****** Musician's Meanderings******
Steve Hashimoto's Journey Journal – News From the Trenches – 07-20-2003:
More bad news, by the bushel. Over the past few weeks the grim reaper claimed
Ernie Outlaw (bassist), Joel Brandon (jazz whistler), Celia Cruz and Compay
Segundo (legends of Cuban music), Benny Carter (composer, arranger,
saxophonist, trumpeter and jazz master for over 7 decades), and on a smaller but no less
important note, the father of local bassist Donn DiSanto. Sympathy and
condolences to all concerned.
The recent bad weather bared the true soul (or lack thereof) of a group of
rich folks who stood and watched as some local musician serfs struggled to get
their equipment out of a sudden torrential downpour. I don't know, I actually
get out and help push folks whose cars are stuck in the snow; guess that's why
A story from the past. I don't know what triggered this particular memory,
but I always laugh when I think about it. Some of you may recall a local tenor
saxophonist named Santez (he's still around, by the way, but not playing much).
I met him through the band Streetdancer; he was their original sax player and
I was the band's graphic designer and photographer way back in the '70s. I
liked Santez (still do); he maybe wasn't the greatest sax player but he was an
interesting human being. As my focus turned more from visual arts towards music
Santez and I worked together quite a bit. For instance, when I was still a
guitar player Santez and I and a charmingly ditzy vocalist named Helena
performed the music at U of C's Court Theater for future famous director Robert Falls'
production of The Tempest. He was also a member for a brief hilarious couple
of months in the band D-Section; that's a whole other story! It was also
through Santez that I met my friend from Mexico City, the guitarist Miguel Bermejo,
who introduced me to a lot of Brasilian music (Miguel's sister Millie Bermejo
is a famous vocalist and teacher at Berklee in Boston, and through one of
those great six-degrees-of-separation links was Grazyna Auguscik's teacher; when
I played Grazyna's first Chicago gig I mentioned that she reminded me of this
singer I knew in Boston and Grazyna almost fell off her chair when I told her
I knew Millie and her family...)
Santez was (is) an imposingly large black man with a voice (WAAAAAAAY
down in the basement) that Dick Buckley would kill for, but overall a pretty
gentle guy. One time he had a steady gig at The Wild Hare (back in the beginning
days of the club, before they went full-tilt reggae). I seem to recall that it
was a quartet -- Santez, the AACM musicians Reggie Nicholson on drums and
Frank Walton on trumpet, and me on bass. It was fairly out music, but not totally
free -- sort of free-bop, if you know what I mean. One night the sax player
Hal Ra Ru came in to sit in. If you remember Hal, he was one of the totally
free, out-to-lunch cats, and also a physically small man. We were playing some
modal type tune and Hal jumped onto the stage with his horn and just started
blowing, some absolute way out energy freedom music. Santez just kinda looked at
him, but they were friends, so he just grunted (if you knew Santez you can hear
it, I know) and wandered offstage, leaving Reggie and I to deal with Hal.
Well, Hal didn't stop -- he blew for what seemed like 15 minutes. Presently I
heard a second far-away sax -- it was Santez, who was edging his way across the
stage, marching sideays, blowing as he moved, until he physically moved Hal off
the mic and then off the stage. Hal kept blowing, and kept blowing as he left
the club (if I recall correctly Hal was one of those kind of cats who didn't
have a case for his horn, he just carried it around). Reggie and I just looked
at each other, laughed, and took the tune home. You know, they just don't
make guys like either of them anymore!
This week Steven Hashimoto will keep an eye on the door at:
SUN. 7/20: at RAVENSWOOD MANOR BLOCK PARTY, 4600 N. Manor, 6:45-8:45pm, with
Flippomusic GlobalJazz (Flippo, keys; Dan Hesler, sax; Aras Biskis,
percussion; Heath Chappell, drums); then Heath and I run like hell over to SIMON'S
TAVERN, 5210 N. Clark, whenever we get there till 11:30pm, with The Steven
Hashimoto Quartet (Brian Gephart, sax; Bryan Nichols, piano).
TUES. 7/22: at QUENCHERS, 2401 N. Western, 9:30pm-1am, with Sueños Latin-Jazz
Quartet (Mike Levin, sax; Chris Mahieu, manfully stepping into the Bob-sized
breach on keys; Heath Chappell, drums). I've been calling it a jam session but
trumpeter Steve Thomas helpfully points out that it's not really a jam
session; what happens is you get put through whatever I feel like playing, but
usually you have fun.
WEDS. 7/23: at HACKNEY'S, 126th and LaGrange Rd. in Palos Park, 8-10:30pm,
with The Brass Tracks Big Band. Special guest this week: guitar-monger Zvonimir
Tot. Come and have your little minds blown.
THURS. 7/24: at GATEWAY BAR & GRILL, 7545 N. Clark, 7:30-10:30pm, with
guitarist Pat Fleming. This will be the last time for a while; Steve, the owner, has
decided to cancel all weeknight music for the forseeable future. If you've
enjoyed us at this venue you might call him up and gently try to dissuade him.
Why is it that the Greeks, who have contributed so much to civilization, the
arts, philosophy and science, are such disasters as club-owners?
FRI. 7/25: a jobbing date with the High Society organization. Then later on,
as always, at THE GREEN MILL, 4802 N. Broadway, 1:30-3:45am, with The Green
Mill Quartet (Barely Winograd, bari sax; Bob Long, maybe, piano; Rick Shandling,
drums) for The After-Hours Bloodbath -- I mean Jam Session. Bring your ax...
SAT. 7/26: I'm open, but I'm so tired I really don't care...
SUN. 7/27: at BROOKFIELD ZOO, 6-8pm, with The Dave Flippo Trio (Flippo,
vocals[!] and keys, and Heath Chappell, drums).
I could use to fill Sat. Aug. 23 & 30, as well as a whole bunch of off nights
in August. Call me at 708-222-6520. Big thanks to Joe Levinson for helping