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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000342.txt from 1999/06

From: "William J. Maynard" <>
Subj: [kl] Freddy Fisher
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 1999 21:56:44 -0400

Having been a student of Leon Russianoff and, later, a friend, I don't
recall ever seeing him smoke whether at his studio, at a concert or out at a
social event.

I spent the summer of 1961 as a member of the Aspen Music Festival. In the
town there was a small club owned by jazz clarinet player Joe Marsalla. He
had a house rhythm section every night and all were welcome to sit-in or
just listen. Very informal and Joe liked company so he could relax. Several
nights a week Freddy Fisher would come to the club to play, smoke and drink
beer. He looked like a prospector down from a mountain with long white hair
and beard. He made a living from a process he perfected in which he took
apsen leaves and coated them with silver, and sold them to local gift
shops, etc. Freddy played bass saxophone very well, although sitting down he
was hard to see behind the instrument because he was on the short side. To
assist his habits he had soldered a metal ash tray to the top section near
the octave key, and a beer bottle opener on the bell. There was always a
cigarette in the ash tray and an open bottle of beer on the floor. He was a
very quiet person and therefore nobody really got to know him, although
rumor had it he was at one time a hollywood musician or something.

Years later I noticed an obituary of some length in the New York Times about
Freddy Fisher. During the 30's and 40's he was a very sucessful hollywood
film arranger, composer(?) conductor and player. A very impressive resume
which he trader for the Aspen mts. Reminds me of Artie Shaw and Reginald
Kell. If anyone can add to the Freddy Fisher story I would like to hear from
them. Bill Maynard

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