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Interview with Ann Arbor DJ Jim Dulzo

Michael Erlewine

Jim Dulzo is one of Ann Arbor and Detroit’s favorite DJs. Dulzo is also a very skilled writer, and did music reviews for the Ann Arbor Sun, and many other publications.

Jim Dulzo
Jim Dulzo, 2017

Dulzo also was much loved as a DJ for Ann Arbor’s WNRZ-FM, and earlier he worked as a DJ for WCBN, and on AM for WAAM in Ann Arbor, and of course Detroit’s WABX. And like me, Jim Dulzo did many artist interviews over the years.

Dulzo was also a founding member of the Frog Island Festival in 1982 and served as the director of the Montrose Detroit Jazz Festival, from the 1994 event through the 1999 event.

I did this short interview with Dulzo on January 23, 2000, and my main interest in this interview was to ask Jim about his involvement with the first two Ann Arbor Blues Festivals in 1969 and 1970, which meant so much to me.

Meeting Jim was wonderful and I can say he is one of the few true benefic beings I have been lucky enough to meet in my life, just a really good guy. Here is that interview:

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: You appeared in an ad in the program for the 1969 Ann Arbor Blues festival.

JIM DULZO: There are certain things that you remember very vividly and most of things are gone, but here is what I remember as far as the very, very beginning of the festival goes:

There was an announcement around the U of M campus, very late in 1968, that there was going to be a blues festival on the U of M campus. And it was going to be kind of a project of the University Activities Center (UAC) and there was a meeting, one of those student mass meetings, which I went to. I was interested in it. I was doing the program on WAAM at that time, and I was playing… the show was called ‘Spectrum’ and it was supposed to be an underground rock show. That’s what they called it back then. And really, what I was doing was playing Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix and Blood, Sweat, & Tears, and all that stuff, way, way before top forty radio would even consider playing it.

And, as part of it, I was playing some real actual blues: Taj Mahal, J.B. Lenoir, Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson, probably Howlin’ Wolf. I had guys around, sort of like hipping me to it.


JIM DULZO: No. No. It was kind of like a blues and progressive rock show, I think would be the way to describe it. I don’t think I played any jazz. I played ‘10 Years After’, you know.

So, I went to this meeting and got real excited about getting involved and I met John Fishel, who was heading it up.

He had a couple of other people, his sort-of girlfriend Janet Kalenson. I don’t know that she and John were an item, but they seemed to work together very closely. And in my memory of it, those two were sort of the prime movers of it.

I think John Fishel was like an archeology major or something, who loved blues. He was just crazy about blues, way before anybody else was. And he is one of the people I actually learned from, about it.

The next memory I have, after those very early meetings, that we were going to do this, was when five of us got in a Volkswagen and drove to Chicago, through some pretty bad wintry weather, and crashed at Bob Koester’s house.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: Didn’t we all crash at Bob’s Koester’s house!

JIM DULZO: And John and Bob were apparently friends and so that’s how I discovered Delmark Records and all that. And Bob took us to some South Side bar, it might have been Teresa’s and we saw an act there. I can’t honestly say I remember who it was. It might have been Eddie Shaw, but we went there, and we went to a place called Checkerboard Lounge, which I believe was owned by Buddy Guy.

Anyway, for this White kid from the suburbs, who was 19 or 20 years old, it was like a totally eye-opening adventure and experience. And the object of the game was to do some scouting as to who we were going to have at this festival.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: Do you remember who went with you?

JIM DULZO: I remember that my girlfriend, Mary Alice Thieler and John Fishel, and Janet Kalenson, and myself, and one other person [Ken Whipple], that I have no memory of. And we spent the weekend. We did Friday night, and we did Saturday night. We slept on the floor, and we drove home late in the day on Sunday. That would have been either very late in 1968 or very early in 1969, that winter. I remember it being very cold and snowy in the Volkswagen.

The next thing I remember is that they decided they wanted to do a kind of like a warm-up or promotional concert for it. The idea was that since the festival was going to happen in like very late summer or very early in the fall, it would be very difficult to promote the students as they were coming back, so we wanted to do a kind of a warm-up concert in the spring, before everybody left town.

