Friday, September 11, 2009

Fraser MacPherson documentary

Here's a half-hour documentary on Fraser MacPherson from 1967 called Diary of a Musician. It's basically a day-in-the-life of MacPherson, showing him in the studio with his quintet, featuring Ian McDougall, Doug Parker, Cuddles Johnson and Jimmy Wightman, then playing dance music at the Cave Supper Club, talking about his childhood, travelling to Victoria to take his kids out to the park (that's me singing in the car), rehearsing with comedian Jack Carter, then playing behind Carter that night, and rolling dice in the band room. You'll see Stu Barnett, Frank Mansell, Don Clark and others in the Cave band. It's really well done, I think you'll agree. It's available elsewhere on the internet, but maybe you've never stumbled across it before.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Susan Jacks

Here's another stretch, jazz-wise. But as one regular reader told me, he likes that these clips show the kinds of jobs working musicians had to do. Here the Doug Parker orchestra backs up Susan Jacks on Ode to Billy Joe in 1968. Jacks is backed up by the New Morality Singers. That's some handle! Anyway, the Parker band was filled with serious jazz musicians who had to do this kind of work to get by. Reminds me of an interview Gary Barclay did with Jake Hanna, who was the drummer on the Merv Griffin Show. That band featured such musicians as Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, Plas Johnson, Jack Sheldon and I'm probably missing more. Hanna didn't have much respect for the show. He said that having these world-class musicians playing for the likes of Sonny and Cher was, and I'm paraphrasing, "like having Secretariat, Sea Biscuit and Man o'War, hooking them up and getting them to pull a milk truck around." In this clip, Terry David Mulligan briefly interviews Parker and asks him what he thinks of today's music. Parker claims to love it, but I'm hoping that was just the case of having to say it. I mean, what else could he say?

Incidentally, when this clip was up on YouTube, it received the most hits of any of them. There are a lot of Susan Jacks fans out there. It also received some extremely negative comments, too. Feel free to comment below. Get the discussion going again.