Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Klook: Kenny Clarke and The Beginnings of Modern Jazz Drumming

© -Steven Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.


How did the Jazz world get from Gene Krupa to Philly Joe Jones?


The answer to that question is as central as asking how it got from Benny Goodman to Charlie Parker, or from Louis Armstrong to Dizzy Gillespie or from Earl “Fatha” Hines to Bud Powell or from Jimmy Blanton to Charlie Mingus.


Melodically and harmonically, Parker, Gillespie, Powell and Mingus created the basic musical structures of modern Jazz.


Kenny Clarke who acquired the nickname of “Klook-mop” which was later shortened to “Klook” created the rhythmic foundation over which the convoluted and fast moving Bebop lines - melodies- could ride unimpeded by the thump-thump-thump of the swing drum beat with its heavily accented 4-beats to the bar bass drum beat.


[Klook-mop was derived from the sound of the snare-to-bass-drum chatter that early Bebop drummers played behind the ride cymbal beat.]


Kenny’s modern style of drumming seemed to spring forth as a fully formed conception during the early jam sessions at Minton’s Playhouse from about 1941 onwards.


In fact, Kenny was piecing his approach together over a four year period from about 1937-1941.


In probing for the sources of modern jazz styles, one is not likely to come upon a more influential figure than drummer Kenny Clarke.


Without Clarke's creative drum developments, there is a good possibility that the bebop phase would not have attained its musical importance and gone on to contribute to contemporary jazz forms. Two European critics have succinctly evaluated Clarke's importance. England's Max Harrison: "He built the rhythmic foundation of the new music." France's Andre Hodeir: "His rhythmic imagination has stimulated the melodic genius of others."


More than a decade ago, Max Roach, considered by many the greatest of the modern drummers, pointed out that a drummer should be able to compose, and he mentioned Clarke as an example. Roach said, "Clarke knows his harmony, melody, and has a million ideas." In the 1959 Down Beat drum issue Roach again spoke of his friend as follows: "I've been partial to Clarke. He doesn't borrow; you don't hear the way he plays anywhere else. It's not African or Afro-Cuban; it's unique."


Kenneth Spearman Clarke's conceptual individuality came to the fore early in his career. He was born Jan. 9, 1914, in Pittsburgh, Pa. His father was a trombonist, and Kenny had a younger brother, Frank, who played bass. Kenny studied piano, trombone, drums, vibra-harp, and theory in high school. His knowledge of keyboard harmony, obtained in those early years, was to be an important aspect of his future development.


His first professional job was with Leroy Bradley's Pittsburgh band for about five years. This was followed by a time with the Eldridge brothers, whose home also was in Pittsburgh. Trumpeter Roy had come in from the road about 1933 and with his late brother, Joe, an alto saxophonist and arranger, had formed a home-town band. It worked out well because if Clarke missed a date, Roy could take over on the drums, which he loved to do.


Clarke made his first trip out of town to join the commercial dance band organized by James Jeter and Hayes Pillars during 1934 in St. Louis, Mo. It is interesting to note that both Christian and Blanton served with the Jeter-Pillars Band about that time too.


Early 1937 found Clarke in New York City with Edgar Hayes' big band. He made his first recording, with Hayes, in March, 1937, and was to record regularly with the band on Decca for more than a year.


One interesting 78-rpm that they made was Decca 1882, Star Dust and In the Mood. It was Hayes' version of Star Dust, performed at a slow to medium tempo, that revived the Hoagy Carmichael song, first recorded in 1927, and started it to the top of the hit list. The reverse side, written by saxophonist Joe Garland, then with the Hayes band, went along for the ride, no one paying it much notice. Two years later Glenn Miller's Bluebird record of In the Mood made it a best-seller.

While on tour in Europe (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, and Holland) during early 1938 with Hayes, Clarke made some quintet sides in Stockholm under his own name.


