excerpt from 'Jazz Anecdotes' pp. 296 (368 words)

excerpt from 'Jazz Anecdotes' pp. 296 (368 words)

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Jazz Anecdotes

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They started with a couple of standards, but there was no response. They even featured the drummer, but that didn't seem to rouse the audience either. Then Jacquet must've figured he had nothing to lose, so he called “Flying Home,” the tune he'd made famous with Hamp's band.

It took a couple of minutes before the audience recognized the tune and started to react. By then Jacquet was soloing and he gave it everything it had, building, honking, screaming, and dancing. All the moves, chorus after chorus. By the time he finished, he had the audience in the palm of his hand, the same way Louis had them an hour before.

The audience screamed for an encore and Jacquet did another couple of choruses of “Flying Home.” But right in the middle, Hamp's bus pulled up. Hearing someone else play a tune he was known for and seeing the fantastic audience reaction must've made him furious. Everyone backstage saw what was going on and knew Hamp would want to somehow outdo Jacquet. Louis was watching and he got interested too. I remember we were set to get on the bus, but Louis turned to a couple of us and said, “Wait, we have to see this.”

Jacqiuet finished and after the stage got set up, Hamp came out. He began with “Midnight Sun,” one of his famous ballads. But after Louis' performance and Jacquet's finale the audience was in no mood for it. He did “Hamp's Boogie Woogie,” and a couple more numbers. He even played drums and sang, but he still didn't get much of a reaction.

I was standing in the wings with Louis and a couple of other guys and we could see how hard he was working. But time was running out. He looked frustrated and desperate and he finally called “Flying Home.”

The band started playing but there wasn't much response from the audience. Hamp wouldn't give up. He put everything he had into his solo, starting out soft, then building to a crescendo. When he finished, sweat was dripping off every part of him, and the handful of people cheered.

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excerpt from 'Jazz Anecdotes' pp. 296 (368 words)


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