Thursday, 24 July 2014

George Galway

Skip to 11:46 on this 2nd clip

Not flautist James Galway, not firebrand politician George Galloway. George Galway is well used to being described as the “younger brother to flautist James” but I wanted to give him a shout out as a musician in his own right. He taught me clarinet, and some sax as a peripatetic music teacher for several years, and acted as a mentor and friend in those growing up years. My first “gig” was with George in his band, from playing jazz in smoky night clubs, to Sunday concerts in pristine florally arranged and straightened churches. I have never met a more unassuming and good humoured musician; one who does it for the music, not the limelight.

I was in a lesson with George, getting drilled to death on clarinet arpeggios, when a slightly older sax player, student of George, and fellow band member happened to be walking by and dropped in. After the preliminaries, the young saxophonist gets talking about drugs and music:

Sax Player: George, I heard they were all at it; John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz. What do you think of cannabis?
George: Can- of- what?
Sax Player: Cannabis!
George: Sorry, Can- of- what?
Sax Player: They used to take it for time dilation, to feel the beat and fit in more notes to a riff… do you think it works?
George: Can- of- what?
Sax Player: (looking unnerved)
George: Can- of- what?

Funny, funny talented guy.

By North Utsire

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