BW: But I enjoyed it mainly because the piano player was very important in those bands. Basically because, well I mean you had, the piano player always played. FB: Right, even the little interludes. You would do transitions between... BW: All transitions were played by the piano player and the rule was that horn players, even bass players, would stop during the four bars, I was going to say three bars, no we don't do that, four bars or two bars to get into the next tune. In order to get into the new key, if the bass player didn't know exactly how I was going to do it, then they'd just let the piano player go by itself and then when you got to the beginning of the head, you'd play the tune. FB: I think it's probably important to let people realize that rather than playing one tune for six or seven minutes with solos, you guys were playing a chorus or two of something and then moving right on. BW: Absolutley, absolutely. You'd play usually no more than two choruses of a tune. That would almost never happen, more than two choruses. What you might play in some cases you might even play one tune per chorus. So you needed a lot of tunes. You figure that if a tune takes a minute and you're playing for four hours with little breaks in between, you've got a hundred and eighty minutes. So there's 90 or 100 tunes. FB: It was a real calidescope of melody. BW: Exactly. FB: It was like a merry-go-round almost. Because the pace was fairly quick too, you weren't playing these at a dead ballad, these were medium to up tempo. BW: Right. There were very few very slow tunes, they didn't want that. Most everything was in a real, some people today would call it like a Mickey Mouse tempo, boom chick tempo. But that would be a way to play a basic thing. Sometimes the melodies came fast because if you, the leaders weren't that smart to think of how the melody fit at the tempo. So if you were playing Somone Watch Over Me which we would normally play as a ballad, maybe something like that, you'd be playing at a tempo. So you had to get with the program, that was the way you had to play. FB: Would you often have things laid out in sort of suits or medlies that were prepared or would they just be barking numbers at you? BW: That's right. They would be giving signals. Sometimes it would be two, two would be B flat, three flats. As a matter of fact, there was a way in which I think they said that out in the West coast, they did this for flats and this for sharps. FB: Teddy Casher gave a guy that signal last night. We were playing something in C minor. BW: Ah, okay, there you go. There were certain ways to do it. I remember one time playing with the pops, John Wiliams conducting. John Williams was a marvelous pianist. We were playing this tune, it was a brand new arrangement for the pops and it had a long melody, maybe like Cherokee, but it wasn't Cherokee. The arrangement went from the regular four four time to an allibreve or into that fast background slow melody routine. John looked up at the piano and he said play some rides, some jazz up on the top and he said B flat. I didn't have a part at that time. My part at that time was all rests and he said, play B flat, and he says, yeah that's good, that's what I want. FB: Nice to have someone in high places in your corner. BW: That's right. And he understood what a pianist had to do in the back. FB: For people who don't know it, John Williams was a hell of a jazz pianist. He made a couple of great albums with Zoot Simms and other people, long before he got into Star Wars and all those other film scoring activities. BW: Marvelous piano player. As a matter of fact, one time with the pops, Stan Getz came in to play. I was brought up, he had his own drummer. FB: Not Roy Haynes? BW: No, not Roy Haynes, but another marvelous drummer from New York came in with him. We had our own bass player. I'm trying to think of who played, might have been Dave Clark, could have been somebody come in like that. Anyway, John Williams was conducting and we were in the green room so there was just us, John trying to get the tempos and he had the score. John said, okay Stan, Bob Winter is going to play piano and Stan said, oh no. John, he said, the only reason I took this job was that I thought you were going to play. I mean he doesn't know me from Adam, I didn't take it personally. So John said, okay, he said, I'll play, Bob move aside. John sat down and he played this thing. Then he said, look Stan, could we do this one more time, I'm in kind of a funny position here, I'm conducting this big orchestra. He said sometimes when you're playing, when you're sitting down at the piano, it's not easy to conduct and get everything right. So he said, let Bob play, just in case I might have to conduct. So Stan says yeah ok, so I played the tune. Then we played another three tunes we rehearsed. Then as we were walking out of the door, John Williams sidled up to me he said, you're playing tonight. That was it. He didn't want to tell Stan, Stan wasn't feeling very well, it was near the end and he was having a lot of problems with his stomach. FB: Oh 1988, 89? BW: Yeah it would have to be 87, 88 something like that and he wasn't well. But anyway, he sounded marvelous. You know he just sounded great. And the arrangements were beautiful, trying to think of who wrote them, can't think of it.