play
About
Learn
Watch
Ask
Side B
Ernie Andrews
Stix Hooper All Stars
Old Man Jazz



◀ BACK
Often I can’t recall when I first met Stix Hooper, but it was certainly a long time ago. I had been an early convert to his group, the Jazz Crusaders, and in college I owned many of their World Pacific LPs. Stix and I kept in touch over the years, occasionally seeing each other at concerts or functions sponsored by NARAS. As frustrated as Stix became about the business side of the “music business,” he always remained positive, and he never lost his love of the music or its history. Stix never stopped growing in an art form that he prefers to call “improvised music.”

In the year 2000, Stix produced a rather amazing CD titled The Legacy Lives On. (Copies can be purchased online at Amazon.com.) Over a number of sessions in February and May 2000 Stix brought together a number of jazz veterans to record an album of standards and originals. In the studio were such amazing talents as James Moody, Teddy Edwards, Shirley Horn, Jon Hendricks, Al McKibbon, Pete Jolly and many others. Soon after the release of the CD, Stix gave me call and asked if there was anything on it that might work as the foundation for a music video. The answer was an immediate “yes”: Old Man Jazz, a composition by Jack Segal, who also gave us When Sunny Gets Blue would work perfectly. Sung by LA’s own Ernie Andrews, Old Man Jazz was a perfect song for a video “picturization” since the Archive held films of most of the musicians mentioned in the song’s lyrics. So, with the song and the film clips securely in hand, I turned to my good friend Robert Walker, a jazz fan and talented film editor, to weave the two together.

I had warned Stix in advance that it would be a time intensive project, and that there was not much chance of MTV accepting the product. (Remember, at the turn of the century MTV was the obvious, and perhaps only, outlet for the video.) But Stix, Robert and I felt that it was worth the effort. The finished product, the first true contemporary “jazz music video,” was sent into MTV ... and promptly (if politely) rejected and returned.

I spoke with Robert Walker recently, and he said he wished he could “do this or that a little differently, tighten the pace up a bit.” I said that I wished we could re-transfer the clips. But with a shrug, a shot of realism, and Stix’s thought that it was time to get the performance “out there,” those considerations did not make a lot of sense. So, for your viewing pleasure, here is Jack Segal’s Old Man Jazz, featuring Ernie Andrews, with the instrumental support of the Stix Hooper All Stars.

To learn more about Stix, visit his website at stixhooper.com.