The Nod

One of the first jazz concerts I booked for the Music Conservatory of Westchester back in the early 1990's featured the late Buddy Tate.  Buddy was elderly, but he still had a beautiful sound on his tenor sax and he was a dapper dresser and a very cool cat.  Buddy played with the Count Basie Band for many years and also led many of his own groups and appeared as a sideman on many, many recordings.  He was a master and had been there almost from the beginning. Anyway, he knew I played trumpet and invited me to come up and sit in on a tune or two in his second set.  I was delighted but also nervous.  Buddy had played with all the great trumpet players, including Pops, Roy, Dizzy, and a host of others.  Well, I played my chorus or two on some standard (I can't remember which one), and when I was done Buddy just looked over at me and gave me one slow nod of his head.  Man, at the time, that nod from Buddy Tate meant more to me than a standing ovation from the audience. 

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