A Reunion at the Bach

Reunion at the Bach

Yesterday saw a sold-out show at The Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society in Half Moon Bay. A trio of Bruce Forman, John Clayton, and Jeff Hamilton gave us all a treat. Throughout the show, in addition to fabulous music, we got a jazz history lesson.

Each of these senior musicians told us how they started in the business and who their mentors had been. Among others, Bruce: Barney Kessel; John Clayton: Ray Brown; Jeff Hamilton: Shelly Manne. To my ears, the stories and history were as good as the music.

What blew me away was the information that Bruce was playing Barney Kessel’s guitar (Kessel died in 2004), and John was playing Ray Brown’s bass (Brown died in 2002).

Enter: Photography. As it turns out, I had photographed each of these musicians at the Monterey Jazz Festival sometime in the near to distant past. I made a print for each one and presented the photos to Barbara, the club owner, to give to the musicians. My hope was, they would all say, “Amazing. Bring that talented photographer to the Green Room so we can meet him.” Hmmm, didn’t happen. Here are the photos:

Bruce Forman

John Clayton

Jeff Hamilton

During the intermission, Mary and I talked to Bruce whom we knew from times in the past when he played at several of our PowerSpeaking events.

I reminded Bruce I play drums. He said, “Hey wanna sit in after the break?” I said, “Of course, but I didn’t bring my sticks.” We both acknowledged that was too bad, and had a big laugh.

It was an unforgettable show with lots of memories. BTW, if you are a jazz fan, you might want to put The Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society on your “don’t miss” list. Without question, the best jazz club I’ve ever been too, including the Jazz Workshop, The Village Vanguard, The Both And, Keystone Korner, the Black Hawk, and El Matador.

4 thoughts on “A Reunion at the Bach

  1. Susan Page says:

    Oh that all sounds like GREAT fun. I’m sure the musicians loved the photos, even if you did not get to hear that in person from them. Thanks for the report!

  2. Bob Kremers says:

    Wish I’d been there. I think it was Bruce Foreman at one of your pre-MJF get togethers. You know how to pickum.

  3. Barbara Riching says:

    What a great write-up and I love the picture of you and Bruce! Also, thank you for the shout out to the Bach. As you know my dad, Pete Douglas, created this wonderful place. And I just cannot let it go with it’s wonderful history…almost 60 years of presenting world class music….and unique setting. Knowing that people like you appreciate it too, really helps!!

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