A Fireside Chat With Bud Shank

Today I’m linking to a great 2003 AllAboutJazz interview with alto saxophonist Bud Shank, who made his name early on in the West Coast Jazz scene and Stan Kenton. In this piece, Shank talks about his early years, playing the flute, and a bunch of his contemporaries. Here is a excerpt about fellow West-Coaster Chet Baker:

Chet Baker was a strange case. I always got along well with him. There are other people who didn’t. The only problem I had with Chet is I would go for a couple of years and not see him and every time I would see him, the first thing he would say is ‘loan me twenty dollars,’ which I never saw again.

He had a lot of notoriety and a lot of fame at an early age, more than he could handle and that is why I think he took the road to avail all that and he did it so violently and so much that he was in jail in Italy and he was about to be the next James Dean. They were about to make a movie star out of him. That I how far he got up in the popularity kind of thing and he blew it all because he couldn’t face it.

All he wanted to be was just a player. He would go through periods when he was living in Europe when he would take the Concord to fly back to New York. He was really up there. Italians were really serious about him and that is why he was in Italy when he got thrown in the slammer for a year.

Click here to read A Fireside Chat With Bud Shank