Linton Garner and His Peck HornSunday, March 12, 2006
I don't listen to music much anymore when I'm at home. I do go to concerts of baroque and classical music. When I can find some new music concerts I go to those, too. But I don't go to jazz concerts. All of my faves are dead. I have also discovered that just like I have a very good memory for the scent of roses I can listen to music in my head without the CD player. On good days I can remember the voices of some of the jazz players I have met. One in particular is the voice of the gentlemanly J.J. Johnson with whom I had a drink at the Iridium in New York City. Another I remember fondly is the voice of pianist Linton Garner, whose brother Errol was better known. Here you can see Linton when I photographed him in 1997 with his Eb peck horn. My favourite question to ask Linton between sets at Rossini's, where Linton played until he died on March 6, 2003, was: "Linton I understand you are from Pittsburgh. Is there anybody else from there?" His answer was always the same, "There's Roy Elridge, Ahmad Jamal, Art Blakey, George Benson, Kenny Clarke, Stanley and Terry Turrentine, Ray Brown, Billy Strayhorn, Earl Hines, my brother Eroll, Billy Eckstine....." and he would go on and on. So I would interrupt him with, "Who's not from Pittsburgh?" His answer was always the same one, "J.J. Johnson, he's from Indianapolis."