I'm back...with a good one.  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

I’m back. It’s been a tough season to maintain the blog. But I’m really excited to share this. This is a video I’d never seen before, but finding it brought a flood of memories back.

Several blogs ago I wrote about the passing of Joe Sperazza, the owner of the old Café Lido. This jazz club was such a vital part of my musical upbringing, and if you weren’t there, I have no way of describing how incredible that season and that place was. There was a vital jazz scene in Orange County back in the 1980s, thanks to this club.

This video was filmed at the original Cafe Lido (it moved to a newer, bigger location sometime around 1987-8). It features several of the musicians who, long before I deserved to share a stage with them, chose to take me under their wings. Most notably, saxophonist Wayne Wayne, who, when I first played with him I was probably the most nervous I’d ever been. He was truly a remarkable musician, far beyond the confines of our little O.C. Next, singer Alex (Alexandra) Taylor. A dazzling singer who thought more like a musician than most. She always made me feel welcome on the stage, even though I probably stepped all over her musically.

The song is Charlie Parker’s “Ornithology”. They play the melody, and then play Charlie's original improvised solo. Few people can play his music well, and fewer still can actually play his intricate solos note for note. Wayne not only makes it look easy, but Alex scats along with him note for note. Amazing. The video ends with Joe Sperazza. So nice to hear his voice again.

I’m not in the video. It was filmed in 1987, about three years after I started coming around. Can you imagine a 17 year old musician being welcomed into the fray by musicians like this? I owe these musicians so much (the other players are Eddie Ambrose/Piano, Ron "Iceman" Shoemake/Bass & Gary Wing/Drums.)

Please, watch this all the way through - you'll be richer for it.

What a great memory. I’ll never get over that great time in my life.

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 at Saturday, November 22, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

1 comments

Great to have you back on line again, Tony. Great video. You've had a very interesting life in music. And meet some very interesting and talented musicians.

11/24/2008 7:34 AM

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