The two meetings with Buck Klajton.
- - Oleg Leonidovitch, you promised to tell us how got acquainted with Buck Klajton, I think it is interesting to the readers.
- When the Japanese occupied the part of China, the life in Haierbin took such shape so that we decided to move to Shanghai. But to avoid precipitate actions Alex Kotyakov and I took a decision to go to Shanghai just for "reconnaissance", because there lived my aunt's husband Constantin Vladimirovitch Pakhitonov, so we had a place to settle and stay for some time.
- At that time a Negro Big Band under Teddy Vederford performed at "Cannidrome". Of course, we went for a concert and there we saw a handsome trumpeter Buck Klajton. We were amazed by the play of the musicians and went to listen to them for several days. We just ordered a bottle of beer "Tsingtao" for each of us and listened being absolutely stunned, namely Alex Kotyakov, as he was a trumpeter too.
- - Do you mean to say that you visited a master-class?
- - Of course, we were lucky, and we could study jazz not only by platters, but we also by listening to the best musicians.
Some time later Teddy Vederford left Shanghai. We heard the rumors about some romantic story, which was the reason of his early departure. After that the orchestra was headed by Buck Klajton. In one of those days we met our acquaintance - the pianist Michael Gleiser, who gave a letter of recommendation for us to play at the "Yangtze hotel" to play "tea-dance" which means "dances at tea". We signed the contract and after that all our musicians moved to us from Haierbin. That was our first work in Shanghai.
- - And what music did you play then?
- - We played all the songs from the Holiwood musicals.
- - And how did the audience meet you?
- - Surprising as it may seem, but we gained success and popularity, very many people came for our concerts.
- - And what kind music was that? The Russians or the Chinese?
- - The audience was very different. At that time in Shanghai there lived very many foreigners. They were the people of different nationalities, namely Russians and, of course, the rich Chinese.
- - Now lets pass to the other time. How did you manage to meet Buck Klajton for the second time?
- - It was already many years later, when we happened to be in USA at the jazz festival in Washington. George Avakyan acquainted us.
In the evening after the concert they came to me in my room at "Sharaton", and happened so that Buck Klajton had very well remembered us in Shanghai. He had immediately understood then that three youngsters who had come to the concerts every day are the musicians, as only young musicians could be so much intoxicated, listening to the music.
That was a very warm meeting, there were so many reminiscences…
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"The Stories from the Orchestra's Life"