The week’s eeriest internet experience: being mesmerized by the masthead picture box at the top of Jazz Improv magazine’s home page as a dozen great musicians appear and dissolve.
While you’re there, don’t miss the interview with guitarist Russell Malone. It includes his story of sitting in, as a twenty-two-year-old novice, with the brilliant, irascible, organist Jimmy Smith and making a shambles of “Laura.”
So I was going to leave, but I said, “Well, you know, I should, at least, go up to the old man and thank him for letting me sit in with him.” So I walked up to the bar and I tapped him on the shoulder. He looked around at me and before I could get the next sentence out of my mouth, he got in my face and poked his finger in my chest, like this, and he said, “Let me tell you something. All of these guys that you’re trying to play like”—and he named Pat Martino, Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Kenny Burrell, this long list of guitar players—“all those guys that you’re trying to play like, I taught them too.” And he said, “So don’t ever get on my bandstand with that bullshit again.” So I said, “Oh my god, man!” So I hung around. At around 11:45, he finished his drink, and he motioned for me to come with him. He said, “Bring your guitar. Come with me.”
The story has a happy ending.