This Hayes band was a forward-looking swing aggregation. Clarinetist Rudy Powell did some arrangements for the group, and several years later, young Dizzy Gillespie was to mention he was interested in Powell's work. The band recorded quite a few swinging originals such as Stomping at the Renny (Renaissance Ballroom in Harlem).


Tenor saxophonist Budd Johnson, while with Earl Hines in 1937, has recalled a battle of bands Hines had with Hayes in Dayton, Ohio. At that time, Johnson said, he noticed some unusual drumming by Clarke.

Clarke himself has said, "I was trying to make the drums more musical. Garland would write out trumpet parts for me to read, and I would use my discretion in playing things that I thought would be effective. These were rhythm patterns superimposed over the regular beat."


After returning from Europe, the drummer and Powell joined the long-established Claude Hopkins Band. Clarke stayed eight months with Hopkins and then went with the Teddy Hill Band, in which he first met Gillespie.


By this time Clarke was well along in evolving a style of his own. The Hayes, Hopkins, and Hill bands played frequently at the Savoy Ballroom. Clarke has said it wore him out trying to keep up the fast tempos required.


One of the numbers in the Hill repertoire that he gives as an example was The Harlem Twister (also known as Sensation Stomp).


To get relief, Clarke fell back on experiments he had been making with his top cymbal. He developed a technique whereby he transferred his timekeeping chore from the bass drum to the top cymbal, riding it with his right hand. His right foot was then free to play off-beat accents on the bass drum, a sort of punctuating function to become known as "bombs." He devoted his left stick to the snare drum, sometimes using it for accents and other times using it to help the cymbal carry the rhythm.


All this confused leader Hill, and Clarke was fired, but he was in the band long enough to make an impression on Gillespie. The trumpeter said he found it stimulating to improvise around Clarke's off-rhythms.


From the Hill band Clarke followed Panama Francis into Roy Eldridge's big band at the Arcadia Ballroom on Broadway. None of these bands — Hopkins, Hill, Eldridge — recorded while Clarke was with them.


In the summer of 1940 Clarke was working with Sidney Bechet's quartet at the Log Cabin in Fonda, N.Y. During the fall of that year Teddy Hill took over the management at Minton's and asked Clarke and trumpeter Joe Guy to bring in a small group. The astute Hill wanted to make the spot a hangout for musicians, and in this setting he was sympathetic to Clarke's experiments. Hill said the drummer's unique figures sounded to him like "kloop" or "klook," and he told Clarke they could play all the "klook-mop music" they wanted at Minton's. I guess it followed naturally that Clarke became known as Klook.


Several writers in discussing the Jerry Newman acetates made in May, 1941, at Minton's have pointed out that actually the only suggestion of the things to come emanated from Clarke's drums. Marshall Stearns, in mentioning the Newman sides in his Story of Jazz, said, ". . . drummer Clark is playing fully matured bop drums."

Clarke worked with Charlie Christian, Thelonious Monk, and Dizzy Gillespie in developing unusual chord changes. The drummer has a long list of original compositions registered with Broadcast Music, Inc., including Klook Returns; Blues Mood; Roll 'Em, Bags; I’ll Get You Yet.


Before he left for the service in 1943, Clarke was a regular at Minton's when in town. During that period he spent a short time in Louis Armstrong's big band, from which he was soon fired, and Armstrong begged Big Sid Catlett to return; five weeks with Gillespie in Ella Fitzgerald's orchestra, which the two joined together and from which they were fired together; Benny Carter's sextet on 52nd St.; and a comparatively long run with Red Allen's small band at the Downbeat Room in Chicago.


At the time Clarke went into service, the new music had not as yet acquired the name bebop. Like Charlie Parker, he was later to disapprove of the appellation and attendant jargon heartily.


For those with a taste for discography, you can hear Kenny evolving the modern style of Jazz drumming on the following recordings, assuming you can find them!


