Saturday, July 12, 2008

Charlie and Chet

Chet Baker: The Most Important Jazz Album Of 1964-1965 (Colpix CP 476)
Chet Baker (flh) Phil Urso (ts, cl) Hal Galper (p) Jymie Merritt (b) Charlie Rice (d)
NYC, June, 1964

Chet Baker: Baby Breeze (Limelight LM 82003)
Chet Baker (flh) Frank Srozier (as, fl) Phil Urso (ts, arr) Hal Galper (p, arr) Michael Fleming (b) Charlie Rice (d)
NYC, November 14, 1964
Charles Rice really did record with the incomparable Chet. The 88 year old employee of the Camden NJ Board of Education is under indictment for "theft" of less than $200 worth of gasoline. Those are the numbers. Seems Charlie had an informal arrangement to top off his tank when he used his car for shelter while pumping gas for Board of Ed vehicles. Sounds fair to me. Something that would have been difficult to put into writing. Even a gas jockey at Hess gets a little heated & air-conditioned booth. Charlie's had his modest job for 26 years, so do the math. If convicted, this former jazz drummer loses his job & pension. With the help of a musicians aid group called Jazz Bridge, Charlie has hired a very expensive Philadelphia defense lawyer. The state is spending thousands to make Charlie's life miserable, & it's costing thousands to get Charlie off the hook. Sheesh.

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Is there any other way to contribute to his defense other than the generic Jazz Bridge Project (or Google the heck the lawyer to find an address)?
I am working on a documentary on Charlie and am on the advisory board of Jazz Bridge - they are a legit 501c3 non-profit with a page dedicated to soliciting financial help specifically for Charlie's legal defense:

Come to the Philadelphia Clef Club this Sunday, August 24 at 3pm to meet the man himself and hear some other Philly area jazz legends as they lend their support to this great individual.
FYI his lawyer is Mike Pinsky in Westmont, NJ 856-858-9666.
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