Frankie Dunlop — Complete Interview Pt 5 of 7

SKF NOTE: Over the next few weeks I am making available my full interview, no edits, with Frankie Dunlop. The interview took place in 1984 in two sessions. The first session, on October 16, 1984, was at my former in-law’s New York City apartment.

The December 13, 1984 second session took place at my rented cottage home in Washington, CT.

Topics covered in this fifth part of Frankie’s interview include Maynard Ferguson, Sonny Rollins, Five Spot, Playing slow is harder than playing fast, Charlie Rouse, John Ore, Tony Williams, Tootie Heath, Randy Weston, Clifford Jarvis, melodic drumming, Lionel Hampton, stamina and power, Hamp’s Boogie Woogie, Flyin’ Home, Hampton working drummers to death, Wilbur Hogan, Jazz Tribute at Reagan White House, Columbia albums, Riverside albums, Hal Overton, Monk small bands vs big bands, Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Ben Riley, Art Taylor, Monk song titles. Teo Macero, Bright Mississippi, James Meredith.

One other point. Towards the end of this interview segment, I ask Frankie about his playing on the Columbia Monk dates versus the Monk Riverside dates. We are talking apples and oranges a few times. I guess I didn’t phrase my question well enough. Frankie’s answer indicates he thought I was talking about the Columbia album, “Thelonious Monk Big Band and Quartet in Concert” arranged by Hal Overton. And when Frankie mentions Overton and big band, I thought he was talking about Riverside album, “The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall,” arranged by Hal Overton, because I had never heard of the Overton Columbia big band date. I don’t think it was in print at the time.

At any rate, Frankie and I navigate through the confusion. And this tape ends my first session with Frankie in October 1984, NYC.

I’ve cleaned up the sound from the original audio cassettes with compression, and also noise reduction, to minimize tape hiss. Now and then there are sound hiccups. Otherwise the sound is intact. The taping starts and stops are not seamless. Our conversation does not flow undetected from one side of a tape to the next, or from one tape to another tape. While interviewing, I tried to keep my eye on the time, but didn’t always succeed.

However, where Frankie was making an important or interesting point and a tape abruptly ended, we picked up the point when the next tape started rolling.

There are seven approximately 45-minute sessions in total, roughly three-and-a-half 90-minute tapes.

I will give each session a full listen before uploading them, and provide topic highlights — an index — for listeners.

I believe this is the only taped interview with Frankie Dunlop in existence. Since 1984 no other taped interviews have surfaced. For that reason I would like to make these tapes available to the public for posterity. Especially for drummers and music historians.

I’m happy to answer questions. The best way to contact me is through my SKFBlog.

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