A Letter from Ivan, retired musician,survivor of mouth cancer

Dear Mr. Sherman,
I read your article about Benny and I completely agree. Although I spent most of my professional life conducting in the company of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Brahms, Verdi, et al, I never divorced from my roots in school bands, and later professional dance gigs. And I never forgot, and still marvel at the magnificent artistry of Goodman and Shaw. The tone, intonation, ideas, and phrasing are incomparable. Many stuffed -shirt musicians do not recognize the kinship of great classical music and great classical jazz. The embodiment of both is anacrusis, upbeat phrasing, cross-bar, cross-beat. Jazz musicians know NOT to play a group of eighth notes evenly, or in strict dotted followed by sixteenth rhythm, but somewhere in-between. And that, among other things, is what drives the music to “swing”. The same sort of understanding is demanded by Bach. One would NEVER play consequtive Bach triplets accenting the first of each. Oversimplification? Yes. Truth? Also yes.

And we have the recordings of Benny and Artie. Wow! And we have Pete Fountain, Eddie Daniels, Larry Combs. And I have Buddy DiFranco and his charming wife living in my town. And I was recently introduced to the fabulous playing of Allan Vache’. My cup runneth over!

All the best, Ivan

Always nice to hear from this gentleman

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