoldering in twenty U.S. cities, and the music is a balm, and a prayer for piece, and a rocking good time, syncopated and reverent. In that sense all the other Palo Alto jazz memes, bits of data, anecdotes, yellowing clippings in a file, memories semi-reliable, are the pre-history, spanning sixty years, incubating – Scher’s show is the lungfish leaping out of the non-jazz primordial stew. If you find this too arbitrary and esoteric – Danny’s a friend, a mentor even, certainly an inspiration – at least consider the more obvious point that from its – our – inception Palo Alto had a self-consciousness, an intent, to be cultural and civilized, beyond baptizing pagans, or starting a farm, or a university, or focusing the powers of the dynamo on a problem or bet, to win a bet, to solve – Mrs. Stanford had an art collection, and not just jewelry – she had an artist paint a portrait of her jewelry – and the files show that in 1900 or so City Leaders or their wives were taking action to cultivate an appreciation of music – -this was mostly classical: Fortnightly Music Club for example, continuing on through the nineteen sixties even with Edith Zitelli, an excellent lieder singer and protégée of Abe, giving lectures on the importance of music – but at that time, jazz was below the radar, or marginalized, was not in the cannon. But somewhere along the line, I contend, jazz became acceptable –well, you could hear it and play it if you didn’t mind the insults – but then in a matter of, say forty years, passed on thru and became classical – I’m saying its exactly 43 years, and 80 days – jazz goes from being below the radar and virtually a non-entity here to enjoying – swinging, bopping, post-bopping, kelping, skronking – a 43, year 80 day run – and then yeah, its dead, deadsville, splitsville — $35 non-member ticket, to see Red Holloway, at Woodside Priory, in Woodside, this is a classical event, for only the right people again –and I’m not being age-ist or a snob. Jazz in Palo Alto has now, my conception – work with me, feel me – a history, short-lived, but not without its moments – a pre-history, and a post-history, and after-life, ghost image, second pressing, running on fumes, the walking dead – I am not dissing Chazz Alley or Jeff Brigham or Ken Brown and calling them zombies, but it’s more like the jews after the destruction of the temple, our the first nation “post-contact” – after the smallpox blankets and buffalo soldiers. As a convention I would say “This is the History of Palo Alto Jazz, our jazz age, 1968 to 2011 thereabouts.The 2011 date, and clearly this is an esoteric and arguably self-serving device – procrustean – I date to the Monday night, almost Tuesday Morning where Palo Alto City council member, at the end of a meeting said “I’ve been getting a lot of calls about The Varsity Theatre – what can we do to tell people to stop asking about the Varsity theatre – as a music venue – we are not allowed to get involved with all that jazz” or something like that – I am taking a small amount of poetic license – in fact that City Manager did ask the City Economic developer to interview 10 regionally known live music experts – in rock and jazz – there were at least three who were jazz guys – one of them was this same Danny Scher, ironically or fittingly enough – and the report said – actually this was somehow before any of the interviews – the pre-report said “a downtown theatre is a non-starter”, so I am using that as the day jazz died, even if the political physicians have in in a coma with apparently no chance of revival. And obviously its alive in places like: Oakland, San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, Lower Manhattan, Upper Manhattan, Brooklyn, New Orleans, Chicago – those are all places I’ve been to to hear jazz – I think we have a group of citizens who got jazzed in North Sea – but since we are Palo Alto and this is a Palo Alto history discussion the story ended in 2011, and its like the Palo Alto Drive-In and Paris Theatre.So that’s my timeline – jazz had a 43-year timeline – and it differs from that of Ken Burns or Ted Gioia or Whitney Baillett or Gary Giddins or the exact timeline of Herb Wong here –
I even went to his lecture last Tuesday to hear a little about the Woody Herman centennial – and I am not disrespecting that, just suggesting a novel context.I mean yeah you can hear dinner jazz at Scott’s and that Russian Café (Bon Vivant and I did see Margie Baker sing there) on Bryant and maybe a few other places – or yeah, if you bought your home in Palo Alto for $120,000 and are sitting on two million in equity, and bebop is more fun still than Be-Bach, jazz “lives?” but generally speaking it is not like the 43 year, 80 day period – our jazz Camelot, if you will – and here I will attempt to describe in more detail, and more convincingly, the distinction and what it all means, how it swings, so to speak.The PAHA file comprises about 58 items, from 1970 to 2010…Paly High has a “Paly rocks” curriculum wherein students can create and perform rock music, for credit – and maybe also to get chicks. And there are “parent bands” that play foundation events sometimes and a school of rock, and rock camps. The history of rock and jazz – and blues – have similar histories here – relative to the Establishment, but we are focusing on jazz pe se here – although even some of Palo Alto’s gifts to the rock world more likely were in the jazz bands at Gunn, Cubberley and Paly, and some of those early hip clubs – there were 20 places to hear live music in Palo Alto according to Mike Doyle of the Weekly in 1981 – had schedules with jazz or folk or rock on various nights: jazz musicians played the Poppycock on occasion.In the Fillmore Poster room the other night I noticed a Rahsaan Roland Kirk poster – supporting Butterfield Blues Band – -but my eye honed in on the words “Palo Alto” in tiny print – you could buy your tickets and get him to Rahsaan at Dana Morgan Music on Bryant Street. In 1970 (whereas, I have to admit I didn’t hear about Rahsaan to well after he was dead, in the real, literal sense, or his body at least – until 1995 or so when Charlie Hunter, Will Bernard and John Schott started playing his music under the name T.J Kirk, and they did this – at my suggestion – ok, I paid them – at Cubberley Theatre, September, 1995. My first sell-out at Cubberley – the only co-bill of T.J. Kirk backed with Charlie Hunter – a local singer named Kat Parra warmed the house up. Anyhow I’m just saying it is a weird gig – but not a weird nightmare – to be craning my neck and squinting my eyes to find the “Palo Alto” version of all such things.And yeah its political but there is some wisdom in over-emphasizing The Varsity in the history of Palo Alto jazz: there is a treasure trove of amazing performances that Randy Lutge has captured there, in the 1980s, Stanley Jordan, Tuck and Patty – the history of Windham Hill records and Will Ackerman is intimately related to the venue – although it’s hard to call that jazz: George Winston and Alex Degrassi performed there. And I think Cab Calloway in the pre-history days.So basically I would argue that the schools found that jazz studies is useful in cultivating the top students – jazz was an academic exercise as much or more than a revolt or a blue note, or someone trying to f-hole with the time signature of Post-Eisenhower America. And then somewhere in there Herb Wong and a few others got this idea that when the schools, Gunn, Cubberley and Paly would hold a joint recital that, with Spangenberg online at 1,000 capacity, they started to invite guest artists – pretty big name guest artists – and then for about a ten-year period call the programs “Palo Alto Jazz Festivals” – the program we have on file, whether this is deliberate – lists a Joe Williams and Maynard Fergusson concert and among the Gunn players were Stanley Jordan and Tom Politzor. The former was just about five years away from signing with Blue Note and the later went on to play, and still plays with Tower of Power.So I would argue there is something special about our education system and the way several generations of PAUSD graduates had training in jazz, whether or not they made music their careers. And not to disrespect Menlo Atherton which also has a fine program and has historically, to my knowledge, — and by the way a new performing space – and a radio station that, for whatever reasons, plays Big Band music.The other Palo Alto Jazz Festival, produced by the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Palo Alto Recreation Department, was a three-year project, from 1985 thru 1988. You could either call this our finest moment or our biggest flop. The literature shows that when they started they were saying that maybe this could grow to rival Monterrey Jazz Festival, which is a pain in the butt – literally – to get to. And although I haven’t done any primary research on this – I wasn’t a jazz fan in those days, and don’t remember hearing about – certainly years later, of course – I would say the reasons for even trying are interesting: Gary Cavalli was very successful as a sports information director and assistant athletic director at Stanford, and had left to start a pr film in town, and was president of the chamber. To my eye, the chamber itself was packed with powerful people: Mr. Riddle, Mr. Thoits, etc. I would just bet that the Rec Department was a lot better funded than it is these days – I think they list 30 events – we could ask Anne Cribbs or Tom Osborne about that. And I think its notable that Gary Cavalli was involved with and riding a type of high in synergy with both the Super