BOHP_2005-05-19_AVega Chapter 11
FB: You got to play with some great bass players? AV: Yeah that brought to mind... Before I got the trio, I was playing solo, but on the broadcast, we had an hour broadcast, actually it was like a three hour broadcast. 12-1 was music, from 1-3 was interviewers. FB: What station was this on? AV: I don't know, some on WCOP, some of the local stations. FB: WMEX? AV: And Steve Allison, yeah might have been that. What was good for him after the music stopped, he'd look out into the audience, there'd be three or four singers, couple of jugglers, dancers, because there was people coming in to have some barbecued chicken after work in Providence, around Boston, all kinds of people. But on the actual broadcast the band would do a couple of tunes then he'd say, now the house pianist Al Vega and I'd ask the bass player and drummer, most of the time there was a combo. And the bass player might be Percy Heath there with Charlie Parker or George Duvivier. If it was the Erroll Garner Trio, it would be his bass player. FB: Vernel Fournier? AV: And Basie's group with Connie Kay, the great drummer with Modern Jazz Quartet. And if it was Oscar, the bass player would be Ray Brown. So I'd say, “Do you mind playing?” They were all nice guys, they were up there anyway, they'd say, “Yeah, just stay up here for a couple of tunes.” If it was the trio without the drummer, I'd get my own friends would sit in, Jimmy Zitano, Sonny Taklof, any of those guys. So I ended up playing with all the greatest bass players and drummers in the world probably. So that went on until I got the trio. So it was an education. FB: Boy I'll say.