We just got the news that violinist and composer
Billy Bang passed away this week.
Bang was one of the bright lights of the wondrous
Loft jazz scene in NYC that flourished in the
Hard scrabble, pre-bubble days of the 1970s.
He was also one of several musicians from that
Era drafted and thrown into combat in Vietnam.
We did something a little unusual with this tribute
And included documentary material about tunnel
Warfare which Bangs was involved in...one man
With a flashlight and a .45 crawling alone into
A narrow, often booby-trapped tunnel seeking
To engage the enemy.
It's not pretty, but you can't fully appreciate the
Nature of Bang's accomplishment as an artist
And human being without understanding the
Horrors he endured and survived.
- Lester Perkins
Jazz on the Tube