By William Carter

Photographer, Author, Jazz Musician

Good Vibes

with 5 comments

Roger Glenn presents “Beware the Vibes of March”

Just when you thought jazz had lofted entirely up into the rarified air of college courses and elegant concert halls, it’s nice to recross the tracks — back to the face-to-face interactions and inspirations where America’s music came from. My definition of a great place to hear jazz, of whatever era, is when an audience member takes a short break, and returns to his seat — only to find it occupied by one of the band members sitting out that tune. Which is what happened to me last month at one of the most venerable and funkiest jazz institutions near San Francisco — the Bach Dynamite and Dancing Society at Half Moon Bay, California.

The style and attitudes of the highly acclaimed presenters fit that bill. Leader Roger Glenn, who plays as many vibes and more woodwinds than I can count, grew up literally crawling around the feet of folks like Louis Armstrong because Roger’s father, Tyree, was a major trombonist of that era who often worked in Louis’ bands.

Equally renowned were many of the performers at the “Beware the Vibes of March” gig. Way back, the multi-talented Rex Allen cut his teeth with the Bob Crosby band, and for decades Rex has appeared in countless festivals and solo spots — often as a swing trombonist fronting his own Big Band.

This was a vibrant LATIN JAZZ afternoon. The others were too many, and too talented, to cite beyond this stellar lineup: Charlie Barreda on vibes, Michael Hatfield on vibes, Smith Dobson V on vibes, Leon Joyce Jr. on drums, David K. Mathews on piano, Robb Fisher on bass, and Rafael Ramirez on congas.

With the sun gradually slipping into the Pacific, and folks schlepping munchies and wine glasses to and from the breezy porch, and old Pete Douglas, idiosyncratic and timeless patriarch of the period structure, happily lolling at the swirling epicenter his home, his ankles crossed atop his ancient desk, there were more multigenerational smiles all round than one would care to count. These afternoons are as much private parties as concerts. Still going strong (since 1964) in this former private residence, Bach Dynamite is a non-profit 501c(3), and you can get all the data at their website here.

By the way, no sign says: No Photography. But how is this enforced? Example: the conga player’s i-Pad rang in his pocket in the middle of the first tune. That helped loosen up the audience, if further loosening were needed.













Photos: Roger Glenn (top) and friends, © William Carter, March 23, 2014
Nikon D-800, hand-held, no flash, processed on a Mac in Aperture.

Copyright statement: William Carter papers, © Stanford University Libraries. Click here for a detailed usage guide.

Written by bywilliamcarter

April 19, 2014 at 2:30 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Hi Bill,

    I’ve enjoyed your photographs in the The Sun for many years, and was aware that you lived in Los Altos. I finally went to your website when I saw in your most recent Sun bio that you’re working on a book of jazz photos. Too many coincidences… I also went to Stanford, lived in the Bay Area for 35 years, and am a jazz keyboardist who has played many times with Roger and Rob Fisher, as well as performing at Bach Dynamite. I live in Steamboat Springs, CO now, and I miss my jazz friends, but not enough to move back there!

    Great website, and I enjoyed your piece about Roger! Keep up your stunning work.

    Paul Potyen


    Paul Potyen

    June 21, 2014 at 3:37 pm

  2. Bill: I just got a “double whammy” from you! 1) this review of Roger Glenn, our Bella Union pal, at the old home of Pete Douglas. When I lived in your area, I tried not to miss either a Friday night or a Sunday afternoon with him. Pete is an unsung hero who showed us how music, waves, and fog go together!! 2) I picked up my mail to see your Staten Island remembrance (that I call “my naif of innocence”, on the cover of “the Sun”. I’m still surprised that an artist like you allows (invites) us to provide our own titles! And now, I’m interrupted with a doorbell ring from UPS with my latest Amazon order of Piketty’s book! I had to use Amazon, because our local book store said it’d be weeks before they could get it! more later, I hope! I’ll be at Land of Happiness for the last week of the encampment. See you. bob burrows


    Bob Burrows

    April 25, 2014 at 11:26 pm

  3. I love these moments you captured!



    April 19, 2014 at 3:54 pm

  4. Hi Bill,

    What a great piece. Next time you go to a jazz event, could you give me a heads up. I’d like to know about it and possibly go.

    I just got off jury duty Yesterday.




    karen schreiber

    April 19, 2014 at 2:52 pm

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