[Harp-L] Re: Meyers/Below "Off the Wall"
Fascinating stuff, Mick. Thanks.
Sent from my iPhone
On Jul 11, 2015, at 4:43 PM, "Mick Zaklan" <mzaklan@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hi Bob,
> Thanks for taking a peek at the post. The Sonny Stitt/Aces gig was in a African-American club on Chicago's south side trying to get a live music scene going. The Aces (Meyers brothers and Fred Below) told me they knew Sonny from way back. I think either they or the club owner enticed Stitt to play the room. I suspect the Aces backed up Sonny for the pleasure of it and as a way to save the owner some money. I doubt there was any rehearsal. Standards were a kind of common musical language. I saw Stitt three or four times back then, including a birthday party thrown for him in a club where a practically mummified Stepin Fetchit did a standup comedy routine as part of the festivities. I never saw Sonny carry his own band with him. Bumblebee Bob Novak once told me that Louis Meyers "always wanted to be Kenny Burrell." Louis used that same muffled tone and did a solid job on the standards that evening. But Below knocked me out with his drum accents.
> The Aces seemed angry that they had been type-cast as a blues band and that nobody seemed interested in hearing them play other kinds of music. Or even hearing them on their own, without a front-man. I tried pumping them for Little Walter info but, at that time, they didn't seem to want to give Walter any credit. Johnny Young told me once he had seen Walter put his arm around Louis after a set, lead him into corner and slap the guitarist across the face for a musical mistake. I hasten to add that Young had a tendency to exaggerate so I don't know if the story was true. But it might explain the Aces not wanting to talk about Little Walter. At least to me.
> Mick Zaklan
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