Marshall Brown: Too emotional and too nervous to lead a band (Quote: Ruud Jacobs).
Back in the US Marshall Brown started to build his band. In some previous blogs I introduced you to the European musicians, that were invited to join the International Youth Band for Newport 1958: The brass section, the reed players and the rhythm section.
Newport 58: De geboorte van Babel's band (Nederlands) | Newport '58: Babel Band's Birth (English) | Newport '58: De slag om Newport (Nederlands) | Newport '58: The Battle of Newport (English) | Newport '58: Babel's Band brass section (English) | Newport '58: De kopersectie van de Toren van Babelband (Nederlands) | Newport '58: The reed section of the International Youth Band (English) | Newport '58: De rietblazers van The International Youth Band (Nederlands) | Newport '58: The rhythm section of the Babel's Band ( English) | Newport '58: De ritmesectie van de toren van Babelband (Nederlands) | Newport '58: Een Babylonische spraakverwarring (Nederlands) | Newport '58: A Tower of Babel ( English) | Newport '58: Paul Duynhouwer herinnert de International Youth Band (Nederlands) | Newport '58: Paul Duynhouwer remembers the International Youth Band (English) | Newport '58: Het optreden op het festival (Nederlands) | Newport '58: The Newport concerts (English) | Newport '58: Optreden in Blokker (Nederlands) | Newport '58: The Blokker concert (English) | Newport '58: De wereldtentoonstelling in Brussel (Nederlands) | The Brussels World Exposition ( English)
In June 1958 Marshall Brown returned to Brussels (Belgium) to welcome the members at a first meeting. Seventeen musicians were selected and fourteen of them travelled to Brussels: Palle Bolvig from Denmark, Roger Guerin from France, Dusko Gojkovic from former Yugoslavia, José Manuel Magelhais from Portugal, Christian Kellens from Belgium, Kurt Jarnberg from Sweden, Erich Kleinschuster and Hans Salomon from Austria, Albert Mangelsdorff from Germany, Bernt Rosengren from Sweden, Ronnie Ross from England, piano player George Gruntz, who recently passed away from Switzerland, Gilberto Cuppini from Italy and Dutch bass player Ruud Jacobs.
Brussels Airport (called Zavetem Airport), opened officially July 1958 due to the Expo 1958, the Brussels World's Fair.
Ruud remembers that he travelled from Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam) to the new Zavetem airport, which would open officially the 5th of July, 1958, just in time for the 1958 Brussels World's Fair. The Polish saxophonist Jan Wroblewski had taken an earlier airplane by mistake and Spanish alto saxophonist Wladimiro Zabache had missed his connections en route to Belgium. Guitarist Gabor Szabo would join the orchestra in the New York, as he lived in the States as a political refugee. The flight to New York City, with some stop-overs, all went off well, Ruud remembers.
Tony Scott ( source: Rhythme nº 98 (1957))
The band was presented itself at a meeting with the press at the New York Idlewild Airport, where it arrived early in the morning, welcomed by the Tony Scott Quintet. Ruud remembers that he was surprised by the warm reception of the Tony Scott Quintet ... When they left the airplane one of the musicians had shouted: Hey Ruud, look who's there .... Tony Scott! Ruud knew Tony well, as he had accompanied him ( together with his brother Pim at the piano and Wessel Ilcken on drums) at a concert in the Concordia studios in Bussum April 1957. Tony Scott had just finished a series of gigs at the Black Pearl, featuring trombonist Jimmy Knepper and guitarist Kenny Burrell. Marshall Brown remembers .... Although jazz musicians are used to play at unholy hours, 5.00 am was even for Tony Scott's Quintet members an unearthly hour ... to make it in time to blow them in.
Ruud Jacobs in New York 1958 ( photo courtesy: Ruud Jacobs)
They were checked in at the Beverly Hotel (NYC) and the rehearsals would start .. in earnests ..... C.G. Conn Musical Instruments sponsored the band with new instruments, but Ruud Jacobs, as he told me, had brought his own bass, which would sold to Paul Chambers a few years later while in Holland for a series of concerts.
|Dusko met Dizzy|
Marshall Brown (1958)
Ruud Jacobs remembered the first days, while interviewed by Pieter Sweens of the Dutch Rhythme magazine, Maandblad voor Jazz-, Dans-, en Amusementsmuziek (Sep.- Oct. 1958): Inderdaad viel 't de eerste dagen niet mee. Je kende geen van je kollega's(sic), 't land overrompelde je en de repetities van 't orkest waren nogal strubbelig. (= The first days weren't as easy. You didn't know your colleagues and being in the States for the very first time was an experience and the rehearsals of the band were rather hectic .....). One of the reasons were the language problems, but also Brown's mediocre communication skills. Lag dat aan die spreekwoordelijke Babylonische spraakverwarring? ( = Was that a Tower of Babel?), Pieter Sweens wondered .. Ten dele (= Partly), Ruud explained ....
|John La Porta (bron: Berklee)|
Maar de hoofdoorzaak was Marshall Brown, een man die eigenlijk te emotioneel en te nerveus was om zo'n orkest te leiden. ( = The main cause was Marshall Brown, who was too emotional and too nervous to lead such a band). Ik kan me voorstellen dat sommige musici daar heftig op reageerden, maar ik kan me ook Brown's gevoelens indenken. (= I can imagine that some members of the band reacted on that, but at the other hand I feel some sympathy for Brown's feelings). En later? ( and later?) the journalist asked ... Wel, na een paar dagen was dat over. ( Well, after a few days the problems at the start-up phase seemed to have gone). Ruud remembered that he was disappointed about the arrangements. De arrangementen vielen me wat tegen, maar 't orkest klonk na enkele keren erg goed. ( = At first I wasn't satisfied with the arrangements, but after a few rehearsals the band sounded pretty good) Bernt Rosengren, however, is less positive: Till råga på allt var arrangementen rent ruskiga, specieltt dom av John La Porta. ( = On top of this, the arrangements, especially those by John La Porta, were a mess.).
There were some more things that caused frictions between the organisation and the group to be told in a next contribution (to be continued).
Thanks to Stephan Veil, Ruud Jacobs and Jørgen Larsen for their kind support.
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Finally ..... June 1958 - Brussels Airport Zavetem: The trip to Newport would start for fourteen excited young European musician, including Dutch bass player Ruud Jacobs ... They all hoped to make it in The States, but the start - the first rehearsals - were rather disappointing ... Marshall Brown: A moody, nervous band leader who built a Tower of Babel.
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