Interview with John Altman: Part 4

Part four of a six part interview with John Altman over videos contained in the Altman-Koss Video Jazz Archive.

Choosing a video of Miles Davis on tour the year that Coltrane died, this part of the interview briefly features Altman’s personal commentary on attending shows at jazz clubs in London, and about his personal connection with Herbie Hancock.

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Announcer in the video: “Miles Davis!”

Camellia Boutros: Where’s Miles?

John Altman: This is Stockholm in ‘67.

CB: The year Coltrane died.

JA: Yeah. This is the tour I saw when they were in London.

CB: Okay. With, uh, Artie Shaw.

JA: With Herbie, and – yeah. This is just their set, but this is the package that I had only seen two nights earlier.

The performance commences.

CB: Wow.

JA: [Slaps his knee]. Straight on it, totally.

1:14: CB: Do you know what month that would have been?

JA: That would be October.

CB: And did they say anything about Coltrane, since he was supposed to be on [that] tour?

JA: No, no – I mean, he died in June, July – well, July, it’s been 50 years.

1:99: CB: Did you know Herbie at that time?

JA: I didn’t know him. I got to know him many years later.

CB: Mmm. Did you work with him?

JA: No, I didn’t work with him, just friends. But we clicked, and just stayed mates. He’s a lovely guy.

3:13: JA: Look at that.

Here Altman shows me a picture of him and Herbie Hancock. They’re both grimacing comically, as if they’re trying to outdo each other.

CB: [laughs].

JA: There are so many photos of us smiling…

In the video, we can see Herbie as he plays behind Miles Davis.

5:10: JA: He’s so young there… [Herbie’s 27 in the video].

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