For the longest time I have been a fan of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers - this is no secret to anyone who knows me. I never did get to see them live, however a friend of mine went to New York and saw them at a club - while they were playing she called me and left a message of them playing one of my favorite tunes - one by one - very nice - very thoughtful. It was a few years after that that I got the opportunity to study with Curtis Fuller - THE trombonist with the group - no matter which version of the group you listen to (my favorite is from 61-64) Curtis is the best trombonist Art ever played with - hands down. Regardless - Curtis was coming to the school I attended and he needed a student assistant - I leaped at the chance, and with the help of fellow Canadian Steve Fisk (killer guitarist) I picked him up at the train station. Here is as close as I can remember what the meeting was like:
Short dude, very concerned and very chatty. He immediately found me (I was holding a sign) and we did the usual pleasantries. Once I got the stars out of my eyes, Curtis asked for the pre-arranged bananas and two bottles of water - (hmmmmmm very odd to me that this was a request but we complied) Once he had the food and drink - he pounded a banana and proceeded to talk about his travel and performance anxiety, he said that bananas are the key to keeping it together - mentioned Coltrane a lot and how bananas were very important to keeping his system balanced -
OK at the time this was kind of weird - but guess what? I tried it - it works, bananas before a gig - try it - you'll like it.