Guaraldi With Spoon and Webster

This seems to be the week for unexpected videos to materialize. In the piece highlighted in the previous exhibit, Jack Berry joined me in lamenting that we could find no evidence of Vince Guaraldi on film or tape. Jazz writer Ken Dryden came to the rescue this morning with a reminder that Guaraldi’s trio backed Jimmy Witherspoon and Ben Webster in a 1962 episode of Ralph J. Gleason’s Jazz Casual program on PBS. Here are two excerpts recalling one of the great singer-instrumentalist partnerships. There is no Guaraldi solo, but superb accompaniment by him, drummer Colin Bailey and a bassist hidden behind Witherspoon who is most likely Monty Budwig.

The Witherspoon-Webster encounter is available on a DVD with another Jazz Casual show devoted to Jimmy Rushing.
And here is Guaraldi finally getting to solo. This is a latterday version of the piece that twenty years earlier had made Webster famous when he was with Duke Ellington.

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  1. Jack Berry says

    Solo on the second piece doesn’t quite convey the daemonic intensity of Vince in the tent but was nice. Nicer yet, the quest provided a reason for presenting Spoon and, oh my, oh my, Ben.

  2. Jack Berry says

    PS — posting that picture of me ca. 1957 was statutory rape. But it’s my daughter’s fault.