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I am very fortunate to have met Eddie and the circumstances were, well,... here is the story:It was maybe 1975 or 1976, winter in the Hudson Valley of New York and I had no work. So I did what I usually would do: I bought the papers, looked to see where there was live music, put the tenor in the car and headed out to look for work.I'd go to all kinds of places, listen and ask to sit in if I thought I could get a gig out of it.I pulled into to The Orange Inn in Goshen, NY. I'd never been in the Orange Inn before so left the tenor in the car and went in to check out what was happening.There was a big horseshoe shaped bar. In the corner were 3 old black guys playing. Check out the instrumentation: trombone, Farfisa organ and drums.I sat at the bar, full of polite drunks paying no attention to the music, and I ordered a drink. The music was pretty strange but every once in a while, there would be this flash of something, then it would disappear.While I'm drinking my beer, suddenly I hear a guitar and it sounds like it has to be the first electric guitar ever, and it's being played with pliers. It was really out ! But it was real, too.So I ask the guitarist/ trombonist if I can sit in for a tune.The end of this story is that the guitarist/ trombonist was Eddie Durham ( the drummer was Harold Austin and the organist was either Bunny or Benny Green, I recall).I play a tune with them and then wound up spending the evening playing. When Eddie asked me why I was bouncing around sitting in, I told him I was looking for work.He said that they had no work, but he gave me the name and number of an agent in NY and that contact got me enough work to get through a rough winter. I remember I moved to Europe the following year.But I'll never forget Eddie, Harold and Bunny. What a night!And it was Eddie who told me, after the gig at the bar, that Goshen was the birthplace of Willie The Lion Smith.Eddie was a beautiful spirit and I am lucky to have known him briefly. Just thinking about him and that night makes me smile.
Beautiful story Joe. Kinda brings back to me the way it was! Best, Mort
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