Sara Fishko is an Executive Producer and Host at WNYC, specializing in culture.
In this extra for Episode 9, hear interview excerpts from Ron Free and Teddy Charles while viewing a selection of W. Eugene Smith's photographs.
Another ‘non-story’ episode featuring more extended tape. Featured in the episode are performances by Chick Corea in the Loft, as well as engaging conversations and jam sessions captured by Smith’s recordings.
Photos: © 1957 - 1965, 2009 The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith
Audio: Jazz Loft audio clips courtesy Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.
The above jam session features Dave Frishberg, Dave McKenna, Bill Takas, Fred Greenwell, and Ronnie Free.
For one period of time I kinda holed up in Gene Smith’s loft. Didn’t even go out, didn’t listen to records, just stayed there and played with whoever showed up, and stayed there and jammed for like, I dunno, several weeks without ever going out and hearing anybody else.”
Whereas horn players and pianists and so forth, and violinists, they practice scales, drummers practice rudiments. There’s 26 of ‘em, and they’re basically different hand movements. There’s a single stroke-roll, for example, right-left-right-left-right-left…there’s a double-stroke-roll, as you might guess, right-right, left-left, right-right; and you work into various speeds and so forth, and there’s press rolls and open rolls, there’s five-stroke rolls and seven-stroke rolls and nine-stroke rolls, 13-stroke rolls, then there’s the ratamacue and paradiddle, singles and doubles and triples, flamadiddle. We read music, too. We learn quarter notes and half notes. We don’t read pitches, but we do read the rhythmic value. So we have tolearn all that stuff.
The real excitement about jazz is taking chances. Whether you make it or not, you try for something even if it doesn’t happen. And that’s what makes jazz really exciting.”