Rest in peace The great jazz musician Howard Johnson. I once saw SNL alum Howard Johnson with the Gil Evans Big Band (Maybe 12 pieces) at the Village Vanguard back in the mid 1970’s. This multi-instrumentalist arrived early, well before the others, taking his time to set up his horns: Bari sax, Tenor sax, soprano, Bass Clarinet, maybe Bb clarinet, Flute, and of course the Tuba.

He had the low woodwind seat and as the night progressed was able to take masterful solos on just about each instrument, not to mention that tuba. I saw him on a few other occasions throughout the years, but I do remember that night in particular, about when I was in my late teens.

I also recall that evening he and another musician, not in the group that night, getting in a loud argument as he was setting up. It seemed the other guy walked down the stairs and what started out as a friendly exchange got upset about not be included on some kind of engagement and the two had “words”.

Funny, the things the mind recalls from such a long time ago.