Randy: Well that was early on, so I don’t remember that much, but it was a live date at Sound Ideas Studio in NYC for Muse Records, engineered by George Klabin, and I knew the names, but wasn’t that familiar with their music, so I kind of had to feel my way into it! Ray Barretto, Allan Schwartzberg, Bob Rose, Michael Gibson, Romeo Penque and the bass player Wilbur Bascomb, son of trumpet player Dud Bascomb, were in the band. I was very young!
Randy: Like I said I had heard the names and loved Brazilian music at that time, but hadn’t played much of it yet…first heard Brazilian Music on the FM radio in Philly. The DJ was interviewing Herbie Mann about his trip there, and he was fanatically touting Bossa Nova as the ‘new thing’. He was a fanatic! The music spoke to me right away - I was hooked!
Randy: First session, at least as a soloist for Creed, might have been Idris Muhammad’s "Power of Soul" on March '74, arranged by Bob James, with Gary King, Joe Beck, Grover Washington Jr. for the Kudu label. First session at Rudy’s was with Duke Pearson’s Big Band (I was in the trumpet section alongside Marvin Stamm, Burt Collins and Joe Shepley) on December 1967 for Blue Note, then some albums also for Blue Note with Horace Silver (the first one had Billy Cobham, John Williams and Bennie Maupin), and many, many, CTI dates. My first solo album, "Score," was also recorded there for the Solid State label (with my old pal Hal Galper, Eddie Gomez, Chuck Rainey, Larry Coryell, Bernard Purdie, Mickey Roker, Jerry Dodgion and my brother Michael) in 1968! I was there quite a bit. What a great space to play! The studio itself made you play better because of the ambience.
Randy: That was George Duke’s idea. He was a great producer and we had a ball working with him. It was our 5th BB record on Arista and we had recently made “peace” with the label, hence the title of the record. I think there is really wonderful music on that record. Great tunes
and production, with Neil Jason, Steve Gadd, Paulinho Da Costa, Ralph MacDonald, Steve Jordan, Don Grolnick, Mark Gray... George was really a ‘pro’ and was into our music so he really was a part of that CD...oops: (ahem) ‘Record.’…no CDs back then.
Randy: Well, I was with various Mingus bands for around 30 years after he passed and it was always an honor and privilege to play his music. Mingus was a big influence on both we and Mike. His souful compositions and the way he utilized the horns in collective improvisation always amazed me. I also played on Mingus' very last recording sessions, released by Atlantic on the albums "Me Myself An Eye" and "Something Like A Bird," when he was not playing bass anymore, but composing and directing the sessions from a wheelchair.
Randy: Well we were working a lot together then, so the Brazilian flavor was very evident...we influenced each other a lot, and yes the drummer was indeed the great Victor Lewis. We also did a fusion album together for Sonet.
Randy: Both were acoustic dates, hard-bop. "In The Idiom" was fun to do live in the studio, no overdubs, with my heroes Joe Henderson, Ron Carter, Al Foster and the young but great Dave Kikoski who I had heard playing with Roy Haynes. Then we did "Live at Sweet Basil" for the Swedish label Sonet, also great with Bob Berg, Kikoski, Dieter Ilg and Joey Baron. Really really FUN! We actually were a touring group at the time. That album was released in the USA on the GNP Crescendo label.
Randy: I'd been singing on records since the second ‘Dreams’ record for Columbia in 1971, "Imagine My Surprise." Will Lee was supposed to sing that song, but he was playing bass, so I did the ‘work vocal’ since I had written the tune and lyrics, and everyone liked it! Then I started writing lyrics to all my tunes like Horace Silver did, and would write and sing one or two tunes on the Brecker Bros or my solo records… nice to take a break from the playing the horn which is a good reason why a lot of trumpet players sing! And yes I liked Chet, Bob Dorough, Mose Allison, Dave Frishberg and singers like that. Yes, trumpet players like to sing because then we can rest our tired ‘chops’!
Randy: Well, Gary Bartz gave me that name in Japan where we were touring together. He would amble over early in the night, look into my eyes and say: “Randroid are you in there yet? No? OK I’ll come back and talk to you later!”…then after a couple of rounds later in the night: “Randroid you’re in there! C’mon let’s hang!!” And yes hip-hop is an influence but I can’t say I follow it that much, just the really exceptional rappers who are also musicians like Kendrick Lamar.
Randy: Sorry, don’t remember that one. Usually the artist wasn’t there and there were A LOT of sessions, so they would all run together…They were always great tho’! Great musicians, great arrangers and the great studio!
Randy: You couldn’t touch anything or he would kill you… Once [trumpeter] Bernie Glow’s earphones were too tight so he bent them and they broke in two! Rudy was fuming but it couldn’t quite say anything because it was ‘Bernie Glow’ But the next day he wrote DO NOT BEND HEADPHONES on each one!
Randy: I was working a lot for Creed and Jim Beard, and they probably put the band together. Mino Cinelu, Dennis Chambers, Mark Egan, Mark Ledford, Bob Berg, Mike Stern, Jon Herington. Great band! I had already been playing with Berg a lot. We had a quintet that went to Europe a few times and eventually recorded "Live at Sweet Basil." He and Mike practiced together a lot, but he had his own sound and was great too. We miss him...I live out where he lived in East Hampton so we were very close to him and his family.
Randy: Don’t quite remember... probably some CTI stuff. We went to the same school Indiana University at different times, he’s also from Philly and he was the’ hot new cat in town’ - so we were destined to meet! Jim Beard did a great job producing "Toe to Toe" for MCA, with Bob Mintzer, Bashiri Johnson, Victor Bailey, Darryl Jones, Regina Belle... We had the same manager, Christine Martin, so maybe she was involved in introducing us. I think he is a genius too.
Randy: Creed indeed invited me himself along with Niels Lan Doky who helped put that tour together, and it’s a very nice Blu Ray disc, with Hubert Laws, Airto, Flora, Todd Bashore, Mark Egan, Jeff Watts, Bill Evans. George Duke, John McLaughlin and Jamie Cullum sat in. The very first night with little rehearsal! Really no rehearsal - we had just flown over and we were too tired to rehearse! Yes, I was familiar with the classic Freddie-Stanley records! Tried to keep them in mind during the concerts! A lot of stuff we were supposed to play didn’t work out for one reason or another….it was all last minute! Rudy was the best as far as sound and mixing! There will never be another like him.