A Thousand Honey Creeks Later: My Life in Music from Basie by Preston Love

By Preston Love

Preston Love's resume reads like a who is Who of yankee tune: member of the count number Basie Band in the course of its heyday within the 40s, studio musician in l. a., cohort of Jo Jones, Lester younger, Ray Charles, and Dizzy Gillespie, and back-up participant for Marvin Gaye, the enticements, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, and Stevie ask yourself. during this autobiography Love exhibits that, whereas the tune facilities of recent York, New Orleans, Chicago, and Kansas urban nurtured the improvement of these uniquely African American varieties, jazz and the Motown sound, major contributions have been additionally being made by way of territory bands tirelessly acting in outposts like St. Cloud, Minnesota, Guthrie, Oklahoma, and Honey Creek, Iowa.

It was once within the latter city the place Love, a 15-year-old from the black ghetto of Omaha, made his musical debut. Captivated by means of the candy alto sax sounds of Earle Warren, Love took up the tool and inside a decade used to be sitting in Warren's chair. yet Love's own odyssey is greater than a chronicle of unending bus rides, undesirable crowds in backwater golf equipment, and feast-or-famine funds persisted en path to the pinnacle. In a particular and passionate voice he outlines major elements of African American heritage: the vital significance of the kin in musical improvement, institutional racism in American pop culture, and the interracial nature of the song international. He additionally describes the expansion of the track undefined, specially Motown, what he calls "the robust colossus from Detroit." Love's tale, instructed with uncanny reminiscence and unfailing honesty, offers a big view into the occupation of a musician and the evolution of an important musical shape.

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Standard tunes in their entirety, and his reading had progressed to the point that he could play sixteenth notes if the tempo wasn't too speedy. Dodda's main difficulty came with syncopation. Most of the black instrumental students around Omaha who had reached the stage of development achieved by Dude and Dodda were by this time playing catchy chord changes and very nearly professional jazz solos, but ad-lib soloing and chord changes were not Dude's or Dodda's forte. After the acquisition of the tenor, Dodda continued to study and practice sporadically at Dude's urging, but Dodda found the practicing very tedious.

In Lake Tahoe, we members of the band hung out for several days with members of the Ray Charles band, which was also in town. Most of their talk was about how fantastic Preston Love sounded when Ray's band spent a night backstage listening to the Otis band at the North Sea (Holland) Festival. "Man, your Dad's alto really lit up that stage," one of them told me. "Norm, your Dad was my reason for standing backstage for Johnny's whole show on both nights. He sure is an underrated player," said another.

Dodda's tenor lay under the bed for months at a stretch before he would take it out and "doodle" on it occasionally. Upon his return to town, Dude had tried without success to rekindle Dodda's interest in the sax. After about a week of rehearsals, Webb and His Spiders hit the road in the Midwest. They would be gone for several days before returning, and during Dude's absence I began to take Dodda's tenor surreptitiously from under the bed and try my hand at blowing it. Dodda came home a few times while I was in the midst of toying with the horn, and he readily Page 12 showed me the notes on the instrument from its top to bottom, and he instructed me how to lip the mouthpiece to get a truer sound from it.

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