Remembering Lew Soloff

New York City–Mike Merola & the City Boys Allstars are devastated to learn of the sudden passing of the great trumpeter Lew Soloff, and they extend their deepest condolences to his family. Lew was more than an essential part of the Allstars; he was a special man who shared a mutual love, respect and camaraderie with Mike Merola, Rob Clores, Tony Kadleck, Bil Kurz, Al MacDowell, Tom Malone, Lou Marini, Angel Rissoff, Daniel Sadownick, Nick Saya, Horace Scott II, and Andy Snitzer.

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Alan Rubin Tribute Interview Section

LewSoloff We had a friendship for 51 years. I met Alan when I was 16 and he was 17. I first heard him play when he was 16 and I was 15; he played on a Newport Youth Band record, two songs: “You Don’t Know What Love Is” and “She’s Funny That Way.” [Marshall Brown’s band of up-and-comers can be heard on two 1959 albums, The Newport Youth Band and At the Newport Jazz Festival, both released on Deram/Coral.] Right away I just thought he was great. I knew he was better than me, but it was okay because he was a year older.

I came from Lakewood, New Jersey, and Alan came from NYC. He was fantastic. The first time we played together, I was 16 and he was 17. We played duets. We scared the shit out of each other because we both could do different things. But I could not play the trumpet with the technique that he could. He was athletic. They wanted to sign him up for either pro or semi-pro baseball. I was very un-athletic. [laughs] Trumpetistically, he had it all over me as far as being able to play his instrument. He was a very coordinated guy.

When he was young, whatever Alan Rubin said, we did. He helped more people get into the New York studio scene than anybody I know. We started playing in a brass quintet together: me, him, David Taylor on bass trombone, Tony Price on tuba, and Peter Gordon on French horn. Alan picked the personnel for the sounds. I remember telling a classical player friend of mine that I was starting up a brass quintet with these guys and when I told him the personnel he fell on the floor laughing. I said, “What are you laughing about?” He said, “You’re all comedians. You’ll never play!” He was right. We rented Carnegie Recital Hall and somehow in the middle of our first tune, we cracked each other up and wound up rolling around the floor onstage. I don’t want to get really graphic and tell you what happened. We just couldn’t play. We gave up, and that was the only time we ever tried to play. [laughs]


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Dedication To A New York Blues Man

What can you say about Frankie Paris?

“One of the greatest voices in the blues circuit on the East Coast. Frankie has one of the finest soul-blues voices to appear in the past few years. His tenor is high and penetrating…and even richer gospel tinge.” — New York Times.

My name is Horace D. Scott and I thank you Mr. Paris for your music your timing your style. I thank you for your dedication to the art form called BLUES. Although, I never had the privilege to formally meet Mr. Frankie Paris it is with great humility that I attempt to pay proper respects to the man who’s musical talents earned him a permanent place in the New York music scene. So I close by saying, as is tradition when someone passes “Frankie Paris is not gone as long as his music plays on”.

Horace D. Scott/2011

In Memory of Keith Lambeth

“Keith Lambeth was a talented Composer, Arranger, Musical Director and Musician but above all he was my friend. Keith Lambeth was the kind of guy that people just liked. His musical world was filled with so many great and talented people. Sam and Dave, Richie Havens, B.B. King, James Cotton, Carla Thomas, Melissa Morgan, Doug E. Fresh, The Manhattans and so many more. I’m not a man of many words, so I’ll keep this simple. In life, there are people who come and go. Once and a while someone will enter your life and you’re a better person because of them, Keith was one of those people.”

Michael G. Merola