Billy Bang

4 posts / 0 new
Last post
#1 Tue, 2011-04-12 11:24
SunRadio
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 7 months ago
Joined: 2010-12-15 08:50

Billy Bang

sad news, just heard about his passing ...
http://www.weirdomusic.com/2011/04/12/violinist-billy-bang-dies/
what a wonderful person and musician!!
cb

here's a performance from 2000
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uh7EWMqrzE
_______________________________________________
Saturn mailing list
Saturn@lists.outerspaceways.info
http://outerspaceways.info/ for subscribe and unsubscribe options

Tue, 2011-04-12 11:30
SunRadio
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 7 months ago
Joined: 2010-12-15 08:50

Billy Bang

Also, this item is from the NPR transcript archives, c. Nov. 1993.
(courtesy Patrick Jarenwattananon)

------

BOB EDWARDS, Host: It's 11 minutes before the hour.

MUSIC

NEWS HEADLINES

EDWARDS: Violins don't usually swing, but Stuff Smith's violin was
different. He and his band became a sensation on New York's 52nd
Street in the 1930s, and leading the band was that violin. Stuff
Smith's career continued for another three decades. He performed and
recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Ben Webster, and Ella Fitzgerald. Smith
died in 1967, and his records are seldom heard today. New cd by a
violinist from a different generation pays tribute to Smith. Tom
Vitale has this profile of Billy Bang.

TOM VITALE, Reporter: Billy Bang has had some great and successful
predecessors on his instrument - Joe Venutti [sp], Stefan Grepelli
[sp], and Joe Kennedy, not to mention Stuff Smith. But the violin is
not a traditional lead instrument in jazz. Billy Bang learned to play
it in junior high school in Spanish Harlem. He was forced to take
classical lessons, and he hated it.

BILLY BANG, Jazz violinist: I really didn't like the violin. It was
like, I mean, I thought somebody was trying to make me gay, man. I
didn't know what was going on. I couldn't carry back on my block. I
lived on 117th Street. Can you imagine a little guy carrying a violin
and you talk about guys picking on you, man. I mean, they really did.
I had to put the violin down, throw a couple of punches, get thrown at
me, go upstairs. I hated to practice it. It sounded terrible. [laughs]

VITALE: Bang gave up the violin for drums. He was drafted into the
army out of high school, and sent to Vietnam. But the violin came back
to haunt him.

MR. BANG: I was in Vietnam for a year. I came out of the army, I was
21. But I came back home, and I was listening to WKCR, Phil Schaap,
and I actually- it was the first time I heard Leroy Jenkins, and I
heard a violin in the forefront of the music, like an improvising
instrument, and it really blew my mind, that a violin could be as
strong as a trumpet or a tenor or whatever. If you play it that way,
if you play what's inside of you.

MUSIC

PHIL SCHAAP, Jazz historian: I remember when Billy Bang was here in
the room that is eight feet behind you and it was unusual to hear a
violin in these studios but I remember him being in here on a Tuesday
night and wailing.

VITALE: Phil Schaap is a jazz historian who has won a Grammy for his
liner notes. He has been the backbone of WKCR's jazz department since
1968. Unlike Billy Bang, who never saw Stuff Smith, Schaap heard Smith
perform twice. He says Bang's tribute to the older musician puts the
spotlight on a player well worth remembering.

MR. SCHAAP: Stuff Smith is interesting to jazz because he's a great
improviser. He's creative, his ideas are creative, and the intensity
of his swinging drive is nearly unparalleled. I mean, you got to get
into the Louis Armstrong class to think about swinging as much as
Stuff Smith. He is that essence.

MR. BANG: Stuff Smith is very crude. I'm close to his style, you see.
Sometimes he has- I wouldn't believe he has a heavier bow hand, which
makes the tone sort of fatter. Most violinists generally has light
bows. I actually have a heavy bow. I'm going to play something really
a la Stuff Smith, one of Stuff Smith's original songs, and it's called
`Only Time Will Tell.'

PLAYS `ONLY TIME WILL TELL'

VITALE: Bang recorded `Only Time Will Tell' on his new cd with the
legendary keyboard player Sun-Ra, who himself recorded with Stuff
Smith in the mid 1950s. The one tune they recorded was `Deep Purple.'
Sun-Ra also recorded `Deep Purple' with Billy Bang. It was the piano
player's final studio recording before he died earlier this year.

MR. BANG: What `Deep Purple' did for me was made a real, actual
connection. It's like, I know that here's a person that played with
Stuff Smith. Somehow somebody knew he must be leaving the planet. I
didn't know, I didn't have this idea, so he was passing something on
to me.

VITALE: Bang says Sun-Ra helped him to hear and to play standards in a new way.

MR. BANG: I really got tired of hearing `Satin Doll' played the same
way so many times. I mean, it was nothin' else you could to do to a
song like that. It's just been played, but with Sun-Ra, I found there
were many more things that can be done, and at the same time still
respecting the song.

VITALE: Almost all of Billy Bang's records are on a small, Italian
label. He's been a featured performer at jazz festivals in Europe, but
he says he knows he'll never be a big name in this country. He accepts
that, but what he would like to see is more jazz, more thoughtful
music, in our popular culture.

MR. BANG: There should be other kinds of mediums and vehicles and
viable directions to actually get the music, other than just the
university, other than just WKCR, NPR. I mean, one in a while, it
should just show up on a Geraldo Rivera show, you know? He should have
five different avante garde or traditional jazz musicians sitting
there telling their story.

VITALE: Jazz violinist Billy Bang. He'll lead his quintet in New York
City tomorrow at the Cornelia Street Cafe. His new cd, A Tribute to
Stuff Smith, is on Soul Note Records. For National Public Radio, I'm
Tom Vitale in New York.

On Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 8:23 PM, Charles Blass wrote:
> sad news, just heard about his passing ...
> http://www.weirdomusic.com/2011/04/12/violinist-billy-bang-dies/
> what a wonderful person and musician!!
> cb
>
> here's a performance from 2000
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uh7EWMqrzE
>
_______________________________________________
Saturn mailing list
Saturn@lists.outerspaceways.info
http://outerspaceways.info/ for subscribe and unsubscribe options

Tue, 2011-04-12 12:05 (Reply to #2)
Susan Pearlstine
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 7 months ago
Joined: 2010-12-22 23:45

Billy Bang

Our hearts are deeply saddened by this news. May he rest in peace!!

Space

Kash Killion
Sue Pearlstine

_______________________________________________
Saturn mailing list
Saturn@lists.outerspaceways.info
http://outerspaceways.info/ for subscribe and unsubscribe options

Tue, 2011-04-12 13:40
lee santa
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 7 months ago
Joined: 2010-12-10 13:40

Billy Bang



A huge loss.
 
Lee
http://lee-santa.artistwebsites.com/  







From: Charles Blass <charles.blass@gmail.com>
To: Saturn <saturn@outerspaceways.info>
Sent: Tue, April 12, 2011 11:23:57 AM
Subject: [ Saturn ] Billy Bang

sad news, just heard about his passing ...
http://www.weirdomusic.com/2011/04/12/violinist-billy-bang-dies/
what a wonderful person and musician!!
cb

here's a performance from 2000
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uh7EWMqrzE
_______________________________________________
Saturn mailing list
ymailto="mailto:Saturn@lists.outerspaceways.info">Saturn@lists.outerspaceways.info
http://outerspaceways.info/ for subscribe and unsubscribe options