About twenty years ago I was listening to a Big Band rehearsal for a concert with Sam River’s music, the host of the masterclass that I was attending. It turned out that one tenor player was missing and with me hanging out in the doorway, that problem was easily solved and I joined the band for that evening’s concert. For once I have been literally at right time at the right place.
Then, this gig was way out of my league and I found myself sitting in amongst Sam Rivers, Herb Geller, Joe Gallardo and a trumpet/flugelhorn player named Bobby Shew. That was my first time seeing and hearing him live in person, and I still remember how I was blown away from his playing.
Now years later the Oulu All Stars Big Band performed with him and I again had the honour and pleasure to play with him. Again, I was equally impressed by his playing and I had a blast listening to stories and playing for a few days.
He was talking about his days with Woody Herman, Tommy Dorsey and Buddy Rich. It was just great and I learned a great deal during just the three days with him. An absolute honour.
Funnily he did remember the gig with Sam Rivers (of course not me) twenty years ago.