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Hal Stein

Hal Stein

Hal Stein, a veteran jazzer from the classic Bebop era, used to hang in New York City with some relative unknowns like Thelonius Monk, Phil Woods, and Al Cohn. Although Hal was, shall we say, the senior member of the band, I can recall seeing my life flash before my eyes as he drove me to the rehearsal, darting in and out of freeway traffic at 80+ mph. Bear in mind that while he was driving, he was also 1) carrying on a lively discussion with trumpeter Warren Gale, 2) wolfing down a submarine sandwich, and 3) casually drinking coffee which was so hot it practically had flames licking his eyebrows. I think I burned a hole in the crotch of my slacks as I poured him a cup from his Thermos while bouncing around in the back seat of his Japanese coupe. It was a treat to hear Hal's vintage tenor solos each night.