Chapter 5-H.264 800Kbps
RR: So you know playing bass on the road and working with a couple of significant um aritst at the time, so that kind of captures one chapter or a couple of chapters of your career, .. um.. talk to me a little bit about that switch to becoming more of an arranger. RE: okay RR: a producer as well RE: The arranging thing came into being in 1961 ah .. my first marriage I had was breakin up kinda of a thing, and .. Paul Winter got in touch with me.. said man we are gonna go to South America for president Kennedy, RR: mm hmm RE: With the Peace Corps he has such a thing called cultural exchange, but we'll go around and play in colleges there and they will exchange and send people up here to play colleges, - I was about 29 years old, then and then RR: okay RE: So he says "No man you're a good arranger man and could you do some arrangements, arrangements for him, so I said yeah, and I did about 4 things for him. " So I went down to his.. he had a place down in the basement in Chicago, not too far from where you see the Chicago river and the big clock and the building.. RR: mmm hmm RE: and so I went there to play but the bass player wasn't there but we'd .. he had the trumpet player Dick Whistle, and he was playing Alto, and had man main man Baritone, Les.. Les, but he was playing Baritone, and then you had Warren Burnhardt on the piano, and ahh.. ..Jones, Harold Jones on drums. Man what a group.And so but the bass player was not there, and they said would you do us a favor and play .. he's a bass player and doesn't show up, would you play bass or .. s.. well so "sure" I played bass on my arrangements, and well he said okay very good. - and they said do us another favor" I said " What's that?" "Well could you play bass on some of these other charts. They're not your charts but just .one.. " "Okay well I'll .. I'll play bass on em .. I said okay, thanks a lot. " I went on back to the hotel while I was there, and got a call. " Hey man we want you to come to South America with us, playing bass. "I'm going .. well you know I thought you ahd.. ""Well you know he didn't show up anyway," and so I said "Well I don't wanna take the mans gig! " "No that's alright we were gonna fire him anyway, had a career getting gigs from other people, that I didn't wanna take the guys gig, but they ..no ..man you're much better, but I said I don't think so, cause I'm goin through a break up here, and ah.. I'd need to be here, So they got John Hammond to call me.. He says "Rich! - gruff ..junt? "If you ah go with them. I'll tell you what I'll do I'll give you 6000 dollars just for arranging for them, and .. your job would be the bass player and to arrange some music. So I said.. okay then, I'll go.. so I went on with them, and we went to .. we went in New York. and in January of 62, and we saw Ella Fitzgerald, who had been Mason Street east who had been in an operation and stuff and she had laryngitis, and she was trying to sing but the laryngitis had her and it was the best performance I ever saw because you know she wanted to hit that note but she had another note she hit RR: Yeah, Yeah RE: And it was like.. just as good and to see that genius of a singer, singing and having this block on her... RR: mmhmmm RE: And doing so well with it uh... it was just a lesson in what to do when things don't go right. RR: Exactly, exactly!..... RE: So we saw that and then we left there in about February, New York we went to Haiti we didn't have good relations with the dominican republic at that time so I didn't go there but went to Haiti and did our first thing there... I stupidly put my bass in bagage and they gave it to me in two parts! when we got to Haiti, here's the neck and heres the rest of the stuff. RR: And I guess in those days we didn't have these travel cases? RE: oh you know like ... well if they had it I didn't know it. RR: Right RE: So I got a new one and they gave me a new bass that had a little curvature in it, in the neck. And um.. the state department gave it to me so I kept that but I always flew it on the plane from that point on... we went to every... and when we left Haiti we came back and we went to Mexico and we went all the way down the Central America all of the countries... in Central America.. in Panama and when we left there we went to South America and we went down the west coast of South America all the way down. In June, that was February when we started, by June we went to Monte Viejo which is the southern tip and in Buenos Aires, and that was in June, which is in winter. And we didn't bring the correct clothing, so we had to buy some clothes. And we came into Brazil and we spent close to a month in Brazil. And then we came home back in July, so we spent all that time--I managed to pick up basic Spanish, but