New York City, March 9, 1937
Edgar Hayes and His Orchestra—Bernie Flood, Henry Goodwin, Shelton Hemphill, trumpets; Bob Horton, Clyde Bernhardt, John Haughton, trombones; Stanley Palmar, Al Sherrett, Crawford Wetherington, Joe Garland, saxophones; Hayes, piano; Andy Jackson, guitar; Elmer James, bass; Kenny Clarke, drums. MANHATTAN JAM (201)
..........Variety 586, Vocalion 3773


Stockholm, Sweden, March 8, 1938
Kenny Clarke's Quintet — Goodwin, trumpet; Rudy Powell, clarinet; Hayes, piano; George Gibb, guitar; Coco Darling, bass; Clarke, drums, vibraharp; John Clay Anderson, vocals. ONCE IN A WHILE (6317)
..............Swedish Odeon 255509
I FOUND A NEW BABY (6318).........
..............Swedish Odeon 255509
YOU'RE A SWEETHEART (6319)
..............Swedish Odeon 255510
SWEET SUE (6320)
..............Swedish Odeon 255510


New York City, Feb. 5, 1940
Sidney Bechet and His New Orleans Feetwarmers—Bechet, soprano saxophone, clarinet, vocal; Sonny White, piano; Charlie Howard, guitar; Wilson Myers, bass, vocal; Clarke, drums. INDIAN SUMMER (46832). .Bluebird 10623 ONE O'CLOCK JUMP (46833)
.................RCA Victor  27204
PREACHIN' BLUES (46834)
.....................Bluebird  10623
SIDNEY'S BLUES (46835).. .Bluebird 8509


New York City, May 15, 1940
Mildred Bailey and Her Orchestra— Roy Eldridge, trumpet; Robert Burns, Jimmy Carroll, clarinets; Irving Horowitz, bass clarinet; Ed Powell, flute; Mitch Miller, oboe; Teddy Wilson, piano; John Collins, guitar; Pete Peterson, bass; Clarke, drums; Miss Bailey, vocals. How CAN I EVER BE ALONE?
(27302).............Columbia 35532


TENNESSEE FISH FRY (27303)
....................Columbia 35532
I'LL PRAY FOR You (27304)
....................Columbia 35589
BLUE AND BROKEN HEARTED (27305)
....................Columbia 25589


New York City, Sept. 12, 1940
Billie Holiday and Her Orchestra—Eldridge, trumpet; Georgie Auld, Don Redman, alto saxophones; Don By as, Jimmy Hamilton, tenor saxophones; Wilson, piano; Collins, guitar; Al Hall, bass; Clarke, drums; Miss Holiday, vocals. I'M ALL FOR You (28617)
................Okeh-Vocalion   5831
I HEAR Music (28618)
................Okeh-Vocalion   5831
THE SAME OLD STORY (28619)
......Okeh-Vocalion 5806, V Disc 586
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT (28620)
.................Okeh-Vocalion 5806


New York City, March 11, 1941
Slim Gaillard and His Flat Foot Floogie Boys—Loumell Morgan, piano; Gaillard, guitar, vocals; Slam Stewart, bass; Clarke, drums.
AH Now (29913)...........Okeh 6295
A TIP ON THE NUMBERS (29914)
.........................Okeh 6135
SLIM SLAM BOOGIE (29915).. .Okeh 6135
BASSOLOGY (29916)..........Okeh 6295


New York City, March 21, 1941
Eddie Heywood and His Orchestra— Shad Collins, trumpet; Leslie Johnakins, Eddie Barefield, alto saxophones; Lester Young, tenor saxophone; Heywood, piano; Collins, guitar; Ted Sturgis, bass; Clarke, drums; Miss Holiday, vocals.
LET'S Do IT (29987)........Okeh 6134,
Columbia 30235, CL 6129, Blue Ace 206 GEORGIA ON MY MIND (29988)
Okeh 6134, Columbia 30235, C3L-21, Blue Ace 206, Jolly Roger 5020 ROMANCE IN THE DARK (29989)
........Okeh 6214, Columbia C3L-21,
Blue Ace 205, Jolly Roger 5020
ALL OF ME (29990)
.......Okeh 6214, Columbia CL 6129,
C3L-21, Blue Ace 205


