I’ve never seen this video before, thanks to Randy Brecker for posting this on Facebook, I’m from Pittburgh, and I heard about Tommy after I started getting into jazz, but never met him. The stories about all the Pittsburgh cats were legendary including George Benson, Turrentine Brothers, Roy Eldridge, my mom was at Westinghouse with some of them, Errol Garner, Earl Fatha Hines, Grover Mitchell, Mary Lou Williams was talked about, Roger Humphries came back, and is still there, Almad Jamal they talked about, I heard a lot of stories from Spider Rondinelli, there was such a scene. And then the cats my age, who were way more advanced than me, Ned Gould, Don Aliquo, Frank Mallah, Andy Fite, David Budway, Leon Lee Dorsey, Cecil Brooks senior, and Cecil Brooks III, Tony Cambell, Vastine Pettis was a special voice, Eric Kloss and his band were always playing, Nathan Davis was teaching at Pitt.
I remember Ramon Morris came back into town, we were all shacked up at Drake Smith’s house, Ramon was with Blakey once, and he was strong, Mallah, me, and some cats are hanging there. I was trying to shed and catch up. Anyhoo, I’ve never seen this video, it’s a tune by Tommy and Julian, “Long As You’re Living”, I think Stanley is killin, and Tommy is quite interesting. Max’s group, and they made a CD over there too I just learned. Personally, I think Jazz playing was better when it was more about dancing, melody and swing, and keeping the music in a place WHERE THE AUDIENCE WOULD LIKE LISTENING. A lot of music now is an exercise in what you CAN do. Just because you can run pyrotechnics doesn’t mean you have to. What if Mozart wrote everything he heard in his head in every Concerto he wrote? The audience is listening, let’s not forget, jazz is NOT A CONTACT SPORT.