Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
With Father’s Day coming up this Sunday (June 15), I thought that I’d pay tribute to my dad’s great taste in music. It’s just one of the myriad reasons why I love my dad, but it’s certainly an important and influential one to me.
My dad loves jazz, and I spent countless hours of my youth sitting on the living room floor of our home in suburban Buffalo pulling vinyl albums out of the rack and slapping them on the big wooden stereo console. Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool, Sarah Vaughan’s Dreamy, Quincy Jones’ Walking in Space, Stan Kenton’s West Side Story and the collection of 10-inch Encyclopedia of Jazz compilations that we purchased at the local supermarket (Was it Topps or Loblaws?). And there was the array of Command Records stereo-demo discs like Persuasive Percussion and Bongos, Bongos, Bongos. But if I had to pick just one, it would be the dazzling and dizzying debut by the vocalese trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. And then as I got a little older I guess it would have to be Charles Lloyd’s Forest Flower.
Downstairs in the basement rec room while playing pool or doing arts & crafts at the drop-down desk that he built for me, I’d spin his 78RPM platters – Sauter-Finegan Orchestra’s “Science Fiction,” Spike Jones’ “Pal-Yat-Chee,” Stan Freberg’s “Saint George and the Dragonet” and a great collection of Josh White discs.
My dad took me to concerts, and in fact one of the first concert memories I have is of watching Louis Armstrong from the balcony at Toronto’s O’Keefe Centre. And I’ll never forget him taking me to Kleinhan’s Music Hall in Buffalo to see Charles Lloyd and his band (and watching pianist Keith Jarrett spend nearly as much time plucking and banging around inside the piano as he did actually playing the keys).
Thanks again, Dad, for having such great musical tastes!