was looking through my old diaries the other day and came across an
item which made me smile, let me tell you about it.
One of the most enjoyable jobs I had during my career was playing
piano with a great many visiting American jazz musicians. On this
occasion the man in question was Ken Peplowski who had come up through
the ranks of the Benny Goodman Orchestra playing tenor saxophone and
clarinet both at or very close to virtuoso standard. During a break
in rehearsal I said to him "I bet you didn't get much opportunity
to play your clarinet when you were with Goodman" and he agreed
but went on to say that the great man appeared one morning while he
was practising, just sat, listened and after a while got up and left.
This went on for some time and Ken said that he felt rather honoured
to have his boyhood idol come and listen to him until he discovered
the real reason for the visits was to steal a couple of reeds each
time he came in. Although not the accolade Ken was looking for he
said jokingly that it was still an honour for Benny Goodman to prefer
his reeds to anyone elses.