The focus in this installment is on Ron Free, a musician considered the ‘house drummer’ at the Loft. (Originally aired November 21, 2009)
Free tells us how he lived then, barely getting by, staying on Gene Smith’s couch for months at a time, playing jazz every night. He relates his story of drug addiction and his eventual realization that if he didn’t leave NY he might succumb completely to the addict’s life. We learn that these tapes are the proof for him that he did play well, that he did live a life aside from drugs — that he did not ‘invent’ his own story. We hear some of the tapes featuring Free. With Ron Free, Jim Hall, Steve Swallow, Jimmy Stevenson, Mose Allison, other musicians who knew him and played with him.
The Jazz Loft Project Radio Series was supported in part by a grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities; and by an award from The National Endowment for the Arts.