New York City, May 8, 1941
Minton House Band (with guests)— Joe Guy, Hot Lips Page, trumpets; Ker-mit Scott, Don Byas, tenor saxophones; Thelonious Monk, piano; Charlie Christian, guitar; Nick Fenton, bass; Clarke, drums. UP ON TEDDY'S HILL (HONEYSUCKLE
ROSE)   ...............Esoteric ESJ-4,
Counterpoint 548 DOWN ON TEDDY'S HILL (STOMPING
AT THE SAVOY).........Esoteric ESJ-4
New York City, May 12, 1941
Same, except Scott, Byas, and Page are out. ^CHARLIE'S CHOICE (TOPSY)
.......Vox album 302, Esoteric ESJ-1,
Counterpoint 548 STOMPING AT THE SAVOY
......Vox album 302, Esoteric ESJ-1,
Counterpoint 548
* SWING TO BOP is the title on the Esoteric and Counterpoint LPs.


New York City, June 2, 1941
Count Basie and His Orchestra—Ed Lewis, Buck Clayton, Al Killian, Harry Edison, trumpets; Dicky Wells, Dan Minor, Ed Cuffey, trombones; Earl Warren, Jack Washington, Tab Smith, alto saxophones; Don Byas, Buddy Tate, tenor saxophones; Basic, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Walter Page, bass; Clarke, drums. You BETCHA MY LIFE (30520)
.........................Okeh 6221
DOWN, DOWN, DOWN (30521)
.........................Okeh 6221


New York City, Oct. 6, 1941
Ella Fitzgerald—Teddy McRae, tenor saxophone; Tommy Fulford, piano; Ulysses Livingston, guitar; Beverly Peer, bass; Clarke, drums; Miss Fitzgerald, vocals.
JIM (69784)...............Decca 4007
THIS LOVE OF MINE (69785). .Decca 4007


Source:
Downbeat Magazine

March 28, 1963

Monday, May 30, 2016

Bob Mintzer - All L.A. Big Band

© -Steven Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.


Recently, we reviewed on these pages new CD’s from New York based big bands led by John Fedchock, Hector Martignon and Dick Oatts/Mats Holmquist.

Now comes word that the Left Coast Big Band scene is also rising as L.A.’s top players joining saxophonist Bob Mintzer and drummer Peter Erskine on their new CD All L.A. Big Band which is set for release in August, 2016 on Fuzzy Music [PEPCD 022].

The CD will be accompanied by a new app which can be downloaded from Fuzzy Music mobile which allows musicians and students to play along, record and mix their own versions of the music on All L.A. Big Band [read more about the app’s features below].

If you are a fan of big band Jazz, you won’t want to miss this one.

Here’s the press release that Jim Eigo of JazzPromo Services sent along in advance of the CD’s release.

“The extraordinary saxophonist/composer Bob Mintzer and master drummer Peter Erskine go back nearly 50 years since their high school days in a big band at the renowned Interlochen Arts Academy. Afterwards, when Bob was in Buddy Rich's big band and Peter worked with Stan Kenton and Maynard Ferguson, their paths crossed often.

But in the 1980s in New York City, their big band collaborating took full root, resulting in numerous projects over the years. Now both of them are in Los Angeles and the outstanding new album Bob Mintzer - All L.A. Band on Fuzzy Music is the latest gem to blossom from this fruitful relationship.

