Chuck Manning’s pad

(2014)

Another way hip bash at Chuck Manning’s pad in Altadena last nite….zillions of jazzers—players, fans, scenesters, stoners, hipsters, physicists, lushes, artists, crazy Russians, identical twins and no writers almost—hanging and listening and insulting and playing and smoking stogies out to yar. Tales of clubs and players gone by. So long Jim Szilagyi. So many stories, some maybe true even. So many more opinions, some maybe stupid even. They talk, you ponder and soon you’re in the stars overhead with no idea how you got there. People talked of Mars. People who knew. I listened. Sometimes you just listen. At other tables egos were dragged through the coals and kicked across the yard, you’d better be prepared to talk at some of these tables, and be funny. Tequila flowed by the bottle. The longer the minds steeped, the more intense the banter. Hanging with the serious players is a contact sport mentally and beautiful. Not for the gentle. This ain’t no cocktail party shit. The music was amazing…for a couple hour stretch early on the jamming was intense and heavy and Zoubovian, or it swung hard, and you couldn’t believe you heard jazz like that at a party in Altadena or anywhere, just sitting outside yammering with jamming like that inside. We’d shut up for a minute and listen. Wow. But inexorably as the nite wore on the talent was diluted as drunker amateurs got up the nerve and the session went belly up in bad noodling. The heavies were getting pissed and were all set to bounce their talentless asses out of the room Joe Jones style, throwing people out the door bodily….but Chuck interceded and the noodlers split, smiling, unaware of how close they came. Non-confrontational, that Chuck Manning. No big lug he. No wonder everybody loves him. Big lugs were present tho’, ready for action. It got down to Matt Gordy, Chris Conner, Theo Saunders and Chuck Manning, and it was perfect and real again, and we sat and listened and thought of Charlie O’s and wondered where it had all gone.

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