The great trombonist, pianist, arranger and composer George Masso died in 2019. This is a fine example of both his playing with his friend Dan Barrett and the camaraderie always present at the West Texas Jazz Society parties in West Texas. I forgot to thank Jon-Erik Kellso who is the reason I learned of George’s passing. As you can hear from the banter between Dan and George, theirs was a mutual admiration society. George played events in West Texas from as early as 1981 through 2007 if not later. I have just added a session with Becky Kilgore, Joel Forbes & Eddie Erickson where George sits in for his friend Dan Barrett.
He played the trombone until 2012 – when he was 85. He died just short of 93. If you watch the video throughout you can read a little about George. I wish I had known him personally. I know he is missed already.
Al White took notes from the sessions at every jazz party he attended in Odessa (and later in Midland after his retirement as a Cotton broker). He also kept notes at parties around the world. The set above is at the bottom of the page shown here in Al’s inimitable handwriting. After five years of reading his handwriting, I almost know all the abbreviations. For example, RAFF is Ralph Sutton and JAKE is Jake Hanna (he writes the E like an R, and many times it appears as JAKR). JOE is Joe Ascione. For nearly 20 years, the only two drummers were likely Jake Hanna or Joe Ascione. JORL is Joel Forbes. HARRY is Harry Allen. PEPS is Ken Peplowski and EDDIE is Eddie Erickson. Some of the others are easy – MILT is always Milt Hinton, and it was so for 28 years at the parties in Odessa and Midland. For even longer, JACK was Jack Lesberg. Both the bassists attended nearly every year, although HAG (Bob Haggart) was always welcome.