Bill Teague says Joe Charles was the best drummer ever.
And, he played in the same club (mine) as Elijah Shaw who was generally considered to be, "The Father of Drums" …
So (listening to this Muddy Waters documentary has me remembering) …
Joe was a huge huge black man with a bald head and a forever genuine laugh who was too big for airplanes or he’d have been on the Road with Coltrane who always had him sit in when Coltrane was in St. Louis.
Miles Davis told his band not to go to h. brown’s when they were in town.
Of course they came.
And, told stories.
Miles knew that I had horn players on stage who were as good as him ?
So, first time Joe plays my club the whole city is covered in snow and ice for a serious St. Louis Winter that lasted two months.
So, there’s this long concrete ADA (before it existed) sidewalk that ran 50 yards downslope from doors of 100 year old Steam Automobile Factor converted …
And, with couple of feet of snow running down the pathway at the very end is a bright yellow longest possible Cadillac and it belongs to Joe Charles, the Guru/Drummer who was the most spiritual next to Linda LaFlamme person who ever was at my place and there was lots of competition.
Beyond his car was a 50 foot piece of ice street and beyond that a huge ice covered half football sized parking lot coated white …
what I’m trying to say is that the Cadillac stood out and Joe was there early to assure that spot.
From then on, it was reserved.
All over town, you could tell if Joe was playing a joint cause his yellow Caddie would be out front.
People came there for Spiritual advice too and when break time came there would be a line of people up the short water cistern salvaged ancient oak covers arranged so Joe could get on the stage with his short lifting ability from his weight but he came across as Buddha playing the drums with holes in top.
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