Bowl being played at Stanford and the 49ers winning it – so on a certain level you can blame or thank Joe Montana for what we did or tried to do. And in that period – so clearly the mid-1980s are the sweet spot for jazz here or maybe for American Jazz period – there was also the effort at Stanford to start an Jazz Program there. Stan Getz was brought in to be an artist in residence – Joey Oliveira, a Gunn grad and son of jazz loving painter Nathan Oliveira either had just graduated Fresno State or left early to work as an administrator to start the program. They recruited Larry Grenadier and got him to transfer from San Jose State to Stanford, on a jazz scholarship. And alumni and jazz stalwarts like Ted Gioia and Jim Nadel were involved: somewhere around that time the Stanford Jazz Workshop or Festival made obvious gains and converted itself from a camp to more like a festival, although I would quibble and call it a series: it’s a million dollar operation these days. (And parenthetically, in that same era SFJAZZ with Randall Kline made huge gains; Yoshi’s not long after used redevelop grants to move from Berkeley to Oakland and mostly for the better become like a JALC entity, moneyed and classy).There is a pattern of jazz-loving businessmen starting or backing labels, like Palo Alto Records, Black Hawk, Quartet Records, later Monarch Records – distinct from Windham Hill discovering talent and bending or birthing a genre – these guys reached out to some of the top talent in the world: (gives a list, above). Full Faith and Credit and Jim Benham and his crew is a classic, very Palo Alto story.People like Jason Olaine and Danny Scher made huge waves in the industry, and started with jazz sensibilities although there careers encompassed diverse elements. My Earthwise Productions concerts – maybe 30 of those are jazz – maybe lies along the same plain but is a more modest undertaking. But I did start with a love for my community and a passion for wanting to impact the community – maybe a little bit didactically and therefore not without hubris.In addition to the 58 items in Palo Alto’s archive – our library of Alexandria – I pulled ten others from the general file for at least temporary reassignment:1. Akira Tana, San Jose Metro, by Andrew Gilbert, August, 2012Makes me wonder if his being Asian tricked the archivist into assuming he is World Music rather than jazz – Tana is a Japanese-American who once quarterbacked Gunn High to a league championship, graduated from Harvard, lived and gigged in New York for many years and returned to the Bay Area and Peninsula somewhat recently where he is a mainstay in PAJA programs and also teaches music, a drummer. (and he does incorporate world music into his jazz, to be fair).2. Article on Full Faith and Credit, by William Johnson, Times, October, 1985: I jotted down a list of principals: Rich Bice, Dent Hand, Don Mupo, Larry Dunlop.What is “full faith and credit clause’? I heard it referenced on Charlie Rose with Warren Buffet the other night. Cf. Palo Alto Records3. June Christy at L-Ommies, Times, April, 1977. By Dorothy Nichols(?) sidebar to article about Festival of New Music (i.e. classical)4. the Amazing Dr. Zarcon’s Breathing Machine, a jug bandby Paul Emerson, Times Arts Editor, January, 19725. long feature on Johnny Vaughn, by Carolyn Snyder, Palo Alto Times “Weekend Tempo” November, 1974. Artist, agent and businessman, crooner more than jazz per se?6. Vince Guaraldi at In Your Ear by Paul Emerson, October, 1971, Times7. the Mail-Dispatch (?), July, 1947, Robert K. Bodding, manager of the record department of a local music store (?), in the sixth paragraph mentions “hot jazz” as a popular seller.8. December, 1967 year in review by Paul Emerson of the Times, features a picture of two members of Preservation Hall Jazz Band, whose show was a highlight of the Stanford Summer Festival (at Frost or Mem Aud?): Billie Pierce and De De Pierce;article also references Palo Alto Poppycock for rock and blues and Monterey Jazz Festival; there was also a Stanford Music Then and Now workshop on campus, and an opera workshopBowling – this was a note to remind myself that there were basically three stories in the book that most influenced this: the circus, St. Mike’s, the Dead — the ones about culture per se. You could almost compare the history of jazz in Palo Alto to the history of circus here; it’s not a “null set” but they resemble each other (i.e. small sets) relative to “history of tech” or something.9. Paul Emerson, in December, 1969 decade in review: Tin Pan Alley club in Redwood City, “first-rate, big-name jazz”; Poppycock, Comedia Theatre of Palo Alto, for musicals;Circle Star theatre, Preservation Hall Jazz Band:Individuals in a gallery or pantheon: Henry Holt, William Whitson, El Camino Youth Symphony with Denis de Coteau10. Michael Doyle, Palo Alto Weekly, November, 4, 1981, “Music After Dark: A Guide to Live Music in the Palo Alto Area” (picture of Phil Aranda and Jazz Sextet)Cornell Hurd Band featuring Frank Roeber (see below, #512):Lists 14 venues, 10 in Palo Alto(plus 7 more ):The Cellar Los AltosNew VarsitySt. Michael’s Alley Waiting RoomSt. Michael’s Alley was a great place to have a few beers or get a hamburger. It had a high ceiling with a small upstairs bar in the rear. That’s where my friends and I usually sat, drinking a pitcher or two of beer. The jukebox was upstairs, too. It had a good selection of jazz numbers by Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Shelly Manne, Cal Tjader and many others, including a few songs by a new group from Liverpool, England called The Beatles. I loved it! (George Spink’s blog, 2010)Iron WorksGate House
Bourbon Street Mountain View
Barney Steel’s Redwood City
Studio 80 dance club not jazz in Palo Alto
Keystone – not jazz but blues
Chez Louis – piano Roger Cowger (more of a Steve Allen type?)
Rudyards – is this Rudy’s 117 Uni?
Prolific Oven – classical flute on Wednesday
Uncle Gaylord’s Old Fashioned ice Cream 636 Emerson – Hershel Yatovitz played for tips,he told me
Maddalene’s 544 Emerson – there should be more on Freddie Maddalene (Nancy Guillard?)
Maloney’s in Atherton, 3391 El Camino Real – jazz on Sundays
I say play your own way. Don’t play what the public wants – you play what you want and let the public pick up what you are doing, even if it does take them fifteen, twenty years” Thelonious Monk, quoted in Nat Hentoff “Jazz Is” (1974)
Gioia pp. 318-352(6)
Oliveira, N. pp. 307-369 (9)
Oliveira, J. 339—356 (2)
Nadel 305-369 (10)
Andy Geiger(9) 307-331
Grenadier (4) 333-352
Wong (2) 334-335
Stanford (18): artist in residence; jazz program at; summer jazz workshop 305-369
Palo Alto: 0
Portola Valley: (2)313-315 (i.e., “Palo Alto” is not mentioned in this Getz biography, although “Stanford” and “Portola Valley” are…)
Quartet Records: 350-352(2)
i.e. that’s a list of certain topics in Maggins’ book that are of the instant case; number in parens is how many mentions
22. This is the text of Dick Fregulia’s short article on the history of jazz in Palo Alto that formerly was posted on Matt Bowling’s site; I had cut and paste as a footnote of “self-comment” on an earlier “Plastic Alto” post: Harlem it wasn’t, but it’s where I was first introduced to and learned to play jazz. I’m speaking, of course, of Palo Alto, my home town, a quiet middle-class, college community about as far as you could get from New York, Chicago, or the Mississippi River. During World War II, pre-school rhythm classes at the Community Center introduced me to the basic concepts of jazz. From there I mixed piano lessons and trumpet playing in school music programs with lots of sports, which literally brought me to the other side of the tracks and the necessary cultures of color.
But real jazz – bebop in particular – didn’t come to my life until I turned 14, in 1954. It started in the listening rooms of Palo Alto’s two downtown records stores: Hagues on University near Ramona, and Melody Lane, further down University by the Varsity Theater. Each had a row of glass-enclosed phone-booth sized rooms, with a three-speed record player and small bench that would squeeze two if you had a date. The rooms smelled thick with the sweat and stale cigarette smoke of the preceding listeners, who sometimes had tattoos. You could bring in several l.p.’s at a time to sample. Shrink-wrapping had not yet been invented, and you wouldn’t consider buying a record (lp’s were $3.95) without thoroughly sampling both sides. I also found a riff about the jukebox at St. Michael’s having good jazz.
23. Visiting the archive for the first time had me thinking about this but I had not yet posted the first draft of “Jazztime…Contrafacts…Fregulia” when I went to Larry Grenadier’s site and posted this missive — which I think they deleted…they may have deleted the entire “comments” option, under “about”…can’t say I blame them:
This is pretty random but, Larry, I was wondering about your opinion on the composition “Palo Alto.” I am a blogger and cultural activist here in Palo Alto, CA, and I have initiated a quixotic campaign about getting the City of Palo Alto the local government to be hip to (in a bureaucratic and official way) the tune, and indirectly thereby honor Lee Konitz (notwithstanding the possibility that his “Palo Alto” may actually be based on a street name where Tristano lived, or something). I ran into the City Manager Jim Keane and explained this to him and he at least recorded the words “KONITZ” and “PALO ALTO” in his notebook, which is a first step. I am thinking that when people call city hall here they could hear a recording performance of “Palo Alto” while on hold.
