Your Anecdotes

HOW I GOT TO KNOW PEOPLE – As promised, here is another (sorry, not really “shorter” as promised) story: A few months before my future wife, Odile, and I moved to NYC, we took a brief trip from St. Louis up to Chicago to see the Joffrey Ballet. This would be back in about 1971. Well, it was sensational! At that time, many groups were experimenting with Jazz/Rock Fusion, and the Joffrey Ballet was presenting a choreography to Rock music, featuring a “live” Rock group and a precocious, young, left handed drummer. (I didn’t register on his name at the time). However, I was pretty thrilled by this event, and just joking around with Odile on the drive back, I said something like, “Wouldn’t it be great if my next Rock piece could feature a drummer like that!” About two years later, after our move to the Big Apple, I went to the Village Vanguard to hear Chick Corea’s exciting but controversial new group, called Return To Forever, featuring a super fast, high register electric bass player named Stanley Clarke and a talented, young, LEFT HANDED drummer named……….. Lenny White!
At least as far as my music is concerned, the rest was history. I employed him immediately to record on my newest piece, Septet Extended, which came out later on my album “Somesville”.
Just a brief footnote: It was inspiring at the time to listen to Lenny White and Jan Hammer talk about the new Fusion groups that they were instrumental in forming then (Lenny White – RTF, Jan Hammer – Mahavishnu Orchestra). Lenny would rave on about the high level of group interaction and intensity, comparing it to the Knick’s basketball team of the day, and Jan could barely hold on to the steering wheel as we were driving up the F.D.R.,
talking as if this would be the next great event in history, and that John McLaughlin (group leader) knew in advance exactly what he wanted with his new group, Mahavishnu Orchestra, as if born spontaneously from the head of Zeus! (not those exact words, but definitely the feeling).

One Response to “Your Anecdotes”

  1. Carl Says:

    I met Lenny White around that time too. What a great drummer! I never knew he did this gig with the Joffrey. Keep the stories coming !

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