Ed “Tiger” Lewis at the West End, 1980

When he was in New York City in 1980 my friend the jazz researcher Otto Flückiger naturally made his round through the clubs to enjoy jazz of all kinds. So he got too see and hear Sam River’s Rivbea Orchestra, Panama Francis’ Savoy Sultans, Woody Shaw with Wynton Marsalis, a George Coleman group – and lots more. On April 6, 1980 he went to the West End at Broadway near Columbia to hear the band of veteran trumpet player Ed “Tiger” Lewis:

Donald Jordan (p), Ed “Tiger” Lewis (tp), Harold Cumberbatch (bars) and
Sir John Godfrey (dr) at the West End, April 6, 1980.
Photo by Otto Flückiger (click to enlarge)

This evening is remarkable in that Otto took quite a few photos, when usually he only made three or four (photography was a costly thing then). I thought it would be nice to present these photos here. Since Otto also recorded the band, I am adding some sound to add to your pleasure. Here’s the Ed “Tiger” Lewis Quintet playing Charlie Parker’s Confirmation at the West End in N.Y.C. on April 6, 1980:

[audio http://www.jazzdocumentation.ch/blog/03_confirmation.mp3]

So now for the other photos:

First two close-ups of drummer Sir John Godfrey:

Sir John Godfrey at the West End, April 6, 1980. Photo by Otto Flückiger
(click to enlarge)

Sir John Godfrey at the West End, April 6, 1980. Photo by Otto Flückiger
(click to enlarge)

 Then the man himself: Ed “Tiger” Lewis

Ed Lewis at the West End, April 6, 1980. Photo by Otto Flückiger
(click to enlarge)

 Another photo of the full band:

Donald Jordan (p), Ed “Tiger” Lewis (tp), Harold Cumberbatch (bars), Roger
Stanley (b) and Sir John Godfrey (dr) at the West End, April 6, 1980.
Photo by Otto Flückiger (click to enlarge)

Two close-ups of pianist Donald Jordan:

Donald Jordan at the West End, April 6, 1980.
Photo by Otto Flückiger (click to enlarge)

Donald Jordan at the West End, April 6, 1980.
Photo by Otto Flückiger (click to enlarge)

        Here is one of bassist Roger Stanley:

Roger Stanley at the West End, April 6, 1980.
Photo by Otto Flückiger (click to enlarge)

It seems that Otto was especially fascinated by drummer Sir John Godfrey:

Sir John Godfrey at the West End, April 6, 1980. Photo by Otto Flückiger
(click to enlarge)

Sir John Godfrey at the West End, April 6, 1980. Photo by Otto Flückiger
(click to enlarge)

Here is one showing Tiger Lewis and Harold Cumberbatch

Tiger Lewis and Harold Cumberbatch at the West End, April 6, 1980.
Photo by Otto Flückiger (click to enlarge)

And finally here is the full band again:

Donald Jordan (p), Ed “Tiger” Lewis (tp), Harold Cumberbatch (bars),
Roger Stanley (b) and Sir John Godfrey (dr) at the West End, April 6, 1980.
Photo by Otto Flückiger (click to enlarge)

I hope I will be able to put up more results of Otto’s travels to N.Y.C soon but deciding which photographs (most of them carry no notes) belong to which tape (the tapes sometimes only note the leader) is not an easy task. Also there are tapes of concerts of which no photographs survive (and vice versa). So: Watch this space.



7 Responses to “Ed “Tiger” Lewis at the West End, 1980”

  1. George "Guenti" Schmid Says:

    I met Otti by chance when I lived in New York and he introduced me to Mr. Lewis and to Mr. Percy France. He called them the in-between men, between Swing and Bebop. We also went to the Tin Palace together with Mario Schneeberger and heard a group with Bob Berg, Philly Joe Jones, Walter Davis and Walter Booker.
    It was fun just bumping into Otti by chance.

  2. it should be “Sir John Godfrey.” I knew him well.

  3. I used to play at Greene Street, a restaurant in Soho, solo or duo, in 1986. I discovered to my surprise that Ed Lewis was working as the washroom attendant in the restaurant. Now that I actually had someone in the club to play for, I played all the Dizzy big band music I knew – Tadd, Gil Fuller, etc.

  4. Dave Anderson Says:

    Wow, what a find, I actually attended this show on a weeklong visit to NYC (where I managed to catch 32 jazz gigs in eight days, and took copious notes, but alas, no photos). This show was billed as the “Swing To Bop Quintet,” and Tiger Lewis was playing great stuff. I was amazed to discover he had recorded with Bennie Moten in the 1920’s, years before the arrival of Count Basie in that legendary band.

    The West End was a favorite venue of mine, spotlighting many of the elder musicians who helped make jazz what it was in the early years. The following night I heard Russell Procope’s sublime group, and a week earlier, I had caught the Harlem Blues & Jazz Band there (Eddie Durham, Ram Ramirez, Al Casey, George Kelly, etc.) when Papa Jo Jones sat in with intermission guitarist Stanley Jordan. For a 19-year-old visiting from the West Coast, it was quite the mecca.

    Many thanks for posting these photos and audio!

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