Keep in mind that some of the people I have performed with in the list below are no longer with us...
Many of the following opinions are past tense as they are my opinions as I remember looking back…
To anyone interested, allow me to express my views and comments on the experiences that are outlined in my condensed on-line Bio. Most comments are meant to be basically truthful, capricious, or a tiny bit critical. I've been told that some peruse the list below as it reminds them of reading a performer's journal or diary. Enjoy...
Return To My Online Bio
Al Guraliuk...Al’s a trumpet playing bandleader. His group, Champagne, had a unique mixture when I began working for him in the Early 80s. Back to back he was able to supply the audience with a swing tune by Glen Miller and follow it with a Michael Jackson song. I always thought of it as a hybrid casual band by being neither jazz nor rock. It was on Al’s gigs where I met fellow musicians, such as, David Branter, Graeme Coleman, Michael Guild, Chris Nelson, Steve Johnston, Ron Thompson, , et al.
Bo Diddley... I was Bo Diddley’s drummer for a weekend at the Fillmore West in October of 1970. “Jewel” picked me up just days after I returned from doing a year's stint in Las Vegas. The trio was known as the 'Family Jewel' and "Jewel" (Peggy Jones, now Peggy Malone) was a protégé of Bo Diddley. There was a possibility to go on tour with Bo and she was keen to be Bo’s backing band. It was great to be a part of rock history. I was there at the beginning when Peggy Jones became "Lady Bo".
Bobby Hales...Vancouver’s best known contractor. It was always a treat to do a Hales gig. His bands were always first call union players. Bob’s a very successful businessman with an extensive library of charts.
Brad Turner...I had the opportunity to play with Brad, each week, for a school year. I was taking jazz studies courses at Western Washington University, at the time (Chuck Israels). Brad is a Multi-Instrumentalist, in that he can sit in with a group on Trumpet, Piano, Drums, Bass…whatever, as he plays multiple instruments. Of course, we know that if Brad were living in a large center in the US or in Europe...playing one instrument the very best one can would be the goal, for most musicians. Most all musicians respected over the years were known for mastering just one axe. And one has to agree that it's the specialization that makes those 'big apple' cities what they are! As Linton Garner recommended to us ... find something that works and then stick with it. Vancouver is more of a 'backwater'. The established approach is: 'don't specialize too much' ... 'don't try to do only one thing'. So...since this is the accepted norm, Brad does quite well in Vancouver. The city is just small enough to disregard all the 'big city' rules (where a musician is pushed to become extremely specialized ... Hey, NY, some of us 'prefer villages'.
Chris Nelson...Chris and I hit it off, somehow. He showed up on a Champagne gig, and at the end of the night, suggested to me to approach Roy Reynolds for work. That never played out, however. Chris did a lot of recordings for players (music student audition tapes, etc.)…and even recorded my daughter (Eartha-Ann) when she was a VCC music student
Curtis (Curt) Jerde...Curt was the bass player on a Toni Lee Scott (jazz singer) tour. Curt also got me the gig at the Purple Onion in San Francisco. I took over for John Rae (vibraphonist -Geo. Shearing) (Drummer -Cal Tjader). Curt definitely mentored not only in terms of music, but politics as well. I lost track of Curt shortly after I moved from Las Vegas back to San Francisco.
Dennis Essen...I first met Dennis at the Three Greenhorns Restaurant/Lounge. I was organizing the Monday Nite Jazz jam session, then. Dennis is a powerful trombonist. He plays with Harry Busby often and his ability to ‘play Dixie’ convincingly sure worked on me. Dennis and I were employed by Ward Music for a time together, as well.
Gail Dobson...Gail was formerly married to George Muribus and got her start as Gail Muribus. Gail has an excellent reputation as a jazz singer in the San Francisco Bay area. She is a native San Franciscan and is the same 'Gail' of the Dobson Family Band which featured the late Smith Dobson, Smith Jr. and, of course, Sasha Dobson.
George Muribus...Child prodigy pianist. He loved jazz and technically could be a 'Bill Evans' at any time he chose. I cannot forget his policy…’we play commercial all week so we can play jazz on Sundays.’ In other words, ‘yes I earn a living as a musician…but not a jazz musician.’ TOUGH LOVE'. Some San Francisco audiences may not agree.
Harry Boon...was hired to play piano on a gig that featured Paul Perry on Tenor sax (a Hales booking). I only performed once with Harry. I remember on breaks that I had the opportunity to tell him how much I appreciated CJAZ radio (which unfortunately didn’t last).
