VIDEO: The phenomenal Phil Woods (alto) Ben Aronov (piano) Reginald Johnson (bass) Doug Sides (drums)with the Orchestre du Conservatoire National Regional de Toulouse from the Marciac Jazz Festival 2005 playing “I remember April”
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MUSINGS IN Cb: Army Band (Not-Even-Remotely-Combat-Related) “War Stories"
Relatively recent contact from so many members of the 1st ID ”Big Red One“ Band from the middle 1970s era has been really cool. Here is a video that I found at YouTube a few years back. Yes, it features "THE" Phil Woods, but also Reggie Johnson on bass with him here in 2005.
Some of my fellow Big Red One Band Alumni from that era of service may also recall that Reggie played bass in our stage band and trombone in the marching/concert bands at Riley during our time there.
I recall playing combo gigs with Reggie on bass, Bruce Marshall on drums, and Ronald D. Hailey on piano. Reggie also gave me my very first Aebersold play-a-long record (it was volume one – they had just come out, I believe) to study and learn jazz tunes and work on improvisation with.
Reggie didn’t like lots of the things most of us adjusted to about the Army. I recall one incident where SFC Fred "Caruso” Jones and CW4 John D. Field had us on the parade field practicing something over and over. What we were doing made no sense whatsoever. But, that was the norm for a while in the entire post-Viet Nam Era military in general. After about the zillionth time, Reggie simply broke ranks and walked back to the barracks – which was just adjacent to the parade field back then. I think he was threatened with Article 15, but only got a counseling statement.
Reggie was still there when I left for the 450-F2 course at the SOM. However, I received a letter from him when he first ETS’d and was back playing music at the very highest levels in the industry – just as he was doing before joining the Army… Ultimately moving back to Europe.
I thought most of you might think this was cool too… Cb