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Future Jazz

Jamming For Dollars

By Published: September 19, 2012
More of a traveling show and revue than a true jam, this format has nonetheless proven to be tremendously popular, so much so, that during the six-month, October-through-March "season," those hoping to see Jebry's show in person often have to wait three weeks for a reservation. Yes, Jebry is generous and trusting with granting stage time. However, everyone knows who the "star is," and the whole format works in her favor. Hey, it all goes toward making her look good.

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 age—drummer 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
Buddy Rich
Buddy Rich
1917 - 1987
drums
. 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
Gene Harris
Gene Harris
1933 - 2000
piano
and Three Sounds who were playing there. One night Sonny Stitt
Sonny Stitt
Sonny Stitt
1924 - 1982
saxophone
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
Maynard Ferguson
Maynard Ferguson
1928 - 2006
trumpet
, Benny Goodman, Chick Corea
Chick Corea
Chick Corea
b.1941
piano
, Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
1915 - 1998
vocalist
, et. al) to the author, 2012.

Painting Credit

Debra Hurd


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