A while after I out up some music featuring legendary alto saxophonist Clarence “C” Sharpe in this posting, canadian born multiinstrumentalist Phil Dwyer contacted me, writing that he found a tape fom Jerry Thomas’ loft including Sharpe and Sonny Fortune on alto sax, Steve Grossman and Phil Dwyer himself on tenor. Hakim Jamil was playing bass, Jerry Thomas was playing the drums. Phil did not know the pianist and did not get to know him later, so he does not know his name.
Here is what Phil wrote to me about this session:
It took place in a loft in Brooklyn belonging to Jerry Thomas and his wife (Mary??). Anyway this was back in 1983 or so (could have been early 1984), during a time where I was living in New York and hanging out a lot with Steve Grossman. As I remember, late one afternoon I hopped in a cab with Grossman to go to Jerry Thomas’ loft for a session. I think it may have been in the Red Hook area, just based on my recollection of the route we took. Anyway I remember it being a nice big, welcoming space, Jerry’s wife made some food for us, it was comfortable. Tough neighbourhood.
Phil Dwyer around 1984/1985. Courtesy Phil Dwyer
I would have just turned 18 at the time this tape was made. I don’t remember recording it, but maybe Steve did and gave it to me. I had been spending way too much time with Grossman and at the time this tape was made I recall being under the influence of [different stuff] (…)
“C” was generally up for a party, at the time he was the same age I am now (46) but had a lot of street miles on him. He totally lit it up on these two tunes though. I hadn’t heard him play before this, but we ended up hanging out a bit in the year or so after this.
Phil was so generous to allow me to post 45 minutes of music from that evening on my blog. You hear the band playing two long tracks.
First we have the standard “Star Eyes”, with the following solo order:
Sharpe, Grossman, Fortune, Dwyer, unknown pianist, Hakim
The second tune is Miles Davis’ composition “Vierd Blues”. The order of soloists:
Sharpe, Dwyer, Fortune, Grossman (fade out)
I know that there are many people out there who cherish every newly found music featuring Clarence C Sharpe and this here is a very fine example indeed, also as regarding the other musicians and last but not least the sound quality which really is fine regarding the circumstances. So my heartfelt thanks go out to Phil Dwyer!