by the time we got to Brazil we had to start all over again with Portugese and that was another language, but we went all the way--but that's when I did all the arrangements for them. We did a recording in Brazil, partly in Brazil and partly in New York, 'cause 'Jazz Meets the Bossa Nova', that had all of the six guys. There was three white guys and three black guys, the only reason I mention that anymore is because in 1962 there was still segregation and we went to Florida...uh, Paul...The Beatles had somebody that they were married to there and so he kind of hung with them and Warren Barnhard, he went somewhere, but Dick Whitsle, trumpet player, a real good looking guy, he was white and he wanted to stay with us. So we went to motel there and the lady said there, "Well, we can take you guys but we can't take him." "Why?" "'Cause he's white." "White!? Man, his grandmother was black." How do you know, you got this stupid racial stuff. You've got people that look like they're white, all of them got to be black because they got somebody way 200 years ago that was black, so they're still black. "Hey man, he's black." "Okay." So they took him on in because they didn't--What the hell, they wouldn't know... But anyway, we went to a jam session that night and there were some guys that saw Dick--that was in Miami--they saw Dick and tried to mess with him and the rest of the guys, you know, me and Harold and Les Route, that was his name. We said, "Is there a problem here?" "No, man we cool. Leave him alone, he's with us." Kind of a thing. So we went--and when we get to a new country like Haiti, there were three races: there was three white guys, two black guys, Les and M...(indecipherable) and then Harold Jones was very fair. And they called him a melato. That that three races thing. So he was pissed about that. Well, anyway, we did--we went through some couple of scary things around there 'cause we had communists try to block one of our concerts in Argentina. And what they'd do to me--what we'd be down there--we'd have like meetings with (indecipherable) colleges and you had to they guys that would say, "Well, you know, we understand that jazz was created by black people and so what are you white people doing here?" So I had to explain to them jazz is not exculsively a black thing. They don't play jazz in Africa, generally speaking. It is something that had to be two cultures: African culture and the European culture getting together and blending in such a way as the jazz came from there. So therefore it is not the colour that lets you play jazz it's where you've been hanging. Now I've noticed that Stan Getz here, I did an album that I arranged and prod--well, Esmond Edwards produced the album, but I did the arrangements of the whole album. It was called "What the World Needs Now" and it was Stan Getz playing Bacharach. And I did that in 1967 and it was my first, "Woah!" doing it for this kind of side. But it was a pretty good album. Stan Getz the horn he played the session on is downstairs. RR: Oh that's the one we have here. Did any of those recordings with Paul Winter, did he record any--'cause I think he started writing, composing... RE: No, we did 'Jazz Meets the Bossa Nova". RR: And he started composing. We talked about going to Brazil and also Recife RE: Oh, I composed a thing called 'Journey to Recife.' And I did it... RR: Montevideo, as well, right? RE: A bunch of things, Ahmad Jamal did some as well. 'Journey to Recife' was precious to me 'cause I wrote it for Les Rout, baritone player, and I wrote it in Eb, because he had an Eb baritone and that puts him in the key of C and it just makes it real easy for him to an ad lib--not that he needed a key change--but that's the reason I did it. So we recorded that and lets say it was either the first or second tune on the album, but we had a guy named Gene Lees, who was a Canadian. He was a jazz writer, but he was supposed to be the guy taking care of or travel, our travel agent. He mentioned nothing about the album whatsoever, about that it was done for Les, by me, or nothing. It was only thing but he... So I saw that, and then I saw that he was real tight with Bill Evans. He thought that Bill was the greatest thing since sliced bread. And it turns out that when I got here in 1968, I'm sorry 1985, that I looked at to so-called 'Real Book' and I said, "Let me see if they got any of my stuff." I looked in there, 'Journey to Recife' by Bill Evans. And I'm going, "What?" Oh, well that's stupid. RR: Same melody. RE: No, no, it's my song. But he had the wrong chords in places. But it's 'Bill Evans' and I'm going, "Well, now wait a minute, how can that be?" But it's the Real Book, they don't pay royalties, they are all legitimate so I said, "The heck with it." But later I found