William Reeves volunteers at Omaha's Great Plains Black History Museum. He's 74, originally from Kansas City. Says he played alto and tenor sax in the late '40s down there. Another musician he knew -- a 'bully' - once hit a heckler 'with his horn,' he said. 'Then someone beat him up so bad he died.' Asked if he liked jazz today. 'Oh, sure. You just have to be where it's at, y'know? Preston Love at the Omaha Star [a 'black paper' nearby], he played horn with Basie. He'd know.' Williams says he regularly goes back to Kansas City -- 'for barbecue runs, and for funerals.'
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Journal: Omaha Man, 2001
I'm in the long process of digitizing a couple dozen journals put together on Lonely Planet, and other, research trips over the past decade or so. I really liked this guy, met in Omaha on my first LP assignment: updating the Great Plains chapter of the USA guidebook in the spring of 2001: