Other Places: Stamm And Cables

Stamm head shotSmall town newspapers sometimes provide surprisingly interesting coverage of world-traveling jazz artists who pass through or live in their communities. For decades, Marvin Stamm and his wife Nancy have been residents of the Westchester County town of North Salem, an hour north of New York City. This week, the North Salem Daily Voice interviewed the trumpeter about why he lives there. This is some of what he said:

I tell people in my travels about our town, but they find it difficult to believe that I live in such a quiet space, affording reflection and renewal, while being so close to one of the largest cities in the world. . . I always look forward to coming home. I never tire of the reservoir, the hills and the woodlands. . .

To read all of the interview with Stamm, go here.

Pianist George Cables talked with the Daily Astorian in Astoria, Oregon, way out west where theCables head shot Columbia River flows into the Pacific. He told about what he learned from Art Tatum, his favorite instrument other than the piano, and what it was like when he and alto saxophonist Frank Morgan played for prisoners.

We went to San Quentin and played. If you think being there locked-up is life-changing … being there a matter of hours is life-changing. You get to meet some of the people. Alto player Grace Kelly came with us and played “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and there were tears in the hardened prisoners, an audience full of teary-eyed big guys that were locked up.

You’ll find all of the Cables story here.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Reddit


  1. Valerie Bishop says

    my favorite memories of Marvin Stamm occurred when i was living in NYC in the ’60s and loved Monday nights at the Vanguard with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Big Band. he’s just about sold me on North Salem. i’d love to be in that environment and only an hour from NYC. i’ll bet it’s a pretty homogenized population though which i doubt i could get used to. it’s different when one travels all over the world and gets to rub shoulders with all kinds of folks.

    George Cables continues to be one of my very favorite pianists and human beings. he’s just the best and knows i love him.

    i’m also very fond of Javon Jackson as a musician and person. he’s just wonderful and i really appreciate him.

    thanks to Doug for providing this nourishing reading material. it makes me forget for a few minutes that i’m 3,000 miles away from all this action! LOL!

  2. Terence Smith says

    Great interview with George Cables. My favorite part was where he describes what he likes about the “old school of playing jazz,” which he attributes to Tatum:

    It’s not ‘Do it this way and it’s THE right way — instead it’s ‘This is how I do it and you have to figure out how you’re going to do it.’

    Every time I hear George Cables and Dexter Gordon on Nights at the Keystone, I am thinking that they make each ballad sound like they are figuring out absolutely the only way to do it!

  3. David says

    A scene very similar to that described by Mr. Cables can be observed in the documentary “Young at Heart” (a great piece of film-making, btw). A senior citizen choir, average age 90+, performs at a prison. The camera pans the faces of the audience and we see those hardened faces softening and shedding a few tears.

    As for Mr. Cables, a superb example of his recent work can be found on a cd called Believe, recorded & released last year by “The Cookers.”