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Here’s a story posted by Denis DiBlasio on the old MF Forum
The Low Note Gag
Joe Barati is an unbelievable bass trombonist and a great guy. He can peg a low note so strong and centered it can be beautiful and shake the fillings in you teeth at the same time. He’s just the best.
Boss couldn’t pass up the chance to put on somebody. Practical jokes to him would be like like brushing your teeth to anyone else.
One time Boss had a dressing room that had a little window in the door that connected to a major hallway. This was in a high school. Usually there would be a piece of paper covering the window so he couldn’t be seen walking around in his underwear. So he takes off the paper and pulls Barati into his dressing room. He hides Joe in a spot where he can’t be seen from the window. Joe plays some crazy low (and i mean low) note while Maynard stands in view of the window and mimes with his horn like he’s playing this quadruple ledger line pedal bass clef almost our of the range of hearing low note. I mean this note was so low you could hear the individual flapping of the lips.
Now out in the hallway the kids where all screaming and slapping each other fives. “Wow, he can play low too”. “Man those pedal tones are great” “I can’t do that”. Man it was funny. Maynard never let on that it was Joe. When Boss walked down the hallway to the stage the crowd parted like the Red Sea we were all cracking up. One kid actually said, “Maynard is the greatest low note trumpet player I ever heard”.
Here’s another story posted by Denis DiBlasio on the old MF Forum –
Who’s In Charge?
So at Storyville once Al is on stage you would think something would be happening. Well pros aren’t always good rehearsers they’re trained to give it up for the performance. So all these guys are on stage and nothing is happening. The producer is hovering around a mental breakdown. Ed and I are checking all of it out.
So the producer goes to Chuck M and asks “Your a leader, you have a band. will you run this?’ Well Chuck made the smart move and said ‘no way’. So the the producer goes to Boss “Maynard your a leader you have a band, will you lead this?. And Boss says the best thing ever. He says “Ahh I don’t think anybody up here is going to tell Dizzy Gillespie what to do, sorry”. Ok. So the producer goes to Diz and asks him to lead and Dizzy says, “We’re all pros up here nobody has to point fingers”. Ha! The producer’s face went white. All this talent and nobody will take charge, add a producer who knows nothing about jazz and he has to get Sarah Vaughn up there for her spot and nobodys going to touch that one. This producer was so lost. He must have been used to dealing with kids or something. Here we are with a stage full of legends and all they want to do is talk and eat. The guys in the band where just watching it unfold. It was something. You could have put battery cables on this prodicer’s ears and jump started a bus he was so wired.
The best part is, this producer is on the brink of losing it and no none has even played a note yet. Ha!
Another story posted by Denis DiBlasio on the old MF Forum
Boss loved all the trumpet greats. Clark, Clifford, Bix, Bunny, Freddie, Doc, Dizzy, all of them. Never any negative energy towards any of them, never. In fact they were all his heroes. He wished he could do what they all did, whatever it was they were great in. I always thought that was one of the core things about Boss. Here’s a guy who redefined a certain aspect of trumpet playing and he was in awe of what his buddies were doing. Very special.
So I ask him, what was Clifford (Brown) like? “Ah Brownie, he was just the most sweetest, nicest guy in the world. He played just the way he was. He just flowed. I mean as a person he flowed. He was a natural and pleasant man. It’s the only way I can describe him. He played the way he was. Just a beautiful person. Yeah we all miss him”
I thought that was something special.