From the beginning my family has been a major force in my development as a musician. Hearing the sound of my dad’s horn from the bathroom where he practiced had my ears from Day One. I was completely taken by his sound! All I wanted was the play the Saxophone!
In the years to follow my dream as a young boy started to come true. My Mom and Aunt Rose were my main audience as I would prepare my lessons for “T.” They would hear me studying a certain tune and ask me to play it for them; they knew all the tunes I was trying to learn. I started developing a little repetoire as I studied theory and the techniques of my instruments.
My dad first started taking me to some of of his gigs and sessions from time to time at the age of 13. I would listen and maybe sit in on tune or two at the end of the night. This is when I first met Bill Gidney, Paul Bunion, Hank Gerr, Bill DeArango, Ace Carter, Tony Haynes, Emil Boyd, Chink Stevenson and Eddie Baccus, to name a few. I was All Ears! These musicians played with the greatest spirit and heart, and I had only heard that from records. They all became my teachers in one way or another…I love them all.
Recording this session was another dream come true. I had just recorded my first LP as a leader for Soul Note Records and had a record party in the studio in Cleveland with my family and friends. To celebrate we had a jam session and just called tunes and had some fun.
It turned out to be the last time Big T played in the studio. I’m very proud to share these rare moments with you. “T” lived to play for the people and he always will.