i took these pics in california in 1979, and then lost them.. 30 years later the negs turned up and i scanned them. enjoy......
The music is from my perth band Kick, ;. A Night in Tunisia. Luke Fowler bass; elliot smith drums; pranjal bora tabla, paul pax sax; alex borthwick guit;... pax
I was studying jazz full-time and invited to play tenor at the Monterey Jazz Festival with the Northside Big Band from Manly. We were invited to Dizzy’s rehearsal; eleven AM, second day at the Festival…..Saturday.
Entering the room, I was so excited, buzzing, but where is everyone? The place should be packed, what happened to the other guys? Just twelve of us, including the band. Stan Getz sporting his Ray-bans, standing next to me with arms folded waiting, listening and watching. Then, in one fantastic moment, Dizzy transformed his stark rehearsal space into a glowing cathedral, now with each of us transfixed. Every move, each sound and every whisper; we wanted to hear it. Each prayer. I was standing breathless on the moon in jazz heaven, feeling Dizzy Gillespie’s bliss on earth with Roy Haynes’ white smile and panama hat, it was unbelievable I could reach over and touch him. The sounds of a different drummer as his legendary brushes coaxed a robust solid platform for the rhythm section, swinging so hard. Rufus Reid was sensational with his fat tone and big smile. An Afro-groove goin’ on, he is rocking back and forth and leaning forward away out over the bass, dancing. Dizzy is jiving and joking with Roy, “No! Like this Man! I’m only showing you one more time!” Taking the drumstick and demonstrating on the cymbals, (he was hilarious); Roy is laughing his gorgeous grin. Two old buddies happy to be together again, chuckling, giggling. Big Black on conga handed all of us a passport to Africa with John Lewis, modern-jazz piano history. Oh man, this was a beautiful rhythm section. ‘Summertime’ then ‘Manteca’ as if it was the first time they had played them. Dizzy is high on the horn, as high as. Yet what blew me away was his tone, somehow shy or delicate like Miles but I hadn’t expected that from Dizzy with his big open song. The sweetest cup-mute, so gentle, I will never forget. pax