Actually I just noticed today that apparently some people (including Scott Yanow of Allmusic dot com) think “Palo Alto” is a contrafact of “Strike Up The Band’ I had not noticed.
I am wondering about whether it is worth it to record our own version of “Palo Alto” or something between it and “Strike Up…” that is a little more hummable than an actual synch license of sampling of a Konitz or somebody else’s master.
In this ends up in your in box (or blog comment on wordpress) because a Mark Turner project covered the song, that plus I know you are a Stanford guy (or THE Stanford jazz guy laureate), so maybe this works for you.
Or how much would you or a producer want to record that one track, or a ringtone/Muzak-y version, or however to technically answer my question.
That and I notice you are a fellow Aquarius (i.e. I am, too) so maybe this works for you.
My blog by the way is called “Plastic Alto”, and has about 500 posts maybe 50 about jazz per se.
A better jazz story would be about Stanford and Nathan Oliveira and Stan Getz, or the David Park Elmer Bischoff artists’ jazz band, and jazz influence on they and Diebenkorn circa 1960 or so; the De Young Museum recently hired a group of local musicians to play as a tribute at a Diebenkorn show there, but I digress. (I had also archived it as a footnote or self-comment somewhere else on “Plastic Alto”)
24. From: Ted Gioia
Sent: Saturday, November 26, 2011 12:40 PM
Subject: RE: the varsity theatre in palo alto as jazz haven
I have many fond memories of the Varsity. I saw the Count Basie band play there many years ago. I also remember word-of-mouth accounts of Bill Evans’ appearance at the Varsity during my freshman year at Stanford. (A classmate of mine attended and told me there were fewer than 20 people there — can you believe it?) Tuck and Patti got their start at the Varsity before becoming famous recording artists, and I believe the same is true of guitar phenom Stanley Jordan. When I ran my Quartet Records jazz label, the office was literally about 100 yards from the Varsity.
In other words, there is plenty of jazz history associated with that building.So, yes, I support your efforts to preserve it as a music venue. Keep me informed of your progress, and feel free to use my name publicly as a supporter of the project.
Ted GioiaDate: Sat, 26 Nov 2011 11:20:05 -0800
26. I heard Kristen Strom’s tasteful take on “The Water is Wide” on KCSM last week: not sure if she is from Palo Alto but I do recall running into this sax player with Wendy Waller and Scott Sorkin at the Aquarius Theatre once. Her website says she is booked by Matt Beasley, if that helps.
27. Jazz, as I see it, in Palo Alto started on a particular night in 1968, with the down beat of the first song, if we want to be, as is our proclivity, overly precise, and ended, or so I’m saying, on a Tuesday morning, or a Monday night round Midnight or just past that, in August, 2011, when leadership here declared it’s refusal to even try to strike up the band, of our last dead jazz club. Jazz, as I see it, had a short history here, as a social practice, a folk practice, for us regular folk, 43 years or so, if you feel me. Sure I’m am being deliberately arbitrary, esoteric and a little self-serving: it depends how you define “jazz” “Palo Alto” — what “time” is, even. And a couple of leaps of logic, quantum leaps, giant steps, counting by four and five, to tell this story, sing this song or vocalize over a form, by special arrangement.
Personnel on “Meets Jimmy Giuffre”:
Lee Konitz 1, Hal McKusick (as 2), Warne Marsh 3, Ted Brown (ts 4), Jimmy Giuffre (bs 5), Bill Evans (p), Buddy Clark (b) and Ronnie Free (d).
Recorded in New York City, on May 12 (#1-5) & 13 (#6-9), 1959.
28. Andy Nozaka, I met at San Jose Museum, had a picture of Miles Davis, he took at Frost in 1972. Looking for that sent me to a photo he also took of John Coltrane on campus in 1966. And then word of Stanford Year in Jazz a series produced by Rick Bale (who also came back to Stanford’s KZSU for it’s 60-year anniversary show in 2007 to play a set in honor of his series, and supposedly still has the flyers and programs). See also: Scher and others on history of Frost, by Ivan Maisel, in Stanford Mag and SCON blog. (edita: actually I met his wife who gave me his card, I think. In 2005 or so. Tempted to call it to license use of his Miles photo).
James E. Streeter was a native of Wichita Kansas, where he got his start playing tenor sax in Lloyd Hunter’s territory band. Bandleader Johnny Otis took Streeter to Los Angeles in 1944. Enamored of director-actor Erich von Stroheim, Streeter billed himself as Von Streeter or James Von Streeter. In the late 1940s and early ’50s, he recorded for several labels, including Coral, as Von Streeter & His Wig Poppers, playing wild, honking R&B, and several members of this group accompanied him when he appeared as a wild, sweaty sax maniac in a key nightclub scene of the original D.O.A. (1950). However, for the soundtrack the producer overdubbed another band altogether, led by saxophonist Maxwell Davis, who would later be influential as a Los Angeles A&R man during the early rock ‘n’ roll era. Streeter’s career was derailed by heroin addiction, which eventually killed him in 1960. (Note: Van Streeter is also known as Von Streeter and sometimes James Streeter). I saw this film at Stanford Theatre in April, 2007. I think he is billed as “jazz maniac sax player”. The film played at Stanford Theatre on June 25, 1950, starring Edmond O’Brien, who goes into a jazz club and is slipped a deadly cocktail.
30. Somewhere I have a picture of Josh Roseman reading the newspaper at Printer’s Ink Cafe in Palo Alto circa 2008, along with a long riff on the continuum of visiting artists giving concerts to local artists, and a Unit of measure. When I wrote about his show, in 2011, and mentioned running into him I said he had “an ongoing project here”. So I am saying that in the context of assessing what does or doesn’t go on here that makes up “jazz”, a musician merely sitting in a café, reading the newspaper, minding his own business or saying hi to fans (or functionaries) like myself, or not, registers or has value: it jazzed me up, in the case I am describing. I am therefore proposing a way of qualifying that, a value, in the context of this new project of writing about and interpreting the local history of jazz. I am saying that the effect of a jazz fan running into a Josh Roseman, or a Dave Douglas here in Palo Alto, contributes to the jazz culture.
I have an unpublished 2,000 version of this; here is an excerpt:
I’m thinking of this in the context of having spent a fair amount of time in recent weeks researching a type of history of the Palo Alto jazz scene. I have an ad hoc position as a “junior historian” at the Palo Alto History Association archive – I have a card, it is Steve Staiger’s card with the designation handwritten on the back by he, the chief archivist and historian. Starting with the association’s clip file and then tapping the search-engines, I have been writing a work-in-progress that is part memoir and part research per se, although so far I have done virtually no primary source interviews – I haven’t wanted to bother the people whose stories are the flesh to my bare-bones telling of the events.
I thought of Josh Roseman in terms of two aspects of my story-telling and historiography. One, the role of artists per se in this story. Two, the idea that a timeline can be divided into segments, and how or why to do so, to qualify if you can’t actually quantify –it’s subjective. And so I’m adding this Josh Roseman riff to the whole farrago as a bit of a rhetoric device. I am claiming, or fixing to say, that in the timeline of Palo Alto’s Jazz History, there is a history, which I say, subjectively but not without reason, that starts in 1968 – I therefore define everything before that apropos of jazz as “pre-history”. Likewise but perhaps more controversially – but not being snarky or argumentative or disrespectful – with some method to it – I am claiming that somewhere along the line in recent times we are less jazzy, and now exist in a “post-history” of Palo Alto jazz, along the lines of Latin being a dead language in Italy, or Hebrew once being a dead language before Israelis modernized and revitalized it for their modern state. And here, to claim we are in a jazz twilight or worse, it does challenge, respectively, the roles of appreciation societies like Palo Alto Jazz Alliance, who are having an event next month, or the Stanford Jazz Workshop, who I am certain are already hard at work for an impressive slate of classes, camps and performances next summer. I am claiming that jazz here passed out of our orbit on a particular Tuesday in August, 2011; basically, I am linking my timelines and delineation to the lack of an ongoing venue here.
In terms of my storytelling I am also cataloging elements that comprise the story, independent of the conclusions and implications. The catalog lists artists, venues, professional and amateur administrators and functionaries (like myself!), labels and educational entities, and events and trends. The artists’ list contains local individuals and groups – for example Stanley Jordan, who grew up here and moved on to greater fame, nationally and internationally, a second category, of artists born here (like Fred Ho and Connie Crothers) but who moved away well before achieving recognition for their work in jazz. I also have a list of artists who impacted the scene here but are not generally thought of as from here, for example, chiefly by playing here, or by teaching. For example, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, who all played shows at Stanford, in their prime. And certainly, although it is hard to be encyclopedic about it, I would rate as valuable to the story and not insignificant the performances and work of local and regional acts, and those that also hold down day jobs – jazz is not their primary occupation. Not necessarily every instrument of every section of every one of our mostly excellent high school bands, but yeah, a lot of those people still play and can really shred.