Joined by some of the finest musicians on the L.A. scene for ten marvelous tracks, they have added another component that is both ambitious and ingenious to the mix. Through Fuzzy Music Mobile, they have developed a new app that brings the stimulating big band experience directly to students and musicians, allowing them to play along, record and mix their own versions of this inspired music. Where most play-along products allow the user to music-minus two or three tracks, this new app allows the user to minus (or solo) virtually any of the instruments involved in the recording. Each part can be printed directly from the app, and resultant play-along recordings can be mailed to teachers, colleagues and friends.


But the primary treasure is in the music itself, whether participating through the app or simply enjoying the remarkable music contained in this album. Bob and Peter are joined by 15 splendid musicians - a trumpet section of Wayne Bergeron, James Blackwell, John Thomas, Chad Willis and Michael Stever; Bob McChesney, Erik Hughes, Julianne Gralle and Craig Gosnell on trombones; Bob Sheppard on alto and Adam Schroeder on baritone join Bob in the reed section; pianist (and Bob's fellow Yellowjackets colleague) Russ Ferrante; guitarist Larry Koonse; Edwin Livingston on bass and Aaron Serfaty on percussion. In addition to playing drums, Peter also supervised the project and produced the recording.

The collaborative relationship between Mintzer and Erskine is the central nervous system upon which this entire journey is constructed. Bob's exceptional tenor is the primary storyteller in the plot and theme provided by his brilliant compositions and arrangements. His writing is highly imaginative and wonderfully textured with layer upon layer of sonic brushstrokes painted on the canvas. Call and response, thrust and parry, multi-leveled conversation and bold counterpoint create harmonic and rhythmic structure and tension that challenge in contemporary fashion while remaining thoroughly musical in the finest traditions of the big band legacy from Basie and Ellington to Charles Mingus and George Russell.

Bob's experience with Buddy Rich clearly instilled a sense of the drums providing the big band's engine. Peter's impeccable rhythmic sense and consummate artistry provide the mortar that fortifies the structure, while also stirring the kettle to properly cook all the ingredients in the brew - whether driving powerfully, enhancing subtly, rocking or stomping as demanded by the music.

While there is solo space for a number of the musicians, Bob's virtuosic tenor is the key ingredient - muscular, passionate, adventurous, lyrical and urgent - dancing and interweaving in perfect synch within the rich textures of the horn parts that are constantly in motion creating a vibrant and exhilarating atmosphere for every tale told on this album.


Afro-Cuban influences have been a major part of orchestral jazz since the 1940s when Machito and Mario Bauza poured the foundation and Dizzy Gillespie and George Russell built upon it. There are three pieces rooted in that style here, crossing it with sheer swing in a manner that evokes the spirit of another West Coast legend, Gerald Wilson.

The album's opener El Caborojeno features percussive, layered horn lines in rich syncopation. Spirited horn riffs cushion a lyrical Cuban/hard-bop trumpet solo by Stever and punchy, deeply grooved simmer-to-boil blowing from Mintzer.

Ellis Island is a 6/8 excursion built on vividly intricate interplay between brass and reeds, with a fluid baritone solo by Schroeder caressed by swirling horns and buoyed by darkly luminous low brass.

A blending with R&B and a touch of calypso is at play on Latin Dance and features Bob's tenor in a hollerin' conversation with trombones, McChesney's trombone solo driven by counterpointing horns and flared with a trumpet fanfare, and a vigorous drum solo rooted by deliciously suspended horn lines.

A different Caribbean island adds a spice in the reggae-tinged Original People with a gentle groove that blends easy swing with the inside-out reggae rhythmic approach, providing a relaxed setting for smoothly lyrical tenor and trumpet solos.


At the other end of the thermometer, Runferyerlife is a rip-roaring be-boppish romp with Bob's tenor roaring through, around in, out and under the horn lines into a scorching solo. McChesney's blistering trombone solo follows and a robust drum solo pitted against the horns closes it out.

Mintzer has been a member of The Yellowjackets for over 20 years, so it makes sense that soulful R&B would be the flavor for three items neatly blended with the swing feel. New Rochelle (originally written for that group) opens with baroque-ish brass before easing into its R&B groove, providing the setting for Bob's soulful sojourn in the territory so often staked by Hank Mobley and Stanley Turrentine.

