As I've mentioned to you before,
I'm gradually sorting out my music collection.
Yesterday I was editing and cataloguing some cassette tapes of
recordings I made on the various cheap portable cassette recorders I
used to carry around to gigs.
I took my first little machine with me on my only trip to the USA in
1979 and have attached a track, a bit of history, which I thought
might be of interest to your readers.
Al Vollmer and his wife had taken me and another couple to an
exhilarating concert at St Marks United Methodist Church in Harlem.
We were the only white faces in the audience, made tremendously
welcome and were treated to an amazing huge local choir and an
orchestra which included De Priest Wheeler and Charlie Frazier, both
of whom I met after the concert - Al knew everybody !!!
After that we headed to One 5th Avenue to see Freddie Moore. It must
have been quite late by then but, as you can hear, Fred was still
swinging and the music was great. Fred was 79 years of age at the
time and, even though he reckoned he was, as he put it, "heading for
the last round up", he lived for another 13 years, passing away in
The track is Battle Hymn of The Republic played by a group led by
pianist Lou Levy recorded at One 5th Avenue in NYC in April 1979. As
well as Fred on the drums, bass player, Johnny Williams, was also in
the band. I met Johnny a few times when I was in NY and also when he
came to the UK with Al's band. A really lovely man.