But as I recall my chance meeting with Josh Roseman, who most people would think of as a New York- or Brooklyn-based musician, I do think of him as being in the pantheon of Palo Alto jazz, as being partly-Palo Altan. And when I ran into him I recall getting a kick out of seeing him, being “jazzed” even. Whether he explained this to me that day or I just knew it from the grapevine, there was a time when beyond his touring schedule or teaching a clinic, he would visit here for personal reasons. Ok, his girlfriend lived here. He was in a bi-coastal relationship. (For all I know, he still is; although when I wrote about his show, in 2011, and mentioned running into him I said he had “an ongoing project here”). So I am saying that in the context of assessing what does or doesn’t go on here that makes up “jazz”, a musician merely sitting in a café, reading the newspaper, minding his own business or saying hi to fans (or functionaries) like myself, or not, registers or has value: it jazzed me up, in the case I am describing. I am therefore proposing a way of qualifying that, a value, in the context of this new project of writing about and interpreting the local history of jazz. I am saying that the effect of a jazz fan running into a Josh Roseman, or a Dave Douglas here in Palo Alto, contributes to the jazz culture. Not that Josh that day was humming “Bemsha Swing” under his breath while he sipped his coffee, or that he fixated on the sound of the cup hitting the saucer, or can do more with that that I can (and I bet he could, make music in a sense out of mere clatter – I know Leon Parker could), but that merely being someone who has achieved a level or distinction, an aura, a skillset (think of Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours towards mastery), it can add something to our local community fabric. I’m also influenced by a comment made by Steven Bernstein (who plays slide-trumpet to and sometimes with Roseman’s trombone) about how any day in which he ran into Don Cherry (1930-1988) was a special day, he told me. So apropos of this larger task of describing 43 or 100 years of jazz history in Palo Alto, the ups and downs, ebbs and flows, I am defining a unit of measure, a Josh Roseman Unit or JRU as the measure that my running into Josh that day in 2008 or 2009 constitutes, one JRU, that is a feeling, on a scale. Like the Richter scale, or Joules of energy, or what-not.
31. My dad and I watched a DVD of the Glenn Miller Story (starring Jimmy Stewart) which sent me to the search for details of having watched, more to the point, “Sun Valley Serenade” in 2007 at Stanford Theatre and the fact it played there originally in 1941, according to the archive created by a Packard functionary, at this same Palo Alto History Association Archive — by going thru the Palo Alto Times from 1940 to 1961 or so. Jazz at the movies in the forties would fit into what I am calling the pre-history of jazz in Palo Alto.
32. This is from an interview between Rick Moody and Chris Abrahams (The Necks), on The Rumpus.net, on the geography of jazz, for comparison sake(a great interview, fascinating, although I’ve never heard the band, barely heard of them even — the interview is an accretion of email exchanges, over time:
You have to bear in mind that in Australia, the vast majority of jazz music was accessed by records. Visits by jazz greats were fleeting—and epoch making; Brubeck in the ’50s was one such visit. Later, in the ’70s, Roland Kirk played a legendary concert at the Sydney Town Hall. In the ’80s, the Art Ensemble of Chicago played a concert in Sydney, which was a huge landmark in the Australian scene.
At this point (12/3/13 9 p.m. or so on a Tuesday) I have stopped working on the article — my stint as “junior historian” for and with Steve Staiger and PAHA expired — but am adding the footnotes and thinking of Jay DeFeo “The Rose”, as well as Shields. I will probably stop when I reach the point where the numbers here run into the numbered list of memes. Also, I am at sixteen thousand three hundred forty one words and counting which made me think of the pun as another working title “Twenty thousands words under the C” like someone could play a C-Melody sax while someone else — hopefully not me — reads this aloud. Could be a form of psy ops…Staiger recently profiled in Palo Alto Weekly, and Will Ackerman profiled by same writer
in Mountain View edition. Am tempted but will probably resist posting: I too wrote a tribute of sorts to Steve Staiger, disguised as a history of jazz here. I was impressed that he seemed to know a lot about Blood Sweat and Tears (more than I do, for example). There’s a certain amount of sussing around on Stanley Jordan that I may add and something about Vijay Iyer showing and not showing in Part I like a blinking star or comet — Iyer appears next month at a conference at Johns Hopkins on the mind and music; I digressed into a riff on prime numbers based on my strange inclination to want to post the various phone numbers I had for him, that plus his publicist being in the “347” — Brooklyn overlay and “prime territory” — there’s a weak math theme throughout “Plastic Alto” beyond the weak physics here here. The wiki for “sieve of eratosthenes” has a cool animation that shows the 154 steps to sifting out the 30 primes between 1 and 120, was not quite able to import. Something about music being a sophisticated type of counting.
33. Jamie Stewart, a one-time Palo Altan — I actually met him at KZSU — has a Nina Simone tribute out, which is actually a Ches Smith and These Arches band project with Jamie as the lead singer. It is marketed under the name Xiu Xiu nonetheless and pitched more to indie rock than to jazz circles. But since it features for example Tim Berne and Mary Halvorson I would call it jazz, or jazz enough to be a footnote here. They are supposedly playing some European Jazz Festivals next summer.
34. Same not-sure-what-to-believe European jazz agency sites claim that Wayne Horvitz (the former Los Altan, who helps with Gunn jazz) will tour Europe in a band including Danilo Gallo, a bassist who I corresponded with a decade ago because he played on a band called Palo Alto, that featured music of Tristano and Konitz — I have an actual copy, somewhere, in one of my three storage spaces. Almost makes me want to ring or ping or bother Wayne for his input to the overall history-geography-physics-genius blather here.
> > Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 17:23:26 -0700> From:
> firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Palo Alto “crash
> test” lee konitz lennie tristano> To:
> email@example.com> > Hi, Danilo.> Today I
> received your package of cds. Thank you very> much.>
> I think the City Of Palo Alto should do something
> to> honor Lee Konitz, and also to honor our
> “brothers” who> share our name, making jazz in
> Italy. Let me work on> how to spread the word here
> and to raise interest in> bringing you here for a
> performance.> Mark Weiss> > > — danilo gallo
> <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:> > >
> ———————————> > Hi Mark. Here I
> am, sorry for delay… > > Thank you for writing
> me… Yes Palo Alto is a band ,> a quartet, italian
> one, we made 2 records, the first> was a tribute to
> the music of Lennie Tristano & Lee> Konitz (>
> )> and the second “Crash Test” consists of original>
> compositions… (>
> ) released by a german label (www.jazznarts.de )> >
> The former band is a quartet with me on double
> bass,> Nicola Fazzini on alto saxophone, Dario Volpi
> on> guitar and Zeno De Rossi on drums… We made a
> lot of> concerts all around Europe, both
> Tristano/Konitz> project and our music…. We still
> exist, even if we> do not so much as before, but
> it’s a band that I love> it!!> > It could be great
> to come there and perform in Palo> Alto, this town
> ispired our name and many stories…> > > as soon as
> possible I send you cds.> > thank you again, danilo>
> > > > > danilo BATgallo > http://www.elgallorojorecords.com
> ———————————> From: mark weiss
> Subject: Palo Alto “crash test” lee konitz lennie>
> tristano> Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2007 11:56:54 -0700
> (PDT)> Danilo Gallo> jazz musician> Venice Italia> >
> Dear Mr. Gallo:> > I am a jazz journalist, artist
> manager and concert> promoter in Palo Alto,
> California, USA.> > I was happy to learn that there
> is a jazz group in> Italia named “Palo Alto”, si? It
> is a tribute to> Lennie Tristano and Lee Konitz,
> si?> > Please give me more information. Maybe I can
> help> arrange a tour or visit here to perform.> >
> Mark Weiss> Earthwise Productions and Management> PO
> Box 60786> Palo Alto, CA 94306 USA> > tel:
> 650.857.xxxx> email@example.com> > I am sorry I do
> not speak Italian.> > Lee Konitz performs in Palo
> Alto on 4 Aug 2007>
> > > > Mark Weiss> Earthwise Productions and
> Management> PO Box 60786> Palo Alto, CA 94306> (650)
> 857-xxxx (new number)> > > >
> ———————————> Crea il tuo
> Gadget e vinci Windows Vista >
> Crea i tuoi biglietti da visita con Windows Live
> http://www.messenger.it/biglietti_da_visita.htmlMark Weiss
Earthwise Productions and Management
PO Box 60786
Palo Alto, CA 94306
(650) 857-xxxx (new number)
35. Tuck and Patti at Yoshi’s tomorrow and Wednesday, December 11-12, 2013, in San Francisco, (which reminds me I should ping-back to my blog headline mis-claiming Stanley Jordan at The Varsity — I did catch his show in SF). Edit to add, today: woke up imagining dashing up to Frisco and getting backstage to chat with Tuck and Patti, reminding them of our previous brief encounters and ‘splaining myself — but not bloody likely I actually make that happen. There’s also a guest book at City Hall people can sign until 5:30 to show respect for Nelson Mandela; Jeff Tweedy at Fillmore; Jack Hirschman’s birthday, his 80th, at City Lights — I am at Palo Alto Temporary Main almost gathering the energy to face the traffic and noise of the real world. Found myself sussing self and the search-injuns to plumb out (and this almost fits — I was going to say something about Joseph Labarbera versus Xiu Xiu — and thanks to RK who arguably only exists because of Jack’s student AVB — he introduced her parents, about 7 years before she was born — her name was in the Chron recommending a book on Malcolm X — flamethrower and tout — Labarbera, Cunliffe, Sheppard, Jenkins, and Warrington — that’s jazz, right? — this: When I had first moved to New York from Reno, I found an apartment on Mulberry Street and planned to make films with the camera I never returned to the art department at the University of Nevada, a Bolex Pro. I arrived with the camera, my savings from selling my motorcycle, and a phone number for Chris Kelly, my single contact. I was twenty-one. I figured I’d wait to call mythical Chris Kelly, a UNR student I had known only slightly. He had been shot in the arm by Nina Simone when he tried to make a film about her. I turned down the chance to present in Palo Alto the first Nina Simone show in America in 10 years, over Chef Chu’s, over the thought of losing my car. I had my shot, so to speak. Or failed to take it. (So if you are keeping score, check reportage, memoir, plagiarism and name-checking)
36. Andrew Gilbert produced an NPR segment on Lisa Mezzacappa’s two recent sessions, I caught and sussed: Lisa is a bassist and much more, whose day job at least is or was booking the logistics of Stanford University’s cultural offerings — so she almost a Palo Alto jazz meme. Certainly she has the potential to help us poor cultural deprived townies — she and Gilbert could — he was once on the staff of Jazz Bakery in L.A. This belongs a few notches higher up but beyond noting Esther Berndt sax with James Armstong, maybe she could start an all-Palo Alto group with Coupe, Mohini and Connie — and Lisa could play bass as a ringer.
