VA-Odessa Sound of Jazz

This was one dollar.  I got it for the Texas tie in.  Being in the  oilfield for some time, I have made quite a few trips to that lovely land we know as the Permian Basin. I have flown into Midland International with the birds flying inside the airport, stayed in some of the crappiest hotels in town (not exactly true- most hotels were more mid range crappy), seen Permian High and the football stadium, driven by the 7-11 in Friday Night Lights, and struggled to find a decent place to get a beer as most places seem hidden to foreigners.  Strange town to an outsider, none the less the traveling salesman.  If it can’t be done in the Basin, then it really ain’t worth doing to most locals.

Which strikes me as odd, then that I found this jazz album as I would not see the Basin as having a thriving jazz scene.  Most Google searches pull up the jazz events in Odessa, in Russia.  A search for Jazz musicians pulls up people from El Paso and Dallas.  A listing of jazz clubs also shot blanks. So I am not sure that these is much in the way of jazz these days in the Basin.,

But back in 1977, it was a different story.  With the help of local surgeon Dr O.A. Fulcher, jazz parties were staged (11 according to the back cover) thru private subscription.  This is the first volume of jazz from one such party, thrown at the Ballroom Inn of the Golden West.  According to the back cover, 400 people were in attendance. The liner notes suggest that this is the first in what they hoped would be a series but I am guessing it never made it that far. According to his wife’s obituary, Fulcher died in 1977 probably some time after this record.  My guess is that West Texas Jazz died with him. Incidentally, O.A. was Mary Fulcher’s third husband, and after the untimely passing of all three, remained single until her death in 2013.  I am not sure what this adds to the narrative of this post. I just found it an odd fact and a testament to people’s perseverance over personal tragedy.

Well, hold the phone with that.  It seems as of late with this blog, I have taken to writing things, then researching them , and thus having to come back and change my proclamations.  Kind of seems par for course with journalism these day.  Anyway, according to sources, the West Texas Jazz parties still happen.  The celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2013.  Sorry to poke fun, but Jazz parties just sound too much like something out of Reefer Madness especially as described in the video link.

Link to webpage about documentary of Jazz in West Texas

Decent album, as far as jazz goes.  I was a little surprised as I set my expectations low. I am assuming the musicians were not from the Odessa area.  Over all good album.  I liked a couple of tracks on here.  I felt all of side one was real good, but ultimately as I do not like posting tracks over 10 minutes if I don’t have to, had to pass it by for something shorter.

Which I found on side 2. At first I was going to go with the shortest song on the album.  But after I heard “Oh Lady Be Good”, I knew this was the song for this post despite coming in over 8 minutes.  It was probably the inclusion of vocals that hooked me to this track, Featuring Clark Terry on trumpets and vocals, Carl Fontana on trombone, Flip Philips on Tenor Sax, Peanuts Hucko on clarinet, Dave McKenna on piano, Jack Lesberg on bass, Mousey Alexander on drums, and Herb Ellis on guitar , here is that track.

Pretty decent album.  And despite being all over the place with this post, I learned something that I would have probably taken for granted.  Satisfactory.

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