Jamming For Dollars
It's a situation club and restaurant owner's dream about, and given the correct alignment of the sun, the stars, the players, the jam director and the audience, there's no reason it couldn't happen again.
It Can Happen Here
At a Sunday afternoon jam session in New York City, a young---more accurately, under agedrummer wanted to sit in with the house band, a kind of "swing-out-of-dixieland" outfit that had a lot of fans. Even though the drummer was brought in by a well-known bass-playing friend of the bandleader, said leader fluffed them both off.
This went on for several weeks, until the bandleader finally relented, and let the drummer sit in on the last song of the session.
The drummer played and wowed the crowd, the band and the bandleader. The drummer was hired to play in the band on a full time basis a week later. In the years to come, the young percussionist became known, among one and all, as "the world's greatest drummer."
His name was Buddy Rich. And he was discovered at a jam session.
Who says it can't happen again?
"When barely out of my teens and stationed in Washington, D.C. with the Airmen of Note, my favorite hang-out to get my training was at a bar called 7th and T which of course was the address. I was sitting in with Gene Harris and Three Sounds who were playing there. One night Sonny Stitt was in town and he came down to sit in. I was already up playing when Sonny came in. The next thing I know, I'm along side Sonny, who counted off a burnin' "All The Things You Are" and played it in all 12 keys. This left me at the starting gate. There was a lesson there: If you play in the kitchen you might get burned!
I learned a lot standing up there above the bar playing with those pros." Trumpeter Bob Zottola (Maynard Ferguson, Benny Goodman, Chick Corea, Frank Sinatra, et. al) to the author, 2012.