37. Digging my own crate to say definitively that the Earthwise archive includes sessions at Cubberley with Leon Parker, solo, 1998, Bill Frisell, solo, 1999; MMW, 1996; Charlie Hunter Pound for Pound (with Stefon Harris, John Santos and Stanton Moore), Charlie Hunter Trio, 1995, New Morty Show (which is like a Keeley Smith tribute) — maybe someone in there could give permission to sell 200 downloads to accompany a chap book about jazz in Palo Alto.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6mx3sZzDZ445. tipping my hand a little: Lew Welch, former Paly track star sprinter, in David Meltzer book, from early 1970s describing his love of Charlie Parker: his Palo Alto days pre-date the Beats and jazz here per se, but there must have been something about him even then that plants seeds for jazz here, worth mentioning as the 45th footie — Welch had problems with his feet but soldiered on, thru track and life, and left his mark. And I was tipped to this by the Paly librarian while searching for Connie Crothers fruitlessly, who was born here but lived in RWC.46. if you check back this spot, number 46 of the hypothetical memes or footnotes in Section v — not to be confused with the list of actual memes, which is like an appendix or index but out of order, you might see some type of review or passing comment passing strange of course about the Palo Alto Jazz Quintet, Dan Adams drums (see above), David Deneau (like “bureau” –huh? ) on tenor — he said he jammed with Tom Harrell at Poppycock when Harrell was an undergrad and he a grad student, although they both may have felt like dysplastic nevi — on or near the farm — Malcolm Smith bass, a great piano player with a slightly funny name, I’ll call him Swizzle Jones just to hold the place or Pinetop the Lion not-Zeitlin — maybe it is Denny Zeitlin slumming it? — David Brigham who was two years ahead of me at Gunn thirty years ago and meanwhile has been teaching music to PAUSD kids for 26 years, wow! — and a book that includes Fred Hersch, Terrell Stafford, Christian McBride, Miles Davis “Nardis” and some comments about venues and local politics and this I started to post on their site, plus I have some snapshots: I wrote a 19,000 word essay about how jazz is dead, in Palo Alto, but will amend to explain the phenomenon of PAJQ; you should ask Claude Ezran for $1,000 to play the street music event; actually, you should ask $3,000 to include back pay.Further: I would say pound for pound and note for note, the Palo Alto Jazz Quintet is a far superior cultural amenity than the so-called Palo Alto World Music Day, which I think is an embarrassment and a disgrace; maybe you should spin off and form your own event, and raise a little money for the performers. Palo Alto, by the way, and some of you, at least Dan, David D and David B would know, had two previous “Palo Alto Jazz Festivals”.It could be as simple as arranging to play Lytton Plaza, and asking two or more friends, like Esther Berndt or Kristen Strom, to stake out other nearby sites — like Cogswell Plaza and maybe you could convince the landlord to open the courtyard to the Varsity, and all 3 groups play simultaneously — and call that Palo Alto Jazz (Quintet and Friends) Festival and that would be much more satisfying than the
Plastic Alto blog
my actual notes: Alec Wilder, miles davis, nardis, herbie hancock driftin wayne shorter infinite eyes infant eyes jim snidero tenor dave
durow terrel stafford he knows just how much you can bear — clearly he was not talking about a 19,000 word iterative blog post — gospel Christian mcbride rainbow wheels training wheels Malcolm smith bass 2 some kids are pretty people thad jones mcBride brother mr. Fred Hersch a lark ask claude ezran for a grand shorter black nile Deneau set me straight that if I got the Musicians Union to picket the Palo Alto World Music Day it would backfired because the unpaid musicians might end up paying dues that would not recoup. Put it this way: it would cost a music professional a lot more than $1,000 to put together two sets like that anywhere within city limits, so yeah these guys are subsidizing something out of the goodness of their hearts. I called them Palo Alto Jazz Quintet in Exile. Ok, I admit I am making part of this up.
47. Don Alberts and Dick Fregulia in Don’s book A Diary of The Underdogs(2009 interview):
I heard Federico Cervantes (Freddie Gambrell) play in this funky place in Palo Alto in 1959 when he had an album on Atlantic and that was big time. (He also says that he is continually reworking his manuscript about the history of jazz in Palo Alto in the 1950s and 1960s but believes there is no market for it and merely shows it to people with whom he trades manuscripts). And again, the 556-post “Plastic Alto” blog started when my girlfriend and I were sitting around on a Sunday morning, fall, 2010 and she asked me to “name that tune”, of “Take Five” and I was setting her straight on the distinction between Brubeck (performer) and Desmond (composer) and was sent down the rabbit hole into Dick Fregulia, Freddie Gambrell and “the set of blind piano players” – I had managed Henry Butler and brought him to Palo Alto for a gig before that, and started my blog as a way to be allowed to comment on Anna Cervantes’ site and then kept going from there.
Link to Don Alberts book, pp. 196-197.
Also: Outside at the Inside, Larry Vucovich, Ben Webster and more, in Palo Alto. Says the Bandbox is Redwood City.
And posted by Dick at Matt’s site (cited above):
“My era there (summers of 1958 and 59) preceded beer and wine by at least five or six years, but it was not odd to be without liquor because there had never been any in Palo Alto establishments. We got by on frappees and cappuccino. The girls were hip and sexy, or so its eemed, and black was the preferred color of clothing. The first wave of St. Mikes was more like an extension of the scene at Kepler’s Bookstore – that is, more literary and social than musical. Regardless of who was playing there, the concept of “rock star” had not yet been invented. We had our cult followings – some larger than others – but there was never a line around the block, or even out the door as I recall. By 1961 or 62 I had graduated to playing paid gigs at Outside at the Inside and various El Camino Real venues.”
