Interview: Herb Geller (Part 1) - JazzWax

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April 26, 2010


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wen mew

in DEATH OF BEBOP WIFE, someone tried to arrange a session with herb and al haig. haig didn't want to play with herb. haig also had problems with phil woods, but they played together. phil woods and chan parker ended up getting pissed at haig. i don't have any herb geller recordings!

Doug Zielke

It was inevitable that Herb Geller would listen to and meet Joe Albany. One great talent learning from another. Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel Albany is so forgotten (he passed in 1988). His recordings with another under appreciated player, Warne Marsh, are worth seeking out. Those interested in learning more about the life and music of Joe Albany, may want to read his daughters poignant memoir, "Low Down: Junk, Jazz, and Other Fairy Tales From Childhood". And thanks to Mr. Geller for the nod to Joe.

Rab Hines

Geller and Dolphy; who'd a thunk it?

I also enthusiastically second the recommendation of Amy Jo Albany's book - it's one of the best things of it's kind I have read in years.

Denis Ouellet

Thank you Mark. This is a most welcome read.

Bruce Armstrong

Thanks for this great interview! Herb is one of the last great players still living who is associated with the 1950s West Coast jazz scene. I remember being in awe of his playing when I picked up the "Herb Geller Plays" LP in high school. Herb was part of a "golden era" of great alto players in L.A. at the time: Art Pepper, Bud Shank, Charlie Mariano, Frank Morgan, Joe Maini, Charlie Kennedy, Sonny Criss, Lennie Niehaus, Buddy Collette, He always sounded great on jazz or lead. A jazz giant!

Liz Cooper

Does anyone know where we could locate a copy of Bud Freeman's "Secrets of Improvisation" practice book?

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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