BENNY G COST ME SOME MONEY!!!

I’m still riding the high from playing with pianist Benny Green on Monday night.  Wow! What a way to start a week.  Benny as I knew he would be was an absolute gem to deal with and was so generous with his time, knowledge and music.  We played to 48 very enthusiastic and complimentary people at my friend Norah’s house.  The vibe was happening from the get go.  Good people, good wine, good atmosphere and most of all good music. I have to admit I was quite nervous at the beginning as it was a pretty intimate space and it took me a second to get used to the fact that I was playing with a major badass on the piano!!!  As the set wore on I got more comfortable and was able to settle in and relax and therefore the music settled in and became more relaxed. It was awesome!

I like Benny because he is like many of the guys that come to play The Cellar. He’s a jazz nerd (just like me). He lives and breaths the music. Its all he talks about, all he listens to and all he thinks about.  I managed to get away without spending to much money but he did recommend three things that I have enjoyed immensely. Well, two…I haven’t got the third one yet.  We share an affinity for Hampton Hawes and I was missing “Everyone Likes Hampton Hawes” and Benny also recommnended his book called RAISE UP OFF ME that came out in 2001. Here is what Amazon says:

Hampton Hawes [1928–1977] was one of jazz’s greatest pianists. Among his peers from California the self-taught Hawes was second only to Oscar Peterson. At the time of his celebration as New Star of the Year by downbeat magazine (1956), Hawes was already struggling with a heroin addiction that would lead to his arrest and imprisonment, and the interruption of a brilliant career. In 1963 President John F. Kennedy granted Hawes an Executive Pardon. In eloquent and humorous language Hampton Hawes tells of a life of suffering and redemption that reads like an improbable novel. Gary Giddins has called it “a major contribution to the literature of jazz.” This book includes a complete discography and eight pages of photographs.

The last thing that I ended up buying was a JOE HENDERSON date on RED RECORDS called STANDARD JOE with Rufus Reid and Al Foster that is super burning!!!!!

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3 thoughts on “BENNY G COST ME SOME MONEY!!!

  1. Hampton made so many recordings in the 50’s for Contemporary…some of his finest work is in a quartet setting with Jim Hall. 3 Volumes called “All Night Session” then there is the first he made after prison called “The Green Leaves of Summer” with Monk Montgomery on acoustic bass and Steve Ellington…I love that one! His book is still one of the most powerful Jazz books I’ve ever read…..no bullshit at all…..!!! The Joe is a gas…….plus if you can find it the one with Charlie Haden instead of Rufus. Al Foster told me that Joe hated the Vanguard ones:”The State of the Tenor” but loved this one you have and the one with Charlie. I’ll keep Joe’s reasons to myself until I see you next….remind me. Good for you on your successful gig with Benny!

  2. Hawe’s biography, like that of Art Pepper’s, will raise the hair on your neck! Not really good reading before bedtime.
    Cory…you may have started feeling nervous, but the music was wonderful. And BG continued the marvelous playing in Seattle the next two nights. With Peter and Kenny Washington on the stand, the music was so fine, I stayed over for both nights.

    • I loved Art’s book, a tad depressing but a ‘real’ read. So glad you went down to see those guys. They are amazing. I’m gonna bring them back. Imteuing to raise some money to do an album with Benny G.

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