By Gabe Baltazar Jr., Theo Garneau
Hawaii's mythical jazz musician Gabe Baltazar Jr. has overjoyed audiences because the past due Forties along with his strong and passionate enjoying. during this, the 1st ebook on his lifestyles and profession, Gabe takes readers throughout the highs, lows, and in-betweens at the lengthy street to changing into one of many only a few Asian american citizens who has completed around the world acclaim as a jazz artist.
At a tender age Gabe used to be inspired via his father, an complete musician, to take in the clarinet and saxophone. As in the course of global warfare II, Gabe played with the Royal Hawaiian Band yet spent his weekends taking part in in swing bands. After constructing himself within the West Coast jazz scene, in 1960 he rose to prominence as lead alto saxophonist of the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Following a four-year stint with Kenton, Gabe labored as a valued studio musician, recording with Dizzy Gillespie, Oliver Nelson, and James Moody, between others. In 1969 he lower back to Honolulu and went directly to develop into Hawai i s premiere jazz artist, a job he admirably fulfilled for over 40 years. Now in his eighties, Gabe continues to be energetic in jazz schooling and nonetheless plays occasionally.
Gabe s memorable encounters with many of the maximum names in jazz and renowned leisure will pride track lovers, whereas readers of Hawai i and Asian-American life-writing will locate during this paintings a fond list of days prior advised with humor and center.
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Extra resources for If It Swings, It's Music: The Autobiography of Hawaii's Gabe Baltazar Jr.
Today, yeah, but those days, the ’30s, they copy records and things like that. But Dad was one of the only guys that could go there and play jazz. This is 1937 or so, and Japan was already at war with China. And so my father brought the whole family. At that time Doris was not born, so it was me, Norman, Ronny, and my mother. We went on the Taiyo Maru, a little, little ship. And I don’t know, it took over ten days, I think, to get to Japan. Everybody got seasick. Well, my mother got sick. My father didn’t, but I remember I used to go on the ship’s deck when it was going up and down in the waves.
Myers, a beautiful lady. I thought she was nice, straight hair with a bun in the back, very attractive lady. Never forgot her because she was so attractive. Then sixth grade was Mrs. Kimura, Japanese lady, very nice. Now, still the 1930s, my grandpa days, the Japanese side was very strict. Being that I was brought up mainly by my grandparents and my mother’s side, I had to go to Japanese school. That was a must. And I started going to Japanese schools from grade one to three, after my regular school.
It’s not there! That’s like improvisation, and that’s how I started. I can never forget that, because it was the beginning of improvising. And when I was a kid I listened to a lot of music. We had a radio and I had Artie Shaw records, Benny Goodman, and so forth. Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Duke Ellington. But Artie Shaw was my favorite clarinet player. Of course I loved Benny, but Artie, as I got a little better I learned all his solos, just about. ” And I played them on the old 78s. My uncle and aunt had a record player, and I used to go down there and play those records, play exactly, note for note, Artie Shaw’s solo on “Moonglow” and things like that.
If It Swings, It's Music: The Autobiography of Hawaii's Gabe Baltazar Jr. by Gabe Baltazar Jr., Theo Garneau