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Randy Sandke: Ellingtonal to Metatonal

Randy Sandke in rehearsal with Ken Peplowski, Scott Robinson, Jack Stuckey, Byron Stripling, Joe Ascione, John Allred and Howard Alden
Randy Sandke

Indiana University has a jazz tradition going back to the 1920s when Hoagy Carmichael matriculated and brought his friend Bix Beiderbecke to play with him there. But by 1966, traditional jazz was far from the most commonly heard music on campus. So in the fall of that year, as an incoming freshman, I was considered a bit odd for playing tapes of swing and traditional jazz at high volume in the dorm to compete with the sounds of the Association, the Beatles and other groups emanating from the surrounding rooms.

One afternoon, while I was listening to a tape of Louis Armstrong, a tall, lanky, dark-haired kid stuck his head in the doorway, listened for a second, and then said, “Town Hall concert, 1947.”

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