Lots of Willard tributes

by Mark Gabrish Conlan

I LOVE Matt Munisteri's tribute album to Willard Robison. I also love the ones by Jack Teagarden (his next-to-last recording) and Barbara Lea. And I love Brad Kay's collection of Robison's own recordings, even though he left off one of Robison's best songs, "Head Low."

I was long hoping that Mose Allison would do a Robison album because in many ways Allison was Robison's successor: singer, songwriter and pianist who sang in a high, light, musical voice and combined his rural roots (Robison was from Missouri, Allison from Mississippi) with urban sophistication. Alas, Allison passed in 2016 without having made that album.

I was amazed to see a Robison thread on this board right after I'd been going through my Internet archives and found my download of this post from 2012, http://www.network54.com/Forum/27140/message/1330381253/Article+on+Willard+Robison+in+July+-+August+1951+%26quot%3BJazz+Journal%26quot%3B++%287-8%29. It was a 1951 article about Robison reprinted from a British publication called Jazz Journal and posted to the forum by John Leifert. The Jazz Journal apparently credited the article to "Esquire, February 1951" but didn't list an actual author. I suspect that it originally appeared in the February 1951 issue of Esquire magazine and my guess as to the author would be Whitney Balliett, since it's written in his typically convoluted prose style.

Posted on Aug 6, 2017, 11:18 AM

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