Archive | Willie’s Words

More from Jamey Aebersold Camp

I was just looking over my Jamey Camp pics and was reminded of how much fun I had at the camp this summer.  What I realize is you’re only limited by what you think you can’t or shouldn’t do.  I’ve been reluctant to travel because I think I’m getting too old!  Actually, it’s more about […]

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Raggity Man

Imagine my surprise when I saw the Album cover with the five members of the MJT+3 looking at me on YouTube this week. I can assure you that a rush of fond memories accompanied the encounter as I looked back 50 years ago when I wrote that tune. It was at the peak of the […]

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A Bite of the Apple … Part III

(This is part 3 of a 3 part series.  Scroll down to see parts 1 and 2) The final three months on the road with Woody’s band seemed endless, especially after accepting the Road Manager gig that was like baby sitting fifteen juvenile delinquents. At last, I was on a Greyhound headed for Chicago and […]

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A Bite of the Apple … Part II

I was serving my last four months in the 3rd Army HQ band, when the daily challenge of keeping my sanity was momentarily put on hold by a letter to my CO informing him about the possibilities of an early release for me. I too, received a letter that same day from Hal McIntyre asking […]

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A Bite of the Apple …. Part I

I just turned 80 years old a few days ago, and of late, I find myself quite frequently assessing my life, where I’ve been or where I haven’t been and what I’ve done or what I haven’t done. The “I haven’t been there” part, in most cases, no longer seems as important as the what […]

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Playing the Changes

I can’t remember the first time I heard the term “playing the changes” uttered, however, the ensuing discussions about its relevance in playing jazz have always been somewhat amusing as well as perplexing. I can, on countless occasions, remember being confronted at a gig by a fan laying it on me, like, “I really dig […]

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Hey Man, am I swinging yet?

As you might guess, this piece is about the illusive ingredient that makes fingers pop, heads bob and weave, feet tap, bodies gyrate and puts jazz players in the Pantheon of legends like Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Bud Powell, Max Roach, Kenny Dohram, Fats Navarro, Dizzy Gillespie and the big bands of Count Basie, Duke […]

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To Be or Not To Bop….

As some of you may know, I’ve borrowed my title line from a biography about the life of Dizzy Gillespie, who played a vital role in the nascent period of a jazz epoch called “be bop” in the mid 1940’s in NYC.  There are several theories and many questions about how this term was inculcated […]

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