Other Places: A Tom Talbert Profile

Steve Cerra’s Jazz Profiles remembers Tom Talbert, the under-recognized composer and bandleader who died nearly eight years ago in his early eighties. Steve incorporates a passage in which Talbert wrote about his postwar debut.

Worked with several bands and met arranger-bandleader Johnny Richards in Boston. Moved to Los Angeles the winter of 1946 and was soon living at the Harvey Hotel…a musician’s hangout fondly referred to as the Hot Harvey.

Before long Richards appeared and, in his generous manner, started looking for things I could do. He soon encouraged me to start a band and that seemed a logical move for an out-of-work twenty-one year old arranger. We started with a group of guys who wanted to play and as we rehearsed some were changed and others just left for a real job.

Some of those guys who wanted to play were Dodo Marmarosa, Art Pepper, Lucky Thompson and Warne Marsh. Not bad for a young bandleader just out of the Army.

Cerra dresses up the piece with his customary resourceful graphics and an imaginative recording from later in Talbert’s career. Click here to see and hear it.

For a Rifftides post on Talbert’s career shortly after he passed on, go here.


The Vancouver Sun’s Marke Andrews caught up with Wayne Shorter, whom the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has commissioned to compose a new piece. “When you write for us, make it hard,” Shorter said they told him. “Show us no mercy.” Go here to read Andrews’ article.

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