What fun. We are in a recording studio in the middle of the night in Toronto in 1974. Vibraphonist Peter Appleyard has just played a concert at the Ontario Place Forum with fellow Benny Goodman sidemen Zoot Sims, Bobby Hackett, Urbie Green, Hank Jones, Slam Stewart and Mel Lewis. After the show, they all go to RCA Studios, order in some Chinese food and “a few bottles of wine,” and, between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m., lay down some tracks.
Everyone sounds sublimely mellow but still alert. The tapes have been in storage for 38 years. For this release, Appleyard left in the false starts, outtakes and studio banter. (“I’ll go first, you take two, then we jam it up.”) We are eavesdropping on a lost moment in time, rescued from the shadows of history.