Interview: Dick Hafer (Part 3) - JazzWax

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November 17, 2011


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The Dick Cary "California Doings" is an especially nice date that pairs Hafer's tenor with that of the highly compatible Tommy Newsom.

Bill Kirchner

Dick makes a valuable point about the AFM Pension Fund. The players from his generation who did record and jingle dates, TV shows, and Broadway built up great pensions and now live comfortably in retirement. The jazz players who played in clubs (which didn't pay into the Pension Fund) got little or no pension and often have lived precarious retirements.

AFM Local 802, spearheaded by jazz musicians like bassist Bob Cranshaw and trumpeter Jimmy Owens, in recent years has been trying to change this situation by getting more jazz musicians vested in the Pension Fund. Currently, they are trying to get NYC jazz clubs to pay into the Fund. They're slowly making headway.

Ed Leimbacher

Odd to picture Hafer and Mingus coexisting so well, but the right mix of jazz folk doth hath its charms. And a nice coincidence that right now Mingus's grandson, Kevin Ellington Mingus, is in New York looking to raise funds for the documentary film "Mingus on Mingus" he is currently directing. Read about it and contribute if you can, at --and I hope someone persuades the young director to catch up with Dick for another perspective on the inimitable Mister Charles.

Bruno Leicht

Marc: Kudos for one of your finest, most informative, and also highly entertaining interviews. -- I've learned a lot; and Dick Hafer's insight stories, anecdotes and humorous replies are priceless. One can really hear the man talk, and laugh.

Thank you.

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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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