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The Arnon's Jazz Band (Excerpt 2), Saxophone Pub & Restaurant

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Published on May 30, 2012

Another excerpt of the great jazz performed by The Arnon's Jazz Band, one of the many regularly featured bands performing at the Saxophone Pub & Restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand near the Victory Monument BTS station. You can go to www.saxophonepub.com for a monthly schedule of the performing groups. As promised in previous video remarks, I have included within this excerpt the work of the bass player, all personnel as yet unnamed. This evening, also featured was a guest artist (congas) whose work I will feature in excerpt following this video. Unfortunately, as I will leave Bangkok for six months to resume my own studies in jazz in the U.S., I will sadly leave this group to wonder of the many fine performances I will miss.

The Saxophone Pub & Restaurant is a great venue for not only music but also food! My favorite is the pepper steak, which makes me smile because not only was Dexter Gordon, now deceased, one of my favorite saxophone players, but also Art Pepper, who, as a child played in some of the waterfront bars in San Pedro, California, which I would later come to frequent in my 37 years as a longshoreman. The book Straight Life, by Art and Laurie Pepper, gives great insight into the mind (and heart) of Art Pepper, whose geat hope was to be remembered as the greatest saxophone player of all.

In the 1960's Howard Rumsey's "The Lighthouse," in Hermosa Beach, California, was to spawn what would later become known as the "West Coast Cool" jazz sound, where Art Pepper and Chet Baker (trumpeter) played on occasion. Chet Baker was featured in the biographical film "Let's Get Lost" shortly before his death in Amsterdam. I'm not certain, but Dexter Gordon (favorite ballad "I'm a Fool to Want You), having lived and gone to school in Los Angeles, might have also brought Rumsey's Lighthouse down with what I consider his greatest virtue, phrasing. Many of the players I mention here are also featured here in YouTube, and I even found a few live performances by some of the artists mentioned within these remarks. Dex Gordon's performance in the film 'Round Midnight, as a composite jazz character, should have been an academy award winning performance for best actor in the year the Tavernier? film was made, but unfortunately wasn't! Besides Cal Tjader, I remember seeing Hugh Masakela (in the days of Grazing in the Grass hit) play a few years later at The Lighthouse. Had I been years older, I no doubt could have seen Art Pepper play as a boy in the bars his proud father took him to play for his longshoreman buddies. If you listen closely to the later work of Art Pepper, perhaps you will hear, as I did, an interwoven riff from Pop Goes The Weasel in his work, which he probably played in those "early" years at the bars as a beginning sax player. In his senior year at San Pedro High School, such was Pepper's ambition to be a great jazz player that he would go to the many "all black" jazz venues of the day in the city of Los Angeles (proper); he felt that were he to get the authentic jazz sound that he wanted he would have to immerse himself more deeply in the music of that day. Unfortunately, as with many great artists, he would "get lost" in his own way, spending many of his adult years in San Quentin where he would 'practice' in the yard? Not sure if they allowed prisoners to have saxophones... Anyway, read his autobiography Straight Life, as many of the details I mention here can be found in the book.

I hope you are enjoying the music I offer here for you from ArtsandJazz (in association with ArtsGroupOne)!

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