Phil Leshin Pics

09/30/07

 

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Phil Leshin sent these photos and ads from his time as bass player with Buddy!

Buddy NOT playing on Cape Cod

Phil's own comments:

The color shot was taken on Cape Cod, when we were appearing at
Storyville -- I think in 1958, August.

BR Quartet, Chicago's Blue Note The B&W one is from Chicago's Blue Note, around 1950. It's the BR
Quartet, with me (Phil Leshin, bass); Joe Springer, piano; Allen Eager,
tenor sax, and the added attraction of Phil Brown on bongos.

Buddy Rich ad, Miami Beach Also included an ad from a gig in Miami Beach around 1957.

In my mail back to Phil, thanking him for his generosity with the pictures, I complain about everybody just knowing Buddy the way he was from "The Bus Tapes". Here's his response:

In Phil's own words:

I agree about those tapes. I saw that side of Buddy several times, but I also saw a kind, sweet, charming side. We shared a love for Basie, Prez and Billie, and took those records with us on the road. When we toured with a big band that had both Johnny Mandel and Billy Byers in it, Billy listened to some of the Basie records Buddy liked and copied them (he could do that better and faster than anyone) and we had a happy band and a happy leader...but no money. It was called a "panic" band, because we never earned enough money to keep going.

During a gig at the Prevue Lounge in Chicago, Buddy's plane was late in arriving. We got a fine local drummer named Walter Perk ins to play the first set, and when Buddy arrived, he thanked him profusely. Then, at the close of the gig, he gave Walter, who was having financial problems, his entire set of Ludwig drums -- and called Bill Ludwig and ordered a new set for himself. Since he endorsed that brand, Ludwig grumbled, but sent the new set to our next gig.

He was enamored of the piano playing of Kenny Drew, and we often played with just the trio, playing beautiful standards. Club owners complained...they wanted more "noise." He told them to get lost or get a new band. (You can hear the trio on one take on the Playtime CD, recorded live at Birdland in 1958).

He could be very mercurial, and was so nasty that I quit twice...once in Chicago, and once on the Sawmill Parkway in NY...when I made him stop the car, took out my bass and hitchhiked back to New York. The next day, he called, made a joke out of it, and I was back with the band. It was hard to say "no" to the world's greatest drummer.


Phil added these pictures during summer of 1999:

The big band is at the Paramount Thtre, NY, circa 1952. That's Frank at the mike, bathed in too bright spotlights. This was BEFORE "From Here To Eternity" and his comeback.

The band at the Paramount had: saxes - Danny Bank, Sid Cooper, Les Clark, Al Bloch and Allen Eager; trumpets - Louis Olds, Ed Bagley, Harold Wegbreit; trombones - Sy Berger and Eddie Bert; Phil Brown on percussion; guitar player was Frank's - don't recall his name; pianist was Bill Miller, Frank's longtime accompanist.

BR at the drums was either '52 or '53.
The Buddy Rich road band, same time period, had the following personnel (to best of my recollection): Bill Rubenstein, piano; JR Montrose, tenor sax; (can't remember, alto sax); John Bonney, lead alto; Ben Larry, tenor sax; Phil Brown, percussion; Billy Byers, trombone & arranger; Joe Steinberg, trb; Charlie Wolpe, Jerry LaFurn
No comments about this one.

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This site was last updated 09/30/07