Howard McGhee / Howard Kimbo at the West End, 1980

A lot of the concerts my friend Otto witnessed during his late seventies and early eighties trips to N.Y.C. took place at the West End Club whose speciality was to present veterans of the Bebop Era. In mid May 1980 Otto went to the West End to see Howard McGhee (March 6, 1918– July 17, 1987) with his quintet:

Andy Bey (piano) and Howard McGhee (trumpet) at the West End,
N.Y.C., May 16, 1980. Photo by Otto Flückiger

Howard McGhee (trumpet) and Howard Kimbo (tenor) at the West End,
N.Y.C., May 16, 1980. Photo by Otto Flückiger

Otto also had his tape recorder with him that night and recorded a full set. What makes this recording so fascinating today is that it gives us a glimpse into the work of totally under recorded saxophone player Howard Kimbo. Kimbo originally came from Pittsburgh, and was a fixture on the N.Y.C. scene in the 1970s and 1980s. I have to admit that I do not know much about Kimbo, but the wonderful jazzclef website offers two oral history interviews with Kimbo remembering his days on the scene in Pittsburgh and New York.

Howard McGhee (hidden) and Howard Kimbo (tenor) at the West End,
N.Y.C., May 16, 1980. Photo by Otto Flückiger

So if you want to check out Howard Kimbo, here is the Howard McGhee Quintet playing Oscar Pettiford’s Blues In The Closet at the West End, N.Y.C., May 16, 1980 (the beginning of the theme is missing, I had to fade in). Besides McGhee and Kimbo you will hear Andy Bey (piano), Ernie Farrow (bass) and Julian Curtis (drums).

Enjoy!

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