Buddy Collette

A Jazz Audio Biography

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This is an unusual double CD; a talking record. Throughout the 132 minutes, veteran reed player Buddy Collette, who has been part of the Los Angeles jazz scene since the mid-'40s, tells a bit about what he has seen and experienced through the years. Collette actually talks very little about himself, preferring to reminisce about his associates including Charles Mingus (highlighted by the complete story behind Mingus's infamous Town Hall Concert and a touching interlude about the last time Collette visited the bassist), Charlie Parker (including Bird's explanation of the origin of his nickname), Paul Robeson, Josephine Baker, Eric Dolphy, the Central Avenue scene of the '40s and the long struggle to integrate the Los Angeles Musicians' Union and the studios in the 1950s. The only music heard are brief interludes by Collette on his horns between the spoken sections. The often-fascinating storytelling could have been twice as long.