Slo Funk written by Bob for the Buddy Rich band swings mightily over a half-time funk bottom with Bob Sheppard taking a barking alto solo so funkily rooted in Maceo Parker territory that one might expect to hear Fred Wesley chime in beside him. That marriage of pure swing and R&B is most appropriate on Home Basie, which could be a portrayal of the Count meeting the pre-funk big band James Brown and the Famous Flames. Punctuated by syncopated horns, Mintzer's solo pays homage to King Curtis and Junior Walker.

A more traditional Basie influence is at hand for two pieces. Havin' Some Fun was composed in the classic Count Basie style - from that smoothly dulcet Neal Hefti Li'l Darlin' angle of perspective. Bob's tenor does a captivating dance with the horns, and Schroeder offers a lyrically virile baritone solo.

The album's extended closing track Tribute was conceived to honor the many immortals who came out of the Basie band - most specifically, the legendary Thad Jones, who made his own mark on the big band legacy holding his own court along with Mel Lewis in their co-led orchestra at NYC's landmark Village Vanguard from the mid-sixties through the seventies. An excursion in blue swing, launched by Ferrante with that profound Basie blues simplicity, it features a deeply soulful Mintzer and Steven's very Thad-ish homage - providing a perfect ending to this truly wonderful album. Special note must be made regarding the peerless lead trumpet playing throughout by the legendary Wayne Bergeron.

To sum it all up in Bob's words: "It was a total joy to record this music with my long time colleague Peter Erskine, and my new family of musicians in Los Angeles. Special thanks to Talley Sherwood for his expert engineering."

For more information about this album and its related app, visit www.petererskine.com and www.bobmintzer.com.

The following video features the music from the Slo Funk track.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

"The Far-Out World of Jack Sheldon " by John Tynan

© -Steven Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.


“... For most of his musical career, [Jack] Sheldon has been best known as an exceptional exponent of the cooler West Coast trumpet sound. … The influence of Chet Baker and Shorty Rogers is apparent at such moments. The [three recordings he made with bassist Curtis] Counce’s band, in contrast, gradually brought out a different side of Sheldon's playing. A more forceful, Clifford Brown-inflected style, perhaps reinforced by the presence of former Brown bandmate Harold Land, emerged during his tenure with the group. … flashes of this new approach are apparent on the band’s earliest work, it is with Sheldon's composition "Pink Lady," released on the Carl's Blues album, that the trumpeter makes his strongest statement in the new idiom. His sinewy melody line and assertive solo are the work of a dedicated hard-bopper.”
- Ted Gioia, West Coast Jazz: Modern Jazz in California, 1945 - 1960

In a previous posting about Jack Sheldon I wrote:

“Jack Sheldon’s puckish, vibrato-less, mid-range sound on trumpet has always been a favorite of mine dating back to the first time I heard him on the Contemporary Records he made with bassist Curtis Counce’s quintet in the 1950’s.

Jack was also a favorite of composer-arranger Marty Paich who used him on his [too few] big band recordings and paired him with alto saxophonist Art Pepper on the classic Art Pepper Plus Eleven Contemporary LP.

For a while, it seemed that Jack was everywhere on the West Coast Jazz scene including stints with bassist Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse Cafe All-Stars, Stan Kenton’s orchestra and Dave Pell’s octet.

In addition to the recordings he made with Curtis Counce and Art Pepper, Jack also made small group recordings with the Jimmy Giuffre Quartet, the Mel Lewis Sextet and the John Grass Nonet.”

In addition to his prowess on trumpet and his well-developed sense of humor, one could always expect something else from Jack - the unexpected. If you have any doubts about this assertion, just read the following article by John Tynan.

“JACK SHELDON has become something of a legend in his own time.

