During the late ‘70s, while Art was working on his last comeback, Jack Sheldon offered him a regular weekend gig at a club in Monterey, right up the coast. The other regular band members were Dolo Coker and Blue Mitchell. I don’t remember who the drummer was or even if there was a drummer. Dolo played keyboard and Jack mostly sang, told jokes, played electronic organ from time to time. No trumpet. He was working in a TV sitcom at the time and said the trumpet deformed his lip. In the photo you can see Jack singing his own composition, “Fuck You Very Much,” with Blue and Art joining in on the chorus.
A few years later Art’s career was in the ascendant, and he was making a bunch of one-offs as-a-sideman-only for a Japanese label: Yupiteru, later Atlas records. Art was permitted to choose the tunes he wanted to play and which musicians he would play them with. For one of these sessions he chose Jack, and Art begged him to sing “Historia del un Amor” as he had done, regularly, in Monterey. Art loved the way Jack sang. Me, too. (He sang “You Don’t Know Me” better than anyone except, of course, Ray Charles.) Unfortunately, the Japanese did not want to include Jack’s singing. But they didn’t erase it. Here it is. Jack’s voice, Art’s sax, and just a teeny bit of Jack’s trumpet. Forgive the audio quality. Got it from a very old cassette.
(Also, Milcho Leviev, p; Tony Dumas, b; Carl Burnett, d.)
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