Clive Wilson: Time of my Life

"Wow, wow, wow! He knew everybody!" That was my impression through the first half of Clive Wilson's new memoir about chasing his love of traditional jazz to New Orleans and eventually settling down there. From his days as a public school boy in England listening to Bunk Johnson records, through pages and pages of connections to everyone in British trad and then the old guard of New Orleans, it seemed a most improbable story. Told not boastfully but certainly with a will not to leave anyone out. It was only when he hitch hikes north to Chicago, catching a  ride with the Salty Dogs of Indiana, and stays briefly in the home of Delmark records founder Bob Koester on his way to Connecticut to join Sammy Rimington in Big Bill Bissonnette's Easy Riders that it occurs to me that not much has changed! The traditional jazz world is small and tight knit, friendly then as it is now. Today's young (and old) musicians are making hops around the world, connected in a similar network of truly amazing people. Fans, collectors, and musicians still find each other. The folks who stay in one place united by those who won't stay planted. I was frequently amused to see the names of people I've communicated with mentioned, not a few of them subscribers. New Orleans remains a mecca to them all.  That trumpet player you pass on Royal St. could be from Budapest, Wisconsin, or anywhere in between. Sc
You've read three articles this month! That makes you one of a rare breed, the true jazz fan!

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Joe Bebco is the Associate Editor of The Syncopated Times and Webmaster of SyncopatedTimes.com

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