NEW YORK JAZZ RECORDS
In late 1970s at the original “Red Blazer Too” on East 89th Street in Manhattan I was playing drums with Vince Giordano’s New Orleans Nighthawks when one evening I met Lew Micallef and Stan King, two businessmen who enjoyed jazz. Stan played some sing-a-long tunes on guitar-tuned banjo and Lew who had built some guitars for the Guild Guitar Company played the real old-style, six-string guitar rhythm. Soon after meeting them I was a guest artist at the Breda, Holland Jazz Festival. Stan and Lew came along and joined in on some of the jam sessions. There was a vacant washboard leaning against the bandstand at one such session and that became the instrument of choice for Stanley “The Washboard King.” Soon after, the three of us plus Pete Compo on bass and violin, Cynthia Sayer on plectrum banjo and Paul Bacon on tissue paper and comb started playing Wednesday afternoons at the aforementioned Red Blazer Too.
There had been discussions that someone should record the older black jazz originators that were living in New York City. On a Wednesday night in October of 1981 after the job we were sitting in a Chinese restaurant down the block and the discussion came up again. Very "matter of fact" Lew said: “Well, stop talking about it – just do it!” That's how New York Jazz Records was born.