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Entries in Philly Jazz (3)


NEW Updated Version: - Friends and Colleagues



On May 28 2013,

I received a very interesting message at our website from Pandy Olmstead.

Pandy Olmstead:   “My uncle was Joe Glaser...I grew up with all these greats,

 knowing them on a personal level. They came to our house for dinner, especially Pops (Louis Armstrong) Velma Middleton, Trummy Young and Earl'Fatha'Hines ... I was backstage or on the piano bench during the shows. Still have letters they wrote from the road and terrific photographs. I now photograph the "pop icons" when they are in town . . .I would be happy to share.”   


Since the opportunity of meeting Joe Glaser early in my career back in the 1960s, I dedicated (page #185) from my published book “Jazz Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow” . . . In addition to my friend and colleague Larry Bennett, (Theatrical Agent & music producer) who began his working career with the notable & famed Associated Booking Corporation (ABC) owned by Joe Glaser.  I contacted Pandy, in order to explain the mission of  has been created as a platform in “Keeping Mainstream Jazz Alive.” And I would be happy and privledged to share the material from her collection to all our visitors, in addition to her personal reflections with many Jazz icons and celebrities from past decades that will always be remembered as “The Ladies & Gentlemen of Jazz.”

I wanted to know how she was able to find our website, and she quickly responded with the following message:

Pandy Olmstead:

"Okay, how did I happen on your website?  I was googling Louis and my uncle as I've been told someone is doing a one-man show about them in NYC.  I wanted to see the accuracy of the information."



Tenor Sax & Organ Trios:
  In the 1990s, where improvised music seems to be the norm, the classic sound of the tenor sax and organ jazz combos seem to be a thing of the past. For the moment let us take a trip back to the 1950s, '60s, and '70s to revisit the popular jazz artists of those times.
Beginning in the 1950s, Duke Ellington, Benny Carter and Stan Kenton represented the refinement and gentlemen's approach to jazz. Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and Woody Herman were swingin' their bands cross-country in ballrooms, concert halls, and supper clubs to sold-out audiences. A number of musicians who were sidemen in many of these well known big bands branched off, became leaders of their own small combos, and explored definite musical styles of their own. Many of these combos consisted of only 3, 4, 5, or six men and utilized a piano rhythm section with a tenor sax or trumpet lead.
Until these smaller groups became popular, the Hammond B-3 organ played a very small part as a basic ingredient to swingin' jazz. A virtual unknown, Les Strand, pioneered playing Be-Bop on the instrument, as far back as the early 1940s, and recorded several albums for the Fantasy label in the 1950s.
The organ trio, quartet or quintets consisting of organ, tenor sax, drums, guitar and trumpet would make economic sense for small club owners. The versatility of the B-3 organ foot pedals meant that a bass player would not need to be hired. This eliminated the extra cost of another musician.
The mid-1950s through the early 1970s saw the emergence of smaller jazz nightclubs that were able too showcase many musicians in one night. Many primarily hired the groups that used the B-3 organ.
These places could accommodate approximately 75-200 people who sat around an oval bar or in nearby booths and tables enjoying the music that was performed. The music played, was not the traditional jazz of earlier years. Some jazz aficionados and critics might even have deemed it rhythm & blues, meaning it was uncreative and the musical talents were limited.
**** Let us not forget . . .
however, some of the musicians and performers that held reign at these smaller clubs and played "down-home" crowd-pleasing music, went on to become prominent jazz artists and poll winners of the future. In some cases, their names and musical accomplishments went together like bacon and eggs.
Unlike the West Coast cool-jazz scene and progressive music that was making its debut during the late fifties, these smaller clubs that featured these types of small combos were known as the "Chitlins Circuit."


 They featured Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Stanley Turrentine, ShirleyScott, Kenny Burrell, Jimmy Smith, Horace Silver, Doc Bagby, Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt, Brother Jack McDuff, Richard "Groove" Holmes, Bill Doggett featuring sax man Clifford Scott plus vocalists Dinah Washington, Gloria Lynne, Arthur Prysock and Joe Williams.

As the organ combos gained popularity during the late fifties many record labels took notice of how much their audiences were enjoying this type of sound. Prestige Records, Atlantic, Okeh, Chess, and King Records, among others, recorded and distributed the singles, albums and recorded music catalogs of the above artists and their funky, houserockin' rhythm & blues