out that the record company--the publishing company--somebody in the publishing company, I gave it to a guy named Norman Gimble. And some reason between Norman Gimble and Bill Lees, who were partners, liking......this guy, somehow or another--I understand that Bill Evans was on drugs. He didn't know one thing or another. They somehow got my song over to him, and if you were to look on the internet you'll see 'Turn to Recife, Bill Evans'. You can get the score and you can get this and that. He is getting the money from my tune. So I brought it up with the record company and he's saying, "Well, I don't know." Then I said, "Can you show me my signature for having joined your...?" "Well, your song is not important enough for us to even bother with it," he tells me. So I go get a lawyer to deal with it. So that's going on there. But that's some of the things--but the album was pretty good, the songs by everybody, I had about three or four in there. After we finished that thing then, 'cause John (the guy that talked me into going there) promised me not only for the $6000 but also that when I come back he would introduce me to George Avakian, producers and stuff, so I could begin producing stuff. Also, he had me to join Ahmad Jamal's trio. So I became Ahmad Jamal's bass player from the fall of 1962-64. RR: '62-'64 RE: For a couple of years I was his bass player, thanks to John Hammon. So that's how that turned out. And Ahmad Jamal said, "So you did arranging and stuff, how would you like to do a whole album?" I said, "Of course!" So I did a whole album thanks to Ahmad Jamal and he played on all the different songs, all of them my tunes. RR: And you were the bass player on that as well. RE: No I did not play bass, I used a guy named Art Davis I think it was, because I wanted to make sure I was conducting it. But when I was in Haiti, what happened there you go and they got a tv station, at that time 62', and they said ".....is here, lets hear it!" So they stopped the movie, we play about half hour or so, and then "Thank you very much" and they started the movie again that they were just using. But on the way back from that there were some guys on a porch. We were driving a car and the car stopped for something and there were some guys, they were going "ta da ta da" you know like a triplet you got "Da da da Da da da Da da da Da" They left the one out on it, so you got "pa da pa da pa da pa da pa da pa da pa da pa " So I said "Wow, that's wonderful." I wrote that down. So I put out a record called "Haitian Marketplace" by Ahmad Jamal. Its like a blues and its got the "da da da da da da." I did that. I wrote stuff for Montivideo, for Journey to Recife. Just different places, Bossa Nova Do Marilla they had kinda a huge Japanese population I think in that particular town. And so I wrote a whole bunch of stuff, arranged a whole bunch of stuff, so much of which when we got back to the states; although we kinda got into trouble for some stuff, we got a big ole bag of oranges and as we travelled from one place to another that was in a very poor nation, we would lobbing oranges at the steer and the word got around so we kinda got chewed out for doing that. But once we got back it was deemed a successful trip and so we were the first jazz group to play in the White House, the first. We met Jackie Kennedy. We did not meet the president because he was down with the Cubans during the missile crisis in 1962. It was in october/november something that we went to the White House and we played jazz, in the Easter Room. Its a wonderful thing but it was a heck of a band place to play because the sound was bouncing all over, but it was very successful. We met Jackie, she was at a receiving table and we all went up and she was there shaking our hands "Oh pleased to meet you, thank you very much." Dick Whistle, ahhhh that guy was something else, he's passed away. He was a young handsome dude that played trumpet. But he would have a sense of humor that was crazy, so when he gets up to Jackie Kennedy he says "Its a pleasure to meet you" and he goes out to shake her hand, he wouldn't let her hand go! I'm right behind him. He said "Are you sure you really" and the secret service is kinda like and he won't let her hand go, I said "Man! let her hand go man." So he did finally and about chewed him out "Man are you crazy?!" Because I remember when I got to the White House I had my bass, they had a limo pick us up from the airport, and somebody carried the bass and I said "Oh I forgot my bowl!" So then I went back to get my bowl and some guy stepped from behind a tree and said "Who are you?" and I said "My name is Richard..." "What are you doing here?" "Well I came to play" he says "Well then you better get on there then." Yeah they didn't play any, even then.