Monthly Archives: March 2006

Joe Pass and Roy Clark


Google has an hour-long video of Joe Pass and Roy Clark playing together in the studio. I could watch Joe play rhythm all day.

I haven’t had the chance to watch the whole thing, but it’s a documentary with interviews of both players. Just like Joe said, I always liked Roy’s playing — it was hard to miss him on “Hee Haw” in the ’70s and ’80s. A very good player, as are many in the country field.

I remember reading somewhere that this was Joe’s last session before his death in 1994. If so, it’s a nice way to go out — some very good music here.

Gear notes: Roy is playing a Heritage thin-bodied guitar, probably built custom for him. Joe is playing the special ES-175 that Gibson made for him in the years before his death. It has a slightly thinner body, a rosewood bridge, trapeze tailpiece and only one pickup, which is mounted flush with the neck like on an L4 CES (closer than a tradional 175), and the original Kluson tuners (not replacement Grovers).

Found via the Joe Pass Memorial Hall, where all things Joe can be learned.

It takes GIANT STONES to trade eights with OP


Check out this YouTube.com video of Joe Pass playing with Oscar Peterson. NHOP on bass.

Joe is standing up, playing the Ibanez, and cooking like crazy, which is what you pretty much had to do to keep up with Oscar Peterson.

Joe plays the head of “The Cakewalk” in unison with Peterson — and check out the section when piano and guitar trade eight-bar phrases.

Another example of Joe Pass, the complete player — masterful rhythm guitarist, ensemble player and soloist.

Village People


The former lead singer of the Village People was arrested in South San Francisco.

Yes, they arrested the cop:

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) — Victor Willis, the original policeman in the 1970s disco band the Village People, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to drug possession and giving false identification to a police officer.

His arrest Sunday ended a five-month search for the former hitmaker.

Willis, 54, was pulled over by a South San Francisco police officer for a routine traffic stop but was arrested after cocaine and drug paraphernalia was found in his car, Lt. Jeff Azzopardi said.

The officer did not immediately recognize Willis, who was the subject of a bench warrant after failing to appear at his sentencing hearing on drug and weapons charges in October, police said.

Both Willis and his companion, Staci Brandt, who also was wanted for a parole violation, initially gave false names to the officer, Azzopardi said. Willis was later identified through fingerprints.

Brandt also pleaded not guilty to the same charges Tuesday.

Both are scheduled to return to court on April 10.

Last July, Willis was arrested in Daly City for possessing cocaine. He agreed to a plea bargain that would have resulted in a prison term of no more than 16 months, but he never showed up for sentencing. His bail jumping now gives a judge the right to impose the maximum four-year, four-month sentence.

A new sentencing date for that case has not been set, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

Willis, who co-wrote such hits as “YMCA” and “In the Navy,” left the Village People in 1980. His case was first featured on the television crime show “America’s Most Wanted” in December.

For those who are, shall we say, deficient on their Village People trivia, rotten.com is here to help.

Here is Victor Willis’ bio from that page:

Victor Willis

(b. 1952)

The Policeman

Victor Willis performed lead vocals for the Village People from 1977 to 1980.

In the late seventies, he was married to actress Phylicia Rashad – better known as Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show.

He indulged in a generous hit of freebase prior to each performance, prompting a meeting among the producers. They replaced Willis with Ray Simpson.

Willis was arrested in February of 1997, charged with robbery and cocaine possession.

MARRIED TO PHYLICIA RASHAD??? And did you note the FEMALE companion in the arrest story?

Why has there never been a movie of the week about the Village People’s coke-guzzling, woman-loving, cop-impersonating lead singer?

John Stowell podcast

For my 40th birthday, (yep, I’m 40 — FORTY), Ilene got me a video iPod, so I downloaded the John Stowell video podcast from Portland Jazz Jams.

I haven’t had a chance to really watch it, but first impressions are that the video and audio are both excellent. They could sell this thing for $24.95 through Mel Bay, and it would hold up very well.

John is playing his Doolin nylon string in front of a black background, and the performance was captured by two cameras — there are plenty of close-ups of his hands (watching his left hand is a master class in itself), and a few “dissolves” with the views of two cameras at once.

Sound is great. Probably the best thing is that he is playing the nylon string and not an electric with a bunch of effects, which make some of his earlier recordings less than ideal.

I’ll have to spend some time watching the whole thing, but this is a definite must for those who love solo jazz guitar. John Stowell is truly an original player who shouldn’t be missed, and he does, in fact, sound better than ever.

Daily News bloggers — they are out there

There have got to be more Daily News bloggers than this, and if you know of any, I’d like to hear about it. Besides myself, of course, there are:

Editorial assistant Ben Jauron’s edgy, whacked-out, noirish, insert your own adjective here, http://www.sgtwest.com/, which features in one of its “episodes,” Ilene’s and my long-ago boss Gregg Miller. Yes, Mr. Jauron is currently the coolest, edgiest Daily News blogger, or more precisely, Web artist, since this doesn’t really meet the definition of “blog.”

Columnist Mariel Garza’s lightly updated http://www.marielgarza.blogspot.com/.

Editorial page editor Chris Weinkopf’s also lightly updated http://www.weinkopf.com/.

Cops reporter Josh Kleinbaum’s also lightly updated http://kleinbaum.org/.

Who could forget the official Daily News Red Carpet blog http://www.insidesocal.com/redcarpet/, featuring the bloggish stylings of Fred Shuster, Valerie Kuklenski, Bob Strauss, Glenn Whipp, David Kronke, Sandra Barrera and who knows who else.

And last for now but never least, business reporter Brent Hopkins’ blog, which is mostly filled with items pertaining to our CWA union local (of which he is the more-than-capable leader) http://thenutgraph.blogspot.com/.

I’ll start a special blogroll for all of these when I get a chance. But for now, enjoy them starting right here.