Here’s my dad’s group playing “Indiana” in September of 1988 in Ft. Worth. Neil Slater-piano, Dr. Gene Hall-clarinet, Jack Rumbley-drums, Jack Petersen-guitar, Perry Sandifur-trombone, unknown bass player.
They were playing for a gathering of UNT people in Ft.Worth, and my dad asked me to video the band. This was one tune they played that day. They played two hour long sets without any music, and this group had never played together before this day. My dad and Gene Hall were 75 at this time. Gene Hall died in 1993, and my dad died in 2008. They were soul mates, having been best friends throughout their lives. My mom was always in the audience to hear him play.
My dad would put together a band every so often to play for groups. They played for free, although my dad would pay the musicians, because it was usually for a good cause. Here he is introducing the members of this particular band that played in September of 1988. The thing that made this group interesting was that it included the first director and founder of the Jazz Studies Program at North Texas, and the third director of the program. I think they were playing for a North Texas group that day. He brought me along to video because he knew it would be an all star band. The drummer was the only full time musician of the group, however.
This was recorded on a vhs video tape recorded which was not too great in low light. However, it was convienent and cheaper than hiring a professional to record it. Years later I transferred it to dvd, then onto my computer where I could edit it and put it onto YouTube. I’m glad it has survived.
A rare interview with the founder of the Jazz Studies program at UNT in 1947, Dr. Gene Hall, and Leon Breeden who followed him in 1959. These were the first two directors of the program, which was the first in the country to offer jazz courses for credit. Dr. Hall mentions how the term “stage band” got started. You could not use the word “jazz” in those days in a college setting.
In 1947, Dr. Gene Hall started what is now the Division of Jazz Studies at UNT. I consider Dr. Hall to be the father of Jazz Education in this country and he was co-founder and first President of NAJE, the first association of its kind for jazz educators.
When he left North Texas in 1959 to go to Michigan State University, he recommended Leon Breeden to take his place at North Texas. This is his story, in his own words. This recording was made in 1976 and given to me by his widow, Marjorie Lynn Hall.