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1/15/14

Jeremy Steig Quartet 1972


I wish I had video of all the episodes in The Jazz Set series of half-hour shows director Peter Anderson and I did for New Jersey Television and PBS in 1972. I have already posted most of what I have on this blog, but some of my own favorites are missing. Recently, I came across an audio tape that had landed in a box at the Royal Library, Copenhagen. I am indebted to Mona Granager of Storyville Records for locating this box and having the label's engineer make the digital transfer. What we have is The Jazz Set from April 24, 1972, when my guest was flutist Jeremy Steig. He brought with him a stellar working group comprising bassists Eddie Gomez and Gene Perla, and
Eddie Gomez, Don Alias, Gene Perla.
percussionist Don Alias. I hope you agree that some good things came out of that combination. Two of the three numbers are identified, but I don't recall the title of the last one—if you know it, please share it with us.



Jeremy impressed me from the very beginning. A somewhat withdrawn young man, his style was just the opposite. Oh, he could be quite lyrical, but when a robust approach was called for, he became a powerhouse and those notes flew out of his flute as were it an AK-47. 
This PR glossy was stamped
"Historic." It made me feel a
bit older than old.

Jeremy's fondness for kids often brought him back to school, and especially, kindergarten. Children ought to be introduced to jazz at an early age, he felt, and it was difficult for them to relate to improvisation, so he had the great idea of taking tunes they all knew, playing them straight at first, then improvising on them. He said it was amazing to see the faces of little kids when they detected a familiar tune in new dress.

Jeremy, the son of New Yorker magazine cartoonist William Steig, died in May, 20016, at the age of 73. He and his wife lived in Japan.  Here's a Wikipedia link that will tell you more.

Here is my interview with Jeremy, and his Quartet's performance on The Jazz Set.

The box of tapes that turned up in Copenhagen contained more sounds that I will be sharing with you here in the future.

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