Harry Busby...A rare professional. An excellent traditional jazz trumpeter. I always felt that the Vancouver music community didn’t really get on board with him (Similar to Roy Reynolds and Marty Franklin). Harry was my favorite bandleader of all time. He even gave of himself to organize a big band rehearsal night at Ward Music.
Jack E. Leonard...Insult comic who always hired jazz trios to back up his act. He asked me once how much I weighed…I answered…he said, “hell, I lost more than you are!”. I would imagine that there are those locally who feel the same way! Joe Carroll, San Francisco Bassist, got me into the Jack E. Leonard/Frank Sinatra Jr. Show at the Frontier Hotel, Las Vegas. This was for two shows a night (20 weeks a year). Great experience. Great pay.
Jerry Teahan...Jerry played double bass at the Glass Slipper once on a Harry Busby gig. Jerry, I understand, has committed to memory many more correct changes to tunes than the average player. Jerry has also hired me for his trio a couple of times.
Jim Marentic...I played with Jim in Minneapolis. It was my last Minneapolis gig before I headed to San Francisco. We did a quartet at the Hopkins House backing a ‘chick singer’ from Iowa. He told me a story of a musician who left his home town and when leaving was instructed to never return. I occasionally think of all the musicians who grew up here in Vancouver and left! (of course, this is true of every town).
Jan Steen...Jan offered his basement studio for rehearsals for some of Harry Busby's projects. He sat in on clarinet, occasionally, as well as hosting the practice space and such. Jan has left Vancouver and lives an 'island life', now-a-days, on one of the Gulf Islands. Among his many talents, as far as I know, he isn't doing recordings anymore (as he did with his son's OMNIBOL). OMNIBOL, is a great band (and severely under-rated).
Kathy Kidd...Kathy was nice enough to play a casual I booked at Grouse Mountain many years ago. I really enjoyed her approach to the Latin tunes we did. It was also an opportunity to meet Rick Kilburn…quite a good player, but tuned his amp a bit too loud (if I might be excused for saying so).
Kenny Brown...After many years working with Frank Sinatra Jr., Kenny decided to just work in Las Vegas with a trio and as a result not have to travel…yes, there are casuals to play in Vegas, too! The community of people in Las Vegas have weddings, bar mitzvahs, etc. just like anywhere else.
Lady Bo... (A.k.a. Peggy Jones & Peggy Malone & Little Jewel) is an amazing entertainer. I worked with "jewel" (Guitar/Vocals) and husband, Wally Malone (bass) in San Jose (I'll never forget...some drummer pinched by H.H. Cymbals at the Player's Club). We backed Bo Diddley in October 1970 at the Fillmore West. Also on the bill was John Lee Hooker and the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble. Bo Diddley has said in interviews about Lady Bo…”she is the only one that knows the original ways”…that’s very easy to pick up on when you see her perform.
Lenny Lasher...The first ‘monster’ bass player I ever worked with. Lenny was classically trained and was fourth chair in the San Francisco Symphony (double bass). He was quite eccentric, as he was a symphony musician who played jazz and listened to the Jefferson Airplane!
Linton Garner...‘Style’ and ‘feel.’ In Vancouver, Linton preferred to appear either solo or with his trio. Because of his American up bringing, Linton was able to experience the American / British style jazz first hand. In other words, find a niche and a unique ‘sound’ and stick with it. Linton took over the Monday-Nite Jazz (jam session) after my departure. He was also nice enough to appear with Stu Loseby and myself for a Rick Hansen benefit that I booked.
Marty Franklin...Marty (vibraphonist) has compelling energy. This is quite noticeable here in the West, as we’re more laid back than the East…(Vancouver is not London nor is it New York City or Toronto). Marty obviously prefers the American / British approach to performing, too, and marketed his quartet idea with enthusiasm. He openly criticized the music scene (which I thought was good for Vancouver). How many leader/vibraphonists are there in the world, anyway? I always thought of him as a rare breed who added to the Vancouver scene.
Mickey McClain...Mickey was leader for my first professional jazz trio experience. Mickey introduced me to the Golden Bough and was quite interested in Eastern Philosophy. We were both in Las Vegas at the same time by coincidence a couple years later. He was doing a brief stint with the Buddy Rich Big Band and recorded KEEP THE CUSTOMER SATISFIED...“Live at the Tropicana” (1970) when he came through Vegas. An amazing player. Great imitation of W.C. Fields. Trained himself lifting weights as well!
