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Monthly Archives: February 2010

Village Vanguard ’95 at the bar with Hi…

Village Vanguard ’95 at the bar with Hilton Ruiz. We were playing with David Murray and the house was big. DD Jackson started the gig for one night at the piano (Tuesday) but he had an emergency health problem in his family…Damn, David found Hilton! This was my 1st time (out of 3 now) performing on the Vanguard stage and (please remember) for a guy from Montana, it was a bit tumultuous when I took the case off the bass and sat in the legends shoes on that stage…I almost dropped the instrument. Anyway, Hilton said to me, “Kelly, why do you stay in Montana when you play this music so real?”. I thought for an instant and said “Why did you come to New York to play with me, of all people, at the Village Vanguard?”.

1983 or ’84…still trying to figure th…

1983 or ’84…still trying to figure that out. I was walking through a local park with Sonny Rollins who was waiting for me and my trio to give him a ride back to his hotel. He came for a soundcheck and caught my trios performance on center stage. He said, “Kelly, I haven’t even heard Cherokee for over a decade and that was burnin’, keep playing all of the music. I loved it. Can we get out of here now?”…who could blame him?

The Murray/Roberti Project

Enjoy this entire concert from my personal archives, a live performance with my dear friend, the legendary saxophonist David Murray and relentless percussionist Brad Edwards at Vargo’s Jazz City and Books in Bozeman, MT, in 1998. I have toured and recorded with David many times over the last 19 years and I hope to get out with him again soon. This is dedicated to my old buddy, a friend who made much happen for me, the late and missed Bob Garner.
The complete performance is below, scroll down to see all titles.

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Was playing with Eddie Harris for 4 nigh…

Was playing with Eddie Harris for 4 nights at a club in Kansas City called the Boulevard Beat and the gentleman that ran the club (Charlie Sloan) treated us like kings…Kevin Mahogany was the bouncer for the club then, yet to realize himself as one historic jazz figure. One night after a gig we drove up to Bryant’s and got some barbecue to set us back for a while and talked about the Sugar Ray Leonard/Tommy Hearns fight that was coming up on our next day off. We wondered where we could see it as it was pay per view or close circuit only. We found out it was being shown on HUGE screens at Kemper Arena and we got tickets right away. The day of the fight we were excited to attend something rather than to wonder if anyone would attend our show. We had some beers and brauts from concession and were having a party watching the fight and there was a point near the end that Eddie spoke up loudly and said “hit ’em with your right”….Hearns hit Sugar with a failed left…Eddie said even more adamantly, “NO, THE OTHER RIGHT!”…I spit my beer on the guy in front of me and dropped my hotdog on the floor.

I was a young boy, probably between the …

I was a young boy, probably between the 3rd and 4th grade in school, getting up early to get on my Stingray bike and jaunt a few miles to the swimming pool in Glendive, MT. I was so excited because I was asked to tryout by coach Goddard for the grown up kids swimming team, I was good. I could swim like a dolphin and dive like a perfect suicide for a crowd. I knew that Goddard and Higgenbothem would love to have this little trout on their team and I was ready to race up and down the pool as many times as they needed me to. And, I was ready with my 1 1/2 flips …my back flips … my cutaways… my gainers…whatever they needed off the board. I spent my life in that pool and I was 9 years old. I got up early because I was excited and pedaled off across the tracks past the stock yards over main street around the high school to the pool and I was the first to arrive. I parked my bike ( no locks needed in ’62-’63) and sat down on a bench to eagerly await the upcoming challenge. It took just a few minutes of my imaginings to guide me over to the iron fence surrounding the pool…I looked through and saw the water in anticipation …. and then I saw something floating in the water…something weird. I ran a few yards up the fence to get a better view and saw a purple body floating there. Lifeless and scary to me. It seemed big and misshapen. I gasped and looked some more…then I ran to the telephone and called my dad…he asked if I needed a ride home and I said I could make it. I found out later that the body was that of a high school boy who had been partying the night before with friends and had climbed the fence to the water…drowned…his name was Leland Hoffer. That morning forever changed my life.

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