Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Meet Davis Wilson

Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper By

Sign in to view read count
Kenny believed in low prices so I collected the modest covers and managed the crowds, which were double packed for Happy Apple [Dave King, Michael Lewis, and Eric Fratzke] gigs. I got to introduce the talent and, on rare occasions, I would perform some of Lord Buckley's routines. What fun! Lew Tabackin once told the crowd I was the "Peewee Marquette of the Midwest." I made a zillion friends, met so many fine musicians, such as yourself and I treasure the whole experience.

Do you have a favorite jazz anecdote?
Several! While I was at FSU, one night, Ricky Powell, a high school friend I had mistakenly labeled as square, told me there was a little jam in the lobby: two cats from Florida A & M were coming over. Forty years later he asked me: "You know who those guys were?" "No." "Julian Adderley and Nat Adderley." They were college kids!

In Honolulu, I found Martin Denny's Exotica band alternating nights with a Juilliard-trained pianist named Rene Paulo. One night, a shipmate and I found a little joint called The Clouds. In a small club was a trio backing a striking singer. She was over six feet tall, wearing a sarong, and barefoot. She said Watusi blood accounted for her height. She sang mostly calypso and a few covers. She was so interesting. I bought her drinks and talked to her every break, all night. Her name was Maya Angelou. Later, I found her album, Miss Calypso. Still the best version of "Calypso Blues" I've heard.

How do you discover new artists?
Radio first of all, then word-of-mouth.

Vinyl, CDs, MP3s, streaming?
CDs and streaming. At one point, I had a fair record collection: Early Charles Mingus, my beloved Clifford Brown and, among others, an EP of Charlie Parker with strings ("[Serge] Kousseviztsky's cats" as he called them). The whole liner was in Japanese. I loaned my collection to Pat Chamburs, a well-known local DJ, for his Friday night jazz show. He skipped to New York with Mary Hall. She changed her name to Lauren Hutton and became a model. Pat hooked up with the George Ohsawa [Macrobiotic] Foundation. I never got my records back.

If you were a professional musician, which instrument would you play and why?
Piano. I studied classical for a few years. If I had the chops, it's all I would do. Another life perhaps.

What's your desert island disc?
One? Impossible. Don't even get me started.

What do you think keeps jazz alive and thriving?
The kids. I know so many who persist, find gigs, play all the time. It's amazing. Most are good, too. It gives me hope.

Is there anything else we should know about you?
I'm a professional Santa. I'm a Super-Ager. Poetry is my real metier. I have a prodigious memory for music and lyrics. I have COPD, dysphagia, and a vestibular disturbance. Otherwise, as Sondheim wrote, I'm still here.

Finish this sentence: Life without music would be...

Photo credit: Andrea Canter



comments powered by Disqus


Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Out and About: The Super Fans
Meet Jeff Evans
By Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper
January 8, 2019
Out and About: The Super Fans
Celebrating the 2018 Super Fans
By Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper
December 5, 2018
Out and About: The Super Fans
Meet Nora Sheehan Schaaf
By Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper
November 5, 2018
Out and About: The Super Fans
Meet Hiroyuki Masuko
By Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper
October 2, 2018
Out and About: The Super Fans
Meet Homer Schaaf
By Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper
September 6, 2018
Out and About: The Super Fans
Meet Jacob Cartwright
By Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper
August 6, 2018
Out and About: The Super Fans
Meet Davis Wilson
By Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper
July 6, 2018