Charlie and Sandi Shoemake write from Cambria, California, in response to these comments on Jake Hanna’s riposte following the death of John Lennon:
Whether your stance on Jake Hanna is that of being appalled like your super politically correct reader Jansen or understood as just a dark comedy aside (which has always been part of the jazz experience) like your reader Lang, one thing remains. That is that Jake Hanna is one of our countrys finest drummers and the possessor of a wit that has been making musicians laugh for decades. Jakes’ style of humor always reminded me of the late Jack E. Leonard (who was also not known to be politically correct much of the time). His hundreds of asides are legend in the jazz community, one of my favorites was told to me by bassist Luther Hughes. Jake and Luther were stuck one evening playing with a terrible pianist who not only played his songs badly but played his songs LONG and badly. During one marathon of incorrectness, Luther happened to glance over at Jake and heard him (while continuing to play) say….COACH! TAKE ME OUT!
Jake will be playing our series here in January with trombonist Dan Barrett.
PS: We still like the commentary you made in your Jazz Matters book about Bruce Springsteen and playing in “tough” keys like B flat. None of the Beatles was able to read or write music, so when one of the true musical geniuses of the 20th century, Bela Bartok, died in poverty as did countless jazz greats (Kenny Dorham and Hank Mobley to cite just a couple) I think it’s only natural to have a few dark comedy remarks appear.