48. Derrick Bang’s diligent research on Vince Guaraldi offers a motherlode of info about the great composer and pianist’s Peninsula days, between 1960 until his sudden shocking passing post-performance in Menlo Park in 1976. I posted on his site but forgot to paste a copy before “sending”. My notes say: May 24, 1966 Nero’s Nook, Cabana; also: Frost Amphitheatre, Foothill College, Stanford Chapel; Exit-In, Jan. 17-19, 1969; In Your Ear, 1971, 6/18-19, 10/21-24 George Winston attends; formerly the Poppycock; July 20 – plays song “Oaxaca”; 12/14, 12/24, 12/26, 12/28; 1972: 1/4, 1/11. 1/18, 2/8, 2/15, 2/22 Robben Ford jams with, switches instruments; “severed” relationship with venue; fire?; Butterfields of Menlo Park, 1706 El Camino, June 13, 1972 –I try the phone number from the ad — Outside at the Inside, 642 High Street Palo Alto Pastries Espresso, Thursday, admission $1.50 Vince Guaraldi Trio with Brew Moore Bob Collins (also Lord Buckley, comic and more) Fri and Sat $2.00 same bill- I try the phone number from the ad. May 18-June 29, 1960, January, 1961; 2004 “Oaxaca” album and song released by David Guaraldi, son of VG. (I found myself on this thread by search-injuning Dick Fregulia mention, to Matt Bowling above in #47,of Outside at the Inside, which Bang notes is vacant lot, but across from small studio still seems to survive. In note to Derrick, I gratuitously mention John Medeski, at Cubberley 1996, who in my opinion, and pending a further listen to board tape, seems to allude to “Linus and Lucy” at one point, and imitates the grating warble of “the teacher” in “Charlie Brown” tv shows, as Cubberley Staff upstage him by turning on lights to control the crowd. Link. (Edita: in #21 above, also known as “Part V” but really part of “Part IV let it flow”, a long thru-composed segment, I note that after several sessions hunkered down at Cubberley H-5 with the Jazz file I examine “Music-General” file and pull about 10 more items, temporary re-file them with “Jazz” –although I did not ask Chief’s permission — including Paul Emerson’s article about Vince Guaraldi, coverage of his October, 1971 show at In Your Ear. Derrick Bang also talks about “Alma-Ville” and whether it is a tribute to Palo Alto, Alma, means “soul” in Spanish, but is also a busy street transversing Palo Alto and near at least two venues downtown VG frequented. It matches Konitz’ “Palo Alto” in suitability for City Hall hold-music, methinks. VG also has a song “Oaxaca” also the name of Palo Alto’s Sister City, and one of my favorite spots on this blue marble (as my right hand, without breaking the flow of the words, clicks on “this blue marble” the Plastic Alto category, meaning “geography” or “travel — geographical; please note use of “travels” — time — in headline above). Let’s see if Derrick Bang responds, or prints my comment (under consideration) or offers to contribute or at least to let me steal the artwork he dug up. Derrick Bang rocks! or Swings!
Derrick Bang Feb 26 at 4:30 PM
Goodness, not sure where to begin. Lovely long comment, delighted to see it pop up on the post in question.
I certainly agree that Guaraldi’s every note resonates to this day, perhaps most audibly in what once was the San Francisco jazz scene, but also certainly in Berkeley and, yes, Palo Alto.
Not sure what you’ve scanned of my work thus far, although it sounds like you’ve also found my Guaraldi timeline. I don’t have originals of any vintage flyers or ads; everything is derived from microfilm newspaper scans … although there are a great deal more of those, from Outside at the Inside; they advertised Guaraldi’s gigs quite ambitiously for awhile. They tend to look the same, though, in terms of format and presentation; only the named celebrity act of the week changed.
[cut and paste Outside at the Inside ad here]
And yes, I was quite pleased to find that photo of Nero’s Nook, grainy though it is.
If you’ve not read my book, of course I encourage you to do so; it has more detailed information about much of this stuff, which is presented mostly in timeline/outline format online. I suspect that would be the preferred “summary” that you propose; I can’t really do better than what’s in the book. 🙂
“Maestro of Menlo Park” is easy to find; it’s “bonus content” in the Peanuts 1960s DVD box set. “The Anatomy of Vince Guaraldi,” sadly, still has yet to find a distributor.
Do keep in touch, and let me know, perhaps a bit more specifically, what you might desire. And, needless to say, if you happen to come across any significant Guaraldiana during while burrowing through the Palo Alto Historical Association, please share… 🙂
Begin forwarded message:
Subject: [Impressions of Vince] New comment on What’s in a name?.
Date: February 25, 2014 2:32:52 PM PST
To: (derrick bell’s email)
markweiss86 (https://markweiss86.wordpress.com/) has left a new comment on your post “What’s in a name?”:
Wow. I love this. I have a riff about getting the City of Palo Alto to play Lee Konitz’ “Palo Alto” as hold-music when you call City Hall, but I will update to recommend Vince Guaraldi “Alma-Ville” as an equal or better (yet still pretty far-fetched) idea.
Also, please note that Oaxaca is Palo Alto’s Sister City — David Guaraldi eventually released this composition, “Oaxaca” and album title in 2004, although you mention the exact date VG started playing it live years before.
I am writing a history of jazz in Palo Alto based mostly on the PAHA (history association) files, mixed with random musings of my own. I have Vince just at a glance but will update with this motherlode of info: Outside at the Inside (and two different flyers and ads — would love to borrow from you), Nero’s Nook at the Cabana, also Frost, Stanford Chapel, Foothill College — which are a little off-topic but close enough to give a fuller picture — Exit-In, In Your Ear, which is what the only cite I had to start with, but I did not realize it was the same venue as Poppycock — you have him playing “Oaxaca” there in July, 1971 — plus info about George Winston, Robben Ford — Wow! I think John Medeski at Cubberley in 1996 actually riffs on ‘Linus and Lucy” but kinda mimics the sound effect of the teacher’s voice in the tv shows, at a time when the crew, the City Staff, not my people, were kinda upstaging him and turning on the house lights as a way to control the crowd – he was mocking them — will have to check the board tape to see if that is actually true but I’ve always remember it in that way. Weird digression.
I have very little on that 1960 to about 1968 period before all this.
I will of course credit you, Derrick, for all your hard work. If you’d like to summarize all this, that would indubitably be an improvement. It’s funny you posted this a week or so before I wandered into the history center at Cubberley (where I produced a concert series in the 1990s) and got invited to be like an intern or pseudo-scholar-in-residence. I’m trying to get them, the history association, to produce a panel on this topic. Palo Alto is not as vital to West Coast jazz as SF or Bach Dancing, but it’s interesting to see what did happen here, and lament the lack of a venue today.
I’m of the belief that every note Vince Guaraldi played live around here, forty and fifty years ago, still reverberates and has some kind of impact, on those it touched and who else and how else they touched others, so thanks for your diligence in keeping track of it.
Mark Weiss, “Plastic Alto” blog and Earthwise Productions
I’m also kinda curious about “Maestro of Menlo Park” film and concept — Butterfields itself duly noted and for better or worse sort of out of my purview for Palo Alto per se. But will go by and check out the street address, out of respect.
1. Listen to Guaraldi try to sample thru his catalog, via the internet soundbites or hunker down and buy some used cds — maybe the Vinyl Man in Redwood City or the annex behind it would be a fitting place to drop alms.
2. Of course in a perfect world w.e.a.t I would find Mr. Bang’s book and read it or purchase it then read it. His blogs and timeline are worth follow-up visits — I was in fly-and-fake mode in the couple hours I spent there and on this topic Wednesday. 3. Gioia “West Coast Jazz” Bang credits, I had borrowed from library and skimmed – I mention and link to above — worth passing thru again indexing “Guaraldi”; 3. The films are worth seeing, I would try to find, in time. 4. Visiting the three or four geographical sites in Menlo Park and Palo Alto, as I promise I will do. 5. Although so far, 23,000+ words and six months of this (despite claiming I have stopped — I am only in-filling at this point) I have done no original research — and I’m bragging about it!? — but it would be great to take cues from Bang and do a little interro-banging of Robben Ford (who I met briefly, on the road with Henry Butler and Front Porch Blues Tour, in Scottsdale and Houston — the bus would go quiet when he would talk about Miles) and George Winston (likewise, met via HB) about Palo Alto’s heyday of jazz, and The Varsity; 6. “Alma-Ville” absolutely belongs on the playlist here, and in the hold-music project 7. more gratuitous, post-Bang stuff: reminds that apropos of the Cabana Hotel a.k.a Hyatt Cabana, where the Beatles stayed, I produced shows there with Leni Stern and Joey Baron, in terms of the list of visiting artists who added to the scene (“@'”) 8. likewise I guess I could ask John Medeski if you was riffing on Guaraldi or was I just imagining he was; it’s another reason to back-up that board-tape; this is a memoir and a to-do list. A sophisticated way of not-counting. It would be interesting to compare the jazz history of Palo Alto to the jazz history of Davis; I would say that there is more going on these days in Davis!
