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RIP Ray Iverson

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Paul Warburton, May 9, 2006.


  1. Not many of you know this name, but this guy was my musical father. Ray was a jazz club owner supreme He started by running a little jazz club up on Look-out Mountain called the Thunderbird. This is where Buffalo Bills memorial is west of Denver in the foot-hills. I started hanging out up there in about 1958, when I was in high scool. Ray had so much talent it was ridiculous...he played: vibes, drums, bass, alto. tenor, baritone and flute.
    To give you an idea of the Ray Iverson vibe, is to start by saying he wasn't very subtle. One night, on a break, I went into the john followed by Ray. He pulled up next to me at the urinal and said " What the f*** do ya think you're doin' up there?" I said something like playin' Man! He said " I've never heard such bull**** in my life! He was referring to my ability to play fast and furious with copious amounts of chops, but very little time and very few right notes. Ray said " You're making everybody a nervous wreck...where the hell is the time and the right notes? He moved me to tears. I turned my embarrassment and hurt into a wood shed experience that i'll never forget. I was practicing three to four hours a day for a couple months. I went back up there armed for bear...after two or three choruses, I looked up at Ray.. he was playing bari....he gave me the biggest ****eating grin i've ever seen on a human being.
    That was the single event in my musical life that gave me the biggest thrill. Most people think my short stint with Bill Evans and Philly Joe Jones had to have been the biggest thrill of my career. But that smile from my musical father has it beat!
    Ray went on to a new place on Lookout with his business partner Vern Byers called The Robins Nest. This place was legendary. Everyone in the area into jazz could be found at the Nest. The Sunday sessions were wonderful.
    Ray continued to be an inpiration in my life until he passed away undergoing surgery. I met my first wife up there. Ray and I were both flirting with her, but I took her home. The next time I saw Ray I said "I guess I shot you outta the water last night, you old fart! His answer was" I'll piss on your grave!"
    On week nights, being up in the hills, business was light and he would hire a pianist and play bass himself. He attached a long wire spring to the scroll of the bass, and when customers would come in , he would just drop the bass and the attached spring made this great boing boing sound as Ray greeted his customers and then run back and finish the tune on bass.
    Ray was the only father figure in my life. I couldn't have done any better!
     
  2. Bob Monroney writes:
    i had the pleasure of knowing and playing bass with Ray and I had and still have the highest regard for his monster talent. As Paul mentioned he played bass at times als and on an occasion when he was playing another horn he turned to me and showed me his left hand and said:"You SOB ! See these callouses ? I have to slide around to find the notes an you put your fingers right on them !" I consider that one of the greatest compliments of my life.
     
  3. Paul: Very nice tribute to Ray. I worked quite a few gigs with Ray & Vince Lindberg on guitar. Ray was amazing on bari, bass & a great flute player too! I'll never forget how Ray showed me how to trade 4's on one bass! I'd play four bars, hand bass to Ray, he'd play 4 bars, walk around behind him & then he's hand me the bass! Hilarious! We had tears coming out of our eyes:crying: ! Those are great memories. Thanks Paul! & Thanks Ray: See you on the next gig.
     

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