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Monday, July 23, 2012





As noted in the previous post covering Calliope CAL 3019 we are continuing our presentation of an interview that Will Thornbury conducted with Ray Avery regarding Ray’s background in photography.


               RAY AVERY                                                            WILL THORNBURY

WT: What was the first period where you begin to find yourself active and where people are becoming aware of you as far as a photographer and when you're becoming aware that there's a greater outlet or demand for these images?

RA: Well, I think I more or less got my start in the middle '50's, like '56 and '57 and '58, that was the time of the "Stars of Jazz" of course, but also at that same time Gene Norman was doing his Just Jazz concerts and he had started a small record company that Eddie Laguna was more or less working for him and I began doing a lot of the covers for them. Some of it was dixieland and some of it was modern jazz. Gene released a dozen 10" LP's that him bought covers from me for.

WT: Thinking about The Haig and the Lighthouse that would of started a little bit earlier, the Mulligan quartet, Zardi’s, Jazz City, those were really the key places in the jazz movement out here, were you habitually at any of those and did you have pictures from that period?

RA: Yes, I went to most of those clubs. Jazz City was the one on Hollywood wasn't it, near Western, I know Howard Lucraft was doing... he had a group called Jazz International and he would have jazz concerts there and I remember photographing Billie Holiday there and Buddy Collette and various people and I did go to a lot of those different clubs…Truvell? Was there a Trouville club, do you remember that?

WT: No.

RA: That was the club that Billie Holiday also played on Beverly Blvd.?

WT: Oh, right..

RA: Well, at any rate it was almost a real nightclub, it was not just a jazz club, but they had a cover charge and it was quite a nice club and I saw hethere and one night was so outstanding that I went and I could hear the crazy music and I couldn't see where it was and I got up closer to the bandstand and it was Stuff Smith lying on his back playing the violin right on the deck. There were some very nice clubs. As I may have said in the other interview, the Capri Club on Pico near La Cienega was were I heard Lester and Lee Young and Bumps Myers and also the 5 Spirits of Rhythm were the alternate group there with Leo Watson, that was a wonderful club, one of the best I've found.  That's a little earlier, that was when I was still in college.

WT: But, you weren't taking pictures then?

RA: No, I wasn't taking pictures then, I was at Record Collector then but not taking pictures.

WT: You had a lot of different locations where you took Billie, did you develop any kind of relationship with her?

RA: No, I didn't. Really it was Just those two occasions, at Jazz City and at "The Stars of Jazz".  At "The Stars of Jazz' she seemed rather nervous and maybe not particularly well that evening and I didn't feel it was a good time to talk to her so I really didn't get to talk to her.

Calliope Records Production Credits:
Executive Producers: Heyward Collins, Rick Donovan, Lee D. Weisel
Production and Coordination: Jim Pewter
Technical Assistance: Mike Jordan for Krishane Enterprises
Mastering: Jack Skinner for Keyser-Century Corporation
Art Direction and Photography: Jeffrey Weisel

(Curtis Counce at Zardi's)

(Curtis Counce Quintet at The Haig)

SHOW #20
NOVEMBER 12, 1956
The Curtis Counce Quintet: Jack Sheldon, trumpet; Harold Land, tenor sax; Carl Perkins, piano; Curtis Counce, acoustic double bass; Frank Butler, drums. Anita O’Day, vocal.

Production credits for this show:
Host: Bobby Troup
Producer: Jimmie Baker
Writer: Bob Arbogast
Director: Norman Abbott
Audio: Chuck Lewis
Cameramen: Jack Denton, Sal Folino
Technical Director: Gene Lukowski
Lighting Director: Vince Cilurzo
Video: George Hillas

SHOW #52
JULY 1, 1957
Anita O’Day, vocal, with Dave Wells (bass trumpet & trombone), Bob Young (tenor sax), Diz Mullin (trumpet), John Poole (drums), Jimmy Crutcher (bass), Alan Marlowe (piano). Toots Thielemans, harmonica.

Production credits for this show:
Host: Bobby Troup
Producer: Jimmie Baker
Writer: Bob Arbogast
Director: Leo G. “Hap” Weyman
Audio: Chuck Lewis
Cameramen: Sal Folino, Bob Haley
Technical Director: Gene Lukowski
Lighting Director: Art Phelps
Video: George Hillas


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