49. I apologize that I wrote twenty one thousand, eight hundred and sixteen words about jazz in Palo Alto before learning of “Chuck Travis — tenor sax stalwart” who attended Paly High, played The Bandbox in Redwood City, and died here in 2005, according to Jessie Hamlin of the Chron. I found Chuck, even belatedly, by following up the hunch, suggested by Don Alberts and Dick Fregulia, noted above, that the Bandbox, Desmond ditty or not, Gioia-fied info or not, was not in Palo Alto, but nearby. Maybe you could hear Chuck Travis’ tenor from here. He met his wife at the Bandbox, in 1949, Hamlin claims. I may have possibly heard him with the 49ers band that I recall would play “San Francisco(Open your Golden Gates)” after each touchdown circa 1975, at the Stick, my Dad and I would go, although I couldn’t name that tune until many years later. Here he cut his teeth as Blue Moon Orchestra.
50. Stanley Jordan is mentioned here 15 times already but I feel I am giving him short-shrift and had started taking notes on his catalog, stored in a word filed on my girlfriend’s laptop — computer — and I also bought a recent album, the one with all the environmental idealism, not unlike my rationale in founding or at least naming Earthwise Productions plus an early breakthrough album the first or second Blue Note either Gold or pretty close, procured at Rasputin’s along with about a dozen others on or about my 50th birthday — I was searching for Helen Sung new release but had to settle — and I also noted by let pass on by, as I recall jazz booker Reggie Marshall quoting he says Kesey as a life-philosophy (“Use what you can and let the rest float on by” — as opposed to speaking out, standing up, resist, revolt, or neurotic obsession — Oh, Reggie, I am with you in Richmond, with Toots, and Rachel Z, and Allison Miller –doing a selfie with a Kodak disposable but not with our feet like Tommy Jordan might do, carrying her bandmates’ bass, and jogging at Half Moon Bay airport and getting teased by Miriam and Rachel because we are dressed alike — and when Stanley played the Cub Adrienne Drayton did an amazing drawing of him from his press photo the poster still stands or is pushpinned in the Cubberley Theatre tech office, or was; anyhow check back with more to say about this great guitarist who also played a small theatre in Livermore recently as part of an axe summit. Stanley was in Sedona at the time we did our business together and seemed obsessed by the internet; I recall Keith Peters of the Weekly noting when a Jordan track recond –long jump –was eclipsed more recently. Somebody’s CCS sports website lists him as someone who “showed.” Check back for update!
More jazz memes (51-121)
51. Stanford Jazz Workshop/ Stanford Jazz Festival/ ^#
52. Matt Wilson @’
53. Jazz Pharmaceuticals %
54. Mingus Big Band clinics for Stanford students #
55. Art 21 (539 Alma) ^
56. Ethan Iverson @’
57. Esbjorn Svensson (EST Trio) @’
58. Jack Walrath @’
59. Touch of Gray tribute to Jerry Garcia %
60. Dana Morgan Music store %
61. John Ellis @’
62. Scott Amendola @’
63. Jenny Scheinman @
64. Jenny Scheinman clinic at Castilleja and Ohlone #
65. Matt Haimovitz @
66. Charlie Hunter @’
67. A Quantum Decoherence of Jazz Shows ^
68. poster for A Quantum Decoherence of Jazz Shows %
69. Will Bernard @’
70. Ledisi (aka Anibade) @’
71. Galactic @’
72. Dave Ellis @’
73. Danny Scher $
Monk concert; work for BGP; drummer in own band; Narvin Kimball cd; concerts in backyard, Kensington, CA; Heath Brothers documentary; toured Varsity, 2012.
74. Thelonious Monk @’
75. Varsity Revival, 2011-2012 %
76. West Coast Jazz by Ted Gioia % @ #
mbw brief correspondence with; other books, esp. “History of Jazz”; piano
77. Paul Desmond @ @’
78. Dave Brubeck @ @’
79. Bandbox ^
80. Bandbox ditty by Desmond %
81. Stanford Jazz Workshop newsletter %
82. Gunn Oracle %
83. Paly Campanile %
84. Cubberley Catamount %
85. Akira Tana @
(edit to add, a year later, December, 2014: I call Akira Tana to congratulate him that a cd he produced for Jane Herzen’s Motema Rufus Reid “Quiet Pride” got 2 Grammy nods and he pivots to suggesting Dave Bendigkeit trumpet and Gunn grad for my panel as we present this sucker live,for PAHA coming up January sunday 25, 2015 at Lucie Stern, and I am trying to scroll down proper like to add http://www.davebendigkeit.com/solarplexus.html
if it is not there already)(while I am here I should probably normalize the format for the recently deceased, like Fred Ho just below and Herb Wong)
86. Jason Olaine $ @
87. Fred Ho @
88. Julie Lake @
89. Give Us 30 Seconds to Blow, Gunn High cd %
90. “Deedle” (Julie Lake performance, won Downbeat contest) %
91. Daniel Enemark @
92. Rick’s Rather Rich, official ice cream sponsor of Palo Alto Jazz Festival %
93. Chamber of Commerce %
94. Palo Alto Recreation Department % #
95. Mike Cobb’s mayoral proclamation, “jazz week” for Jazz Festival 1985 %
96. Stanford Theatre ^
97. D.O.A. film %
98. Dooley Wilson, Sam, in Casablanca %
99. Nathan Oliveira %
100. Studio 13 jass band @
101. Cantor Museum signage about jazz influence on local painters and sculptors %
102. Tom Griesser @
103. Randy Lutge $
104. Pierro Scaruffi $
105. Will Ackerman @ $
106. St. Michael’s Alley/ Waiting Room ^
107. Monarch Records %
108. Quartet Records %
109. Gunn jazz band trip to Oaxaca @ #
110. Draper’s Music #
111. Steve Lacy @’
concert at Cubberley, 2000. I had forgotten that Robyn Israel of the Weekly had written an excellent preview of the show — bless her heart. I’m standing on my “soprano motherfuckers” quote above even though the search engine indicates that in Steve’s conversation with Lee Friedlander, in the Jason Weiss book — that one I do own — it was more like “how many soprano sax players do you think I know?” Did I see another reference to the same story? That was a 1997 conversation about 1960 — Steve was both one of the few people playing soprano sax for jazz, or reviving it, and one of the first to see the real genius in Thelonious — I hope we are not wearing out that word here — eight years before Scher — who didn’t cover Monk, merely hired him — a lesser heroics.
