Debut Release from Ted Sirotas Heavyweight Dub

December 7, 2011

Jazz Drummer Settles Vital Sports-Radio Debate

By Neil Tesser, Chicago Jazz Music Examiner

It’s not often you hear a jazz debate on sports radio. So yesterday’s exchange about the Dave Brubeck recording of “Take Five” – and the ensuing debate over its authorship (by Brubeck’s alto saxist, alter ego, and longtime associate Paul Desmond) – may actually qualify as a predecent-setting occasion.

The fact that it also included comments from one of the city’s leading jazz drummer-bandleaders? Well, that just puts it over the top.

Here’s the setup: with “Take Five” playing behind them, ESPN Radio (WMVP) hosts “Carmen, Jurko & Harry” found themselves enmeshed in the question of whether this most famous of jazz tunes could in fact be called “a Dave Brubeck song” if it was actually written by someone else. Among their listeners was Chicago drummer Ted Sirota, and as he explains (and as you can hear here), he finally couldn’t take it any more. So he called in.

Sirota – best known for his acclaimed band the Rebel Souls, and for his membership in the Sabertooth jazz quartet that plays each Saturday night deep into Sunday morning at the Green Mill – brought the proper perspective to this burning question. I’m still researching the premise that this represents the first recorded instance of a jazz musician settling what amounts to a sports-bar bet.

(However, I do like Sirota’s reaction to being immediately put on the air after telling the producer he was a jazz drummer: “That’s the first time I’ve ever been treated better by saying I’m a jazz drummer!”)

Listening to the preamble to Sirota’s comment – the first 2:50 or so of the Carmen-Jurko-Harry summit – you can easily understand Sirota’s growin impatience with these guys. It also begs the question of why Ted Sirota was listening to these geniuses in the first place. But upon hearing him set them straight, you’re kind of glad he did.

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December 6, 2011

ESPN Radio “Jazz” Debate!

I was driving to pick up my daughter from school this afternoon when I turned on ESPN 1000 here in Chicago.  For some reason, I still don’t know why, they were arguing over who wrote “Take Five”.  None of them had ever heard of Paul Desmond.  Their conversation was starting to piss me off so I called up.  I told the producer that “I have to set these guys straight about this stuff”.  I told him I was a jazz drummer and he put me right through!  That’s the first time I’ve ever been treated better by saying I’m a jazz drummer!  Usually they tell me to go away or go through the back door or the kitchen.  Anyway, the whole thing was pretty funny.  Check it out.  If you don’t want to hear the whole thing, I come in around 2:50.  I bet this was the first time Jim Hall’s name got mentioned on sports radio!  I’m proud of that at least.

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