[78-L] Gene Lees R.I.P.

Taylor Bowie bowiebks at isomedia.com
Sun Apr 25 10:34:59 PDT 2010

Thanks for sharing this with us,  Jeff...much appreciated.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jeff Sultanof" <jeffsultanof at gmail.com>
To: "78-L Mail List" <78-l at klickitat.78online.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2010 4:57 AM
Subject: Re: [78-L] Gene Lees R.I.P.

>I wrote this for another list. Thought I'd share it.
> Gene was a very close friend of mine. I am deeply saddened by his death.
> I thought of writing something about him for publication, but I don't 
> think
> I will for many reasons. He was very special to me; he gave me several
> opportunities to write for the Jazzletter, and his feedback made me a much
> better writer. He gave me an opportunity to write orchestral arrangements
> that he ultimately used in concerts with Roger Kellaway. He talked me up 
> to
> a lot of my heroes, so that when I was in California, they opened their
> doors to me, in some cases asking me to sort out their copyright affairs. 
> He
> introduced me to Marion Evans, one of the finest arrangers and teachers on
> the planet. There were times when we would be up half the night listening 
> to
> records or just discussing music and politics. He never became an American
> citizen, and told me how good the Canadian health care system was.
> He was also a brilliant writer of prose and lyrics, one of the finest of 
> our
> time. His big problem was that he made as many enemies as friends with his
> verbal comments and articles.
> One story I will relate. He was asked to address some organization like 
> the
> jazz record collectors. Right before the presentation, somebody came up to
> him and commented that he loved Gene's book on Woody Herman. "But you 
> know,
> Mr. Lees, you made a mistake on a recording date in your discography," and
> proceeded to tell him that such-and-such title was take 4, not take 3. 
> Gene
> said, "I hope you returned the book to the bookstore and asked for your
> money back. And please don't buy my books anymore, because you obviously
> didn't understand what I was trying to do." He went on stage and for an 
> hour
> held these hard-core collectors spellbound. Even now I think this is
> hysterical.
> Jeff Sultanof
> On Sun, Apr 25, 2010 at 1:38 AM, Taylor Bowie <bowiebks at isomedia.com> 
> wrote:
>> I just read a tribute to jazz writer Gene Lees in   The Washington Post,
>> but have no details other than he recently passed away.
>> Here is the link:
>> http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postmortem/2010/04/gene-lees-jazz-writer.html?hpid=news-col-blog
>> Taylor
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