112. Rebecca Coupe Franks @
trumpet player, grew up in Palo Alto (Crescent Park School, Wilbur then Aptos High in Aptos / Santa Cruz), New School product, co-led project with Virginia Mayhew in NYC; from Andrew Gilbert: Growing up in Palo Alto, Coupe was almost destined to play the trumpet, as her mother, brother, grandfather and great uncle were all accomplished on the horn. She gained recognition early on, winning an award as a soloist at the Reno Jazz Festival and participating in the Monterey Jazz Festival’s High School All-Star Band with Santa Cruz-raised saxophonist Donny McCaslin (who appears on her 1992 album All of a Sudden on Justice Records). SFJazz at Stanford Shopping Center of Palo Alto, 2006;
113. Did I add Palo Alto Grill on Uni as another dinner jazz venue? ^ (I also saw a flyer for a jazz show in RWC featuring someone named Denny…and a link to a jazz show at the Unitarian Church in Palo Alto featuring Aaron Lington of San Jose State)
114. Steven Halpern @
115. Gil Draper $
116. Draper’s Music %
117. Gil Draper Holiday party circa 1974 ^
118. Denny Berthiaume @
119. Lilan Kane @ $
120. Remi Wolf, Remi & Chloe, “Nash and Remi” @
121. Terrigal Burn @
122. Chuck Travis @
123. Action Plus @’
124. Irene Aebi @’
125. Chazz Alley @
126. Amazing Dr. Zarcon’s Breathing Machine @
127. Tuck Andress @
128. Phil Aranda (and the Jazz Sextet) @
129. Margie Baker @’
130. Rick Bale # ^
131. Joey Baron (aka Killer Joey) @’
132. Matt Beasley $
133. Esther Berndt @
134. Bing Hall ^
135. Black Hawk Records %
136. Elmer Bishoff %
137. Blood Sweat and Tears @’
138. Blue Moon Orchestra @
139. Robert K. Bodding $
140. Bon Vivant Cafe ^
141. Matt Bowling $
142. David Brigham @ #
143. Broun Fellinis @’
144. Ken Brown @
145. Forrest Bryant $
146. Bryant- Poe jazz cluster %
147. Henry Butler @’
148. Cafe Zoe ^
149. Patti Cathcart @
150. Federico Cervantes (aka Freddie Gambrell) @
151. “Clear Story” (by Mildred Howard) %
152. Mike Cobb %
153. Kevin Coelho @
154. Richie Cole @’
155. John Coltrane @’
156. Count Basie @’
157. Anne Cribbs (Anne Warner Cribbs) %
158. Connie Crothers @
159. The Cubberley Sessions (aka Palo Alto Soundcheck) ^
160. Dana Street Roasting House (Mountain View) ^
161. Alex DeGrassi @
162. David Deneau @
163. Karl Denson @’
164. Richard Diebenkorn %
165. Dave Douglass @’
166. Pete Douglass $
167. Mike Doyle $
168. EST Trio (see Esbjorn Svensson) @’
169. Bill Evans @’
170. “Everybody Wants to Be A Cat” %
171. Filoli Jazz series ^
172. Foothill College #
173. Bill Frisell @’
174. Frost Amphitheatre ^
175. Leah Garchik $
176. Danilo Gallo @’
177. Jerry Garcia @
178. Andy Geiger $
179. Andrew Gilbert $
180. Bill Graham $
181. Greyboy All-Stars @’
182. Vince Guaraldi @
183. Jim Harrington $
184. Stephon Harris @’
185. Aleta Hayes @
186. Brian Ho @’
187. Red Holloway @’
188. Hospitality House (Palo Alto Community House, 27 University) ^
189. Hot Club of Palo Alto @
190. Mildred Howard %
191. Cornell Hurd @ (see #512 below for cool video and explanation)
192. In Your Ear ^
193. Robyn Israel $
194. Vijay Iyer @’
195. Jambase %
196. Jazz For Hair %
197. KCEA 89.1 %
198. KCSM 91.1 %
199. Stephen Kent @’
200. KFJC 89.7 %
201. Rahsaan Roland Kirk @’
202. KJazz %
203. Lee Konitz @’
204. “Lee Konitz Meets Jimmy Giuffre” %
205. Frank Lobdell %
206. L’Ommies ^
207. Randy Lutge $
208. Lytton Plaza ^
209. M_G_ (planning commissioner with f-hole shaped hedges)
210. Miya Masuoka @’
211. Craig Matsumoto aka “Wedge” %
212. Eda Maxym @’
213. Medeski Martin and Wood @’
214. John Medeski @’
215. Lisa Mezzacappa @ $
216. Milgrom the bass player @ I mean Josh Thurston Milgrom, son of a famous Econ prof, and Gunn grad, living on South Side
217. Allison Miller @’
218. Stanton Moore @’
219. Jim Nadel $ @
220. Kim Nalley @’
221. Napster %
222. Kenny Neal @
223. Nero’s Nook (at Cabana Hotel) ^
224. New Morty Show (aka Morty and Connie Show) @’
225. Red Norvo @’
226. Andy Nozaka %
227. Joey Oliveira @
228. Dan Ouellette $
229. Outside at the Inside (aka Caffe Court) ^
230. Oxbow @
231. Palo Alto (band) @’
232. Palo Alto City Hall ^
233. Paly Theatre (aka Haymarket) ^
234. Palo Alto Jazz Quintet @
235. Palo Alto Jazz Festival – I ^ (i.e guest concerts at Gunn)
236. Palo Alto Jazz Festival – II ^ (i.e. at Baylands)
237. Palo Alto Times / Peninsula Times Tribune %
238. Pampas ^
239. David Park %
240. Leon Parker @’
241. William Parker @’
242. Kat Parra @’
243. Billie and DeDe Pierce @’
244. Poppycock ^
245. Preservation Hall Jazz Band @’
246. Frank Roeber @ (see Cornell Hurd or/and #512 below)
247. Gregg Rolie @
248. Josh Roseman @ DUDE WHERE’S THAT SELFIE?
249. Alan Roter @
250. John Santos @’
251. San Francisco Chronicle %
252. Sara Schoenbeck @’
253. John Schott @’
254. Scott’s Seafood ^
255. SFJazz $
256. Marcus Shelby @’
257. Shoreline Amphitheatre (Mountain View) ^
258. Malcolm Smith @
259. Scott Sorkin @
260. Stanford Shopping Center ^
261. Leni Stern @’
262. Jamie Stewart @
263. “Still Life with Commentator” (by Iyer) %
264. “Strike Up the Band” (Gershwin) %
265. “Alma-Ville” (Guaraldi) %
266. Kristen Strom @
267. T.J. Kirk @’
268. Toledo (aka Toledo Diamond) @’
269. “Touch of Gray” (Garcia/Hunter, arranged by Jack Walrath) %
270. Tru (aka Anderson) @’
271. Johnny Vaughn @
272. Wendy Waller @
273. George Winston @
274. Woodside Priory ^
275. Tom Yoder @
276. Yoshi’s (Oakland) ^
277. Hershel Yatovitz @
278. Edith Zitelli @
279. Jacques Schwarz-Bart @’
280. Jana Herzen, @ % (founder, Motema record label)
Lynne Arriale and several other jazz musicians played a tribute concert at Dinkelspiel Auditorium on the Stanford campus in February, 2014 in honor of the famous scientist Leonard Herzenberg, of the Herzenberg Lab, who died last fall.
Herzenberg’s daughter is Jana Herzen, an artist and label owner, who grew up on campus and is now based in New York City. I believe the label name “motema” means “heart” in a Congolese dialect. The performers all record for her label.
I don’t know the family, nor did I attend the concert, although I would have liked to. Someone mentioned to me earlier today, however, that her friend Jana, the founder of Motema, was from Palo Alto. (The closest my jazz world overlaps with Motema is that Jacques Schwarz-Bart, a saxophonist who leads a recent session on the label, once played the Cubberley Sessions as a sideman for Blue Note recording artist James Hurt. And that Babatunde Lea, who recorded for that label, also participated in 2003 in Say It Thru Song, a workshop in the Vallejo school district that was organized by my friend Tracey Hartwell. And also last night even, at Paula Kirkeby’s 80th birthday party, the bandleader was Akira Tana, who has or had a duo project with Motema artist Rufus Reid, a bassist. (In my own nomenclature, this would qualify as part of Palo Alto’s “post-history” of jazz, that concert, although Jana’s work per se is part of the history proper, 1968-2011).
281. Zach Ostroff
“Upright and Electric Bassist, Guitarist, Drummer, Composer, Singer-songwriter” from Belvedere and Philadelphia but transferred to Stanford class of 2017 after two years at Columbia but also as student and faculty of Stanford Jazz Workshop and camp; played with Taylor Eigsti at Filoli, 2015; meanwhile there was also a presentation of all of the above at Palo Alto Historical Association in January, 2015 and this could be remounted with all 281 or 512 memes sorted more logically and less Plasticly — I guess I could trump Zack’s 20 with Joey Alexander at 11 — not to mention Jules at 8 — because his producer (Olaine) and label (Herzen) are Palo Altans. Plus there’s the grading on a curve against Stanford versus Palo Alto per se: we’ll have to find Zach Ostroff, leader, sideman or solo, downtown.
@, % which I think is code for artist, educator: trumpet
512. Ok, some of you purists and moldy fig types are gonna arch your eyebrows about my including Cornell Hurd and Frank Roeber in this list of all-time Palo Alto “jazz memes”. At best, they are a jug band, which may overlap with jazz if you have the biggest and floppiest ears this side of a jackalope. But they were listed as a highlight in Mike Doyle’s 1981 article about live music in Palo Alto, and I just stuck with my story (that, plus I love Austin — I used to have a business card that says “Palo Alto and South Austin”). Definitely anyone who writes about the history of South Bay music scene will want to include these guys, or about Austin, of course. They are more Cupertino and Homestead that Palo Alto, for the record. Anyhow, this is completely subjective so I am keeping ’em in here for a whiles longer. Meanwhile check out this original “I Cry, I Drink” and thank me later:
514. If this resolves to a panel discussion featuring Danny Scher, Jason Olaine, Ted Gioia and Herb Wong, or Wong, Olaine, Gioia and Scher, we could refer to it by a code name, “WOGS”, not to be confused with “Woz” (a founder of a large tech firm but also a music patron, for rock), or “Woj” (an educator and mother, of a famous founder of a tech firm, and spouse or ex-spouse of such), speaking of memes. Reminds me that they say and I believe that there is more info created since 2000 or so than between Gutenberg and 2000, probably not all for the better — as I started taking photos of objects in the PAHA “Music – Jazz” files and recommending we then file those in the file, Russell Paradox or not. Better to open a can or tuna, them that knows say. (this should really be number 50 above in PART V rather than 114 or 514 or 500 in memes; it’s part of the cover letter in the hard copy or finished version on file as of 1/16/14 with Steve Staiger at PAHA archive)
key: @ artist; # educational; $ professional; ^ venue; % label, property, miscellaneous entity or relationship; @’ artist visiting for show or clinic i.e. non-local. Obviously it would be better to sort this by category, alphabetically or by significance