Dr. Eam

All About Jazz user Dr. Eam

I do not escape from reality because reality is my escape.

From: United States | Profile Views: 708

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Was born in Germany, grew up and spent over 20 years in Africa. Has been just about everywhere else except for Antarctica and the moon. Has the distinction of being the only white guy to ever shine shoes in the public market place in downtown Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.

Currently works in the film industry and is also an an animation and portrait artist. Music is a vital part of many African cultures and I fortunate enough to hear things that most people never will. However that gave me a good back ground in music, as well as an awesome collection of African music that dates over 50 years just because I inherited my dads collection.

Really hates name dropping but seeing as this is a site for people who love jazz, I'll indulge this crowd just a little.

I was in a club in Seattle, Wa. where John Dizzie Gillespie was doing a show during the late 80's or so. It was a small place and because of the weather a small audience. So when I pulled my flaming wallet out just to amuse my guest, (its a wallet that appears to burst into flames when you open it) it drew the attention of the entire place including Mr Gillespie who has a voracious sense of humor and loves a good prank. He came and talked with me after his show because he wanted to see my wallet up close, and it was during the course of that exchange where the subject of my collection of African music came up and he went nuts and pleaded with me to invite him over.

So I did, and every time he came to Seattle after that my place was one of his stops. Most of the time we spent was just telling about pranks and jokes we had played on people but he also always found something different to listen to while we did that. He had a very extensive knowledge of music and was able to identify which part of Africa any given piece of music that was played came from. Something that most musicians much less anyone else who has not lived there can't do and he was always right on the money.

The part I didn't mention was the couple of times he showed up before he had a given show to do. Talk about cool. Being in the same room while someone of his calibre warms up is a priceless experience. The climate in Seattle was usually cold and wet when he arrived and physically not a young guy anymore so the warm ups were mandatory for him. This may be hard to believe for some of you but usually the first few minutes were a lot like listening to a squeeze box. But it was only a matter of a few more minutes before he would find his voice and play unbelievable things. Like Flight of the Bumblebee to loosen his fingers up. Most “musicians” can't play a thing like that and here he was using it as a warm up exercise..lol

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