I found a guy in the Bronx who had an old plywood Kay bass that he wanted $75 for.  He held it for me, and I gave him a few dollars every time I could scrape some extra money together.  Meanwhile I borrowed or rented basses for jam sessions and paying jobs. It was a great thrill when I finally took possession of my Kay.

Claude Thornhill Band at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, July 1953

Claude, Bill Crow, Winston Welch, Dick Zuback, Dick Sherman, Marty Harris, Dale Pearce, Gene Quill, Sonny Rich, Ralph Aldridge, Billy Ver Planck, Kurt Bloom, Al Antonucci

     I had been reading music all my life, but Claude's band gave me my first opportunity to read parts written for the string bass.  I was especially interested in what Gil Evans had written in the arrangements he had done for Claude.   

Bass by Kay, pants by Fox Bros., Chicago, Photo by Popsie Randolph

 I worked in and out of New York with Glen Moore and his Mooremen (playing drums, valve trombone, bass, and singing), The Dave Lambert Singers (singing), Mike Riley and his Musical Maniacs (drums, vocals and comedy), and the Teddy Charles Trio (bass, bongo drums and vocals) while becoming a self-taught bass player.

Carl Janelli       Glen Moore     Bill Crow

Crow       Teddy Charles     Don Roberts

I met Jimmy Raney through Teddy Charles.

He worked with Teddy's trio for a while when Don Roberts left.  Then Jimmy went back with Stan Getz's quintet when Stan returned to New York from a trip to the West Coast in 1952.


(See articles on Stan and Jimmy Raney in my WRITING section.)

Stan had a gig in Boston, and told Jimmy to find a bass player.  Jimmy asked me to do the week, with Roy Haynes on drums and Jerry Kaminsky on piano.  The week turned into about six months of steady work with Stan, including several record dates.  Roy only worked the Boston gig, and then Frank Isola joined us.  Then Jerry left, and Duke Jordan joined us.  Then Jimmy left, and we worked as a quartet for a while with Kenny Clarke on drums.  Then Duke and Klook left, and Stan started a new group with me, John Williams, Alan Levitt and Bob Brookmeyer.  Bob couldn't make the first two weeks, so Johnny Mandel subbed for him on trombone. 

In 1953, Stan replaced me with Teddy Kotick, and I moved over to Teddy's old gig, on the road with Claude Thornhill's Orchestra.

Claude Thornhill

Dick Sherman            Thornhill

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