Friday, February 26, 2010

Now's the Time: Ben Kynard


I almost fell out of my chair this morning. I was perusing the American Jazz Museum's site for details about Charlie Hunter's gig at the Blue Room when I encountered this listing:

Stories from the Vine
Featured Elder Statesmembers: Mr. J. Henry Hoard, Mr. Ben Kynard, Mr. Sellie Truitt, Jr. and Mr. Oscar “Lucky” Wesley
Hosted by Former Kansas City Chief and UMKC history professor and Jazz musician and educator Dennis Winslett
Date: Saturday, February 27th, 2010 1:00-2:30pm
Cost: free

What! Saxophonist Ben Kynard is alive? He must be ninety! He can be seen playing with Lionel Hampton in the embedded video. Kansas City's Kynard is credited as the composer of "Red Top." (I wonder what he thinks of this version?) According to AllMusic, Kynard's first recording date was in 1950. His albums appear to be out of print but plenty of material by his brother, organist Charles Kynard, is still available.

7 comments:

andrewzender said...

I remember Dennis [Winslett] telling me one time that Ben Kynard was probably one of the last people left who could write out an entire big band chart from memory on a set of bar napkins. I don't know why, but that has always stuck with me.

Glad to see the "Stories" series is still going.

the unthinking lemming said...

Thanks for plugging the Charlie Hunter gig. I would have missed an incredible performance otherwise.

Happy In Bag said...

If you're so inclined, UL, please post a small review. Who was in the band? How big was the crowd? Was it funky?

I caught the Dave Frishberg show. (Loved it.)

I also attended the jazz talk with Ben Kynard. (Loved that, too.)

the unthinking lemming said...

http://unthinkinglemming.blogspot.com/2010/02/by-request-charlie-hunter-trio.html

Happy In Bag said...

Fantastic, U.L.! Thanks.

Rick in PV said...

I thought the same thing when i saw that note, HiB! I seem to have a year-old memory of watching Ben Kynard play his sax at Bryant's somehow ...

Happy In Bag said...

I missed you at the Dave Frishberg show, Rick. You would have loved it. I sure did.