April 18, 1981: What’s happening in N.Y.C.?

In 1979, 1980 and 1981 my friend, the late Otto Flückiger, spent some days in New York City to check out the jazz scene and to document the concerts he witnessed. And as regular readers know, I am sometimes presenting some of the sounds and pictures he brought back here.

April 18, 1980 was a friday and when it got later in the day, Otto was eager to hear some good music. And if he started early, he would well be able to change clubs and maybe hear a second band.

His mind seemed set on something earthy played with a lot of blues feeling, so he made his way to the West End on Broadway near Columbia where guess who was playing. Maybe some of you are able to recognize the tenor player from this small excerpt? Unfortunately I do not have any of the other band member’s names.

Otto must have liked this band, as he had seen it already a few days earlier. I have the impression that Otto must have spend the last two photos on his roll of film on the sax player. There are two photos of him taken on this day in his files – and none of the other band members.

After having heard enough of this music, Otto was in the mood for something more out there. So he left the West End and made his way out to the Hurrah Club (most probably) where a large band was playing whose music he had been loving for years. Unfortunately there are no photographs of the goings-on at the Hurrah. But you will find out right away who is playing here:

And sorry, there are no points for guessing the second band.


5 Responses to “April 18, 1981: What’s happening in N.Y.C.?”

  1. I think: Big Nicholas on Blues and the Sun Ra Orchestra with Marshal Allen soloing.

  2. The tenor sax player sounded a lot like Illinois Jacquet in the first few choruses, but I think it’s someone influenced by him. Three guesses: Eddie Chamblee or Percy France or Willis Jackson. The large band is of coure the Sun Ra Orchestra.
    Bo Scherman

  3. George "Guenti" Schmid Says:

    In 1980, one Saturday afternoon I returned from shopping with my wife and daughter to our appartment on Central Park West, right opposite the Lincoln Center and when we got home (29thy floor) we heard Jazz coming from the outdoor areana of the center. My wife said : why don’t you go down and see.

    I sat down in the middle of the rows and after a while, I heard Schytzerduetsch and I turned round, and it was Otti and wife!

    Well, we spend a few days together and he introduced me to Percy France who became a friend. Otti was at the time interested in the “inbetween-men” i.e. between Swing and Bop.

    We then renewed our friendship.

  4. Congratulations, again, Bo! This was Willis Jackson, indeed!

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