Michael Guild...Michael and I played countless gigs with Champagne, which featured, at that time, Brenda Kay on vocals. For a guitarist, he was quite soft spoken and polite. But he could reproduce a rock and even a country feel better than other locals, I thought…(guitarists who played both jazz gigs and commercial gigs).
Mike Montano...‘Michael’ was Toni Lee Scott’s accompanist before he began traveling with Jack E. Leonard. He gave me the knowledge to have respect for the principle horn (or voice) in the group and to play a supportive role…i.e., “just play the gig”...don’t make the gig your personal practice time. Toni's nickname for Mike was, Hotei, god of happiness.
Oliver Gannon...‘Olie’ lived in Crescent Beach and I in White Rock. Down in the lower mainland. That made us almost neighbours. When I returned to White Rock (after the gig at the Fillmore) local Lawyer, Don Rosenbloom, recommended I introduce myself to Oliver because of his reputation and my back ground. Ironically, I ended up working with (wife) Patty Hervey before I played with Oliver at Three Greenhorn’s Monday Nite Jazz (jazz jam).
Paul Perry...Playing the one casual with Paul was like playing a few holes with an old golf legend. Check out Jazz in Canada by Miller. Vancouver players are all over in that book.
Paul Rhuland...I played with Paul at the Three Greenhorns' Monday Nite Jazz (jam session). It was like playing with someone with the presence of a 'Red Mitchell'. Red sat in at jazz classes when I studied at WWU.
Peggy Jones (see Lady Bo)
Richie Ferraris...Headliner at the Starlight Roof atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco. Many different players (bass and drums) were part of his trio over the years. I was with him for six months or so. A great trio concept. Richie was respected by both musician and customer alike. He was at the ‘roof’ for almost 20 years -six nights per week.
Ron Johnston...Ron was hired by Chuck Israels to sit in and coach jazz students at Western Washington University in Bellingham. This was the year after Brad Turner graduated and was doing his masters. It was fun to play with Ron. He thought it unique, I’m sure, when he realized that we lived quite near each other and had never met until we got together IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY located just down the road from White Rock!
Ron Thompson...I first met Ron on a Champagne gig. He was playing Bass! Those who know Ron, know that he’s hired on guitar more often than Bass. I never had the opportunity to work with him on one of his guitar gigs.
Ross Taggart...I showed up at the Hot Jazz Club one weekend for a Harry Busby gig and Ross sat in all night on piano subbing for Jerry Teahan…the club said the band was the worse sounding it’s ever been and never hired Harry again! (Just kidding, Ross)
Roy Styffe...Steve Johnston (Gavin Walker used Steve on Bass every Thursday at the Classical Joint) introduced me to Roy . It was great to have had several gigs with Roy back then, as he eventually decided to stick it out in Toronto. Roy was very kind to say that he liked working with the ‘older’ drummers (ME) as we had a good (or different) swing feel and played brushes well.
Stu Loseby...Steve Johnston (Steven Johnston Music - Jazz Teacher) introduced me to Stu before Stu joined up with Linton Garner. I subbed in on drums one weekend with Stu and Linton after they took over the Monday Nite Jazz (jam session) from me. Stu & Linton reminded me of the Organ/Sax trios from the days when B-3 organs were driving big sounding trios in California bowling alleys or wherever. As we all know, customers loved it.
Tom Peterson...Back in the sixties, I had a chance to play with Tom Peterson (Tenor sax) when he stopped by to jam at one of our 'Toni Lee Scott' rehearsals. Tom spent many years with the Johnny Carson Tonight Show Band (Doc Severinsen). If one can’t get a hold of Pete Christlieb, then Tom Peterson works just as well.
Toni Lee Scott a.k.a…’mother superior’ A singer’s singer. She mentored me when I first turned pro and was a key figure getting me to move to San Francisco to try my luck playing professionally there. Toni related to drummers because many times her phrasings were incredibly syncopated. Her persona is most compelling. Toni was on the television show, “This is your Life”, twice. We may even see a movie about her one day (check out...First Prize - Feature Film Screenplay: Blessing “In Disguise by Pamela” DesBarres & Toni Lee Scott).
Torben Oxbol I recall when Torben moved to Vancouver and he advertised “best bass player in town” newly arrived from Europe. I played a couple of times with him in Bobby Hales Band. It amazed me how he was able to embellish the written arrangements to make the bass part more ‘hip’.
Wally Malone (see Lady Bo) NEED MUSIC PAPER?