Monday, June 30, 2008
As with many jazz fans, Plastic Sax's path to the music was convoluted.
Kansas City, Missouri's free Sunday night jazz concert series made a profound impact on me. But I also came to jazz via a teenage flirtation with progressive rock by the likes of Gong and King Crimson. That led me to Billy Cobham, the ECM stable, Miles and so on.
James DeRigne played a small role in that process. When I'd visit him at the Record Cabinet, his odd little prog-rock speciality shop on Mission Road (or was it Rainbow?), he'd often have jazz playing in the background. I also vaguely recall a prominently displayed autographed Buck Clayton album.
At the time, I thought it strange that a guy would be interested in both weird European rock and traditional jazz. Now, of course, it seems perfectly natural to me.
DeRigne died June 3.