Given multi-instrumentalist and composer/arranger Dick Cary’s long career as a sideman with Louis Armstrong, Bobby Hackett, Bud Freeman, and Eddie Condon, it is interesting to learn of his more recent activities as a rehearsal band leader. Beginning in the mid-1970s and continuing through 1994, the year of his death, Cary wrote some 1500 original compositions and arranged them specifically for a select group of Los Angeles’ busiest jazz studio musicians, who would in turn gather at his home every Tuesday to run through the latest scores. Each one a new reading and blowing experience, the arrangements would be checked for accuracy of notation, rehearsed to a state of perfection, and then put aside to make room for the next batch. There was seemingly no limit to Cary’s productivity.
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