The rusty-faced, crew-cut trumpeter, now 31 and located in Los Angeles, would be the first to admit his jazz recognition has been late in coming. But he would also admit, as readily, that he hasn't been in any particular hurry to seek it.

Yet among his contemporaries, he is regarded with more than mere respect for his trumpet prowess; he is considered to be one of the most expressive and articulate of jazz horn men. His sole shortcoming may be a degree of inconsistency in performance that is more a reflection of his devil-may-care personality than his musicianship.

Sheldon's sense of humor and utterly happy outlook is on constant tap. It is never more in evidence than when he and his cohort, sax man Joe Maini, are on the same bandstand. Then the between-tunes periods—and these interludes have understandably irritated many a play-for-pay clubowner—frequently develop into minor riots. Without a cue, the two may take off into a zany, impromptu dialog, Sheldon may deliver a speech to the customers on any subject that pops into his head, or he and Maini may decide that a duet shuffle dance is in order. It isn't so much that the two are off their rockers; it's just that, for them, life is like that.

For almost a year, Sheldon has been creating original song material for himself, centered in what he terms a jazz opera, hopefully titled Freaky Friday.

The role of singer is not new to him. As a youth in his native Jacksonville, Fla., he sang regularly with USO shows. He resumed singing when he joined the Stan Kenton Band in 1958 and has been vocalizing in public more or less regularly ever since—with Benny Goodman (with whose band he toured Europe in the fall of '59), with Julie London in her night-club act, with whatever groups he has taken into various jazz spots, and most recently on Capitol records in his own album, aptly titled Out!, which is scheduled to be released in March.

Freaky Friday, now almost completed, might well be subtitled The Far-Out Soul of Jack Sheldon. As he now envisions the production—and he solemnly vows it will be produced, grandly —the cast will consist of his big band; the heroine, Freka ("She's a German girl," he blandly explains); and himself in the role of the male lead, Dandelion.

"Dandelion," he said recently, "got his name because he's a dandy liar; he lays down a dandy line. He's always lying to Freka, but he really loves her. She loves him too, but one night when he's putting some valve oil on his horn, one of the musicians steals Freka away for some romance. When she comes back, she tells Dandelion she's sorry, that he's the one she really loves and sings The Forgive Me Waltz to him."

There are five songs in the opera so far, Sheldon said. The big love song, which Dandelion sings to Freka, is titled Atomic Bomb. He said that this tune, more than any of the other four, truly captures the message he has to convey to operagoers. It is included in his Capitol album and may even be released as a single by the company. The three remaining songs are Freaky Friday, Dandelion, and That's the Way It Goes.

"The title came to me in Pittsburgh," he explained, "when I was working with Benny Goodman's band there. One Friday night a bunch of the guys from the band and myself went to this all-night joint, and the way one couple was acting — in a booth — inspired me to do the opera and to name it Freaky Friday."

Nowadays, when he's not on the road with either Julie London or June Christy, Sheldon's days are taken up teaching swimming at his mother's swim school in Hollywood. A champion swimmer and exhibition diver, he taught the older of his two daughters, Julie, now 9, to swim at the age of two months. The infant's aquatics were pictured at the time in Life magazine. Sheldon's younger children, Kevin and Jessie, are equally enthusiastic pool denizens.

ALTHOUGH Sheldon was previously recorded by the Jazz:West label, now defunct, and more recently by Reprise, neither of the firms took advantage of what Capitol's a&r men consider one of the trumpeter's principal assets— his comedy flair. It is his overriding sense of fun that constitutes much of his appeal in night clubs. Understandably the record producers hope this rubs off successfully on vinyl.

It is as a jazz trumpeter, however, that Sheldon maintains a well-earned reputation as one of the best; and for all his clowning, it is as a horn man that he continues to command respect."

You can check out Jack’s singular trumpet style as he takes the first solo on the following video tribute to composer-arranger Marty Paich, with whom, Jack had a long association.