Saturday, November 3, 2012

Black Panther Aaron Dixon on Gary Hammon

In My People Are Rising: Memoir of a Black Panther Party Captain, Aaron Dixon talks about Gary Hammon, Joe Brazil's student.

"It seemed that everybody who could play an instrument was in a band, and it wasn't long before Elmer [Aaron's brother] had his own group. They were called the Regents, with Biggy Lewis on guitar and Dennis Blackmon on keyboards, Gary Hammon on tenor sax, and Ralph Brooks on drums. These cats were one hell of a band. Most would go on to make names for themselves. As a matter of fact, the Central District was loaded with great musicians. There must have been eight or ten bands in the area, each with its own unique sound. I sometimes traveled with Elmer's band on their gigs and developed a close relationship with the sax player, Gary Hammon. He went out and got a soprano sax and started teaching me how to play. Sometimes we would go to a dusty, funky little jazz club, both of us carrying our saxes. While Gary played a few numbers, I wished for the day that I would get good enough to sit in."

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