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August 12, 2009


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Ed Leimbacher

You mention Forrest's hit "Night Train" but omit the caveat usually offered: fans of Ellington if not the Duke himself always claimed that Forrest stole the tune from Duke's steam-powered "Happy-Go-Lucky Local"--"trained" (you might say) by a master who took his musicians' improvisations and turned them into new tunes (with or without shared credit). I favor Duke over Forrest myself but, iron wheels within wheels, what goes around comes around.

David Wilson

I'm a big fan of tenor/organ trios. Nice researching of the tune "The Honeydripper." A lot of histories name that tune as the first rock n' roll song. That is fairly accurate. But you should emphasize the the different strands of jazz and r&b/blues shouting that always swam in the same waters. That rounds the explanation out.

Along the same lines. Jimmy Forrest was a respected bebop player as well as an r&b honker.

Hiroyasu Minowa

Jimmy Forrest is my all-time number one favorite saxophone player. I remember I met him at Kosei Nenkin Hall in Tokyo when he came as a member of Count Basie orchestra around 1973. I asked his autograph on his "Forrest Fire" LP. Besides McDuff albums, all of his leader albums on Prestige and Delmark are great! (His solos are heard on a few Duke Ellingtn records and Andy Kirks' records. I love them,too.)
As to organ-tenor combo, I also love Booker Ervin-Don Patterson.

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of California Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a Jazz Journalists Association's "Blog of the Year" winner.
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