And so, we did a show at the Michigan Union Ballroom, with the Luther Allison Trio. And I remember that I MCed the show, because I was the disk jockey. And I think for me that was a very transforming experience, because although I had really enjoyed seeing the blues in those South-Side bars, there was so much else going on that I don’t think I really locked into it, like I did at this concert. That concert was really transforming for me. I think that’s when I really bonded with the blues, but my memory was that Luther was spectacular and this was a whole lot of U of M White kids seeing blues for the first time. And I think it really electrified a lot of people. So those are my very early memories of it.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: Remember that we had a blues band that started in 1965, so we were involved, probably, because we were the only band in town to call itself a blues band. And we had gone down and met Bob Koester at Delmark records, who ran the Jazz Record Mart, slept on the floor, some years before you did. I saw Little Walter play in the South Side bars, Magic Sam, Shakey Jake, all kinds of artists, different bars, etc. And the Prime Movers Blues Band also played in Chicago on the North Side.

We also got to know the Butterfield band quite well and that was what really turned us around, meeting the Butterfield band and seeing a racially mixed group, where there was no bullshit about White boys playing blues. They were playing blues. It was as simple as that.

Can you remember any other people in the 1969, 1970… there was John Fishel. I saw the name of Ken Whipple. Who is he? What does he do now? What did he do then?

JIM DULZO: Well, Ken is listed as co-chairman. What’s very funny about that is that’s probably who came to Chicago with us, because Ken Whipple was at that point, my roommate in a fraternity, Delta Sigma Phi. Ken is a hospital administrator, somewhere in the Detroit area. That’s what he was doing, last I heard. And my dear friend Pete Ostel is listed as stage manager. Whew. I can give you his phone number right now.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: I think these first two festivals were important and I can’t find any openly blues festivals, especially electric blues, that really predate them.

JIM DULZO: I think there was probably one at Newport.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: Not a blues festival. They had the Newport Folk Festival and the Newport Jazz Festival. The folk festival was not a blues festival, although they always had some country blues on the program. The Newport Folk Festival began in 1959 and the jazz festival began earlier in the ‘50s, but they didn’t really introduce… they had some blues there. Of course, in 1965, Dylan went electric at Newport and brought Butterfield on as his backup band and that was a big deal. But I am looking for pure blues festivals that predate the Ann Arbor festival. Robert Palmer, the great blues writer, actually helped to found the Memphis Country Blues Festival in 1966, but it was not geared toward modern, electric, city blues. It was acoustic and country. I know there was a Memphis Country Blues Festival in 1969, but not electric blues.

And of course, there was the American Folk Blues Festival, that toured Europe.

JIM DULZO: Paul Oliver. Do you know who that is? Is he still around?

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: He was at that first festival.

JIM DULZO: And the second one too. I have a very specific memory of Son House closing that first festival. I believe he closed it.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: There were quite a few journalists, writers, and photographers at those early festivals.

JIM DULZO: have a very specific memory of Son House closing that first festival. I believe he closed it.


JIM DULZO: This hush fell over the audience, that was really something. He was very old at that point. They kind of led him out there and sat him down. You really couldn’t understand what he was saying. His speech was so gnarled at that point, but it was pretty astonishing.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: We were lucky to see Son House.

JIM DULZO: You know he died living in Detroit. I believe he is buried in the Detroit area.

I have a very specific memory about Big Mama Thornton. I did an interview with her a couple days before the festival. For some reason she came in early and so, as representing WAAM, I went over there with my tape recorder to meet her and interview her. I have this memory of her smoking Cool cigarettes and opening the Cool cigarettes from the bottom of the pack, taking the cigarettes out of the bottom, which is sort of like a southern black thing, I think, because that is the only place I’ve seen it. Southern Black people do that sometimes; not so much anymore.

That was the first time I saw that. I was kind of blown away by her, because she is so big and because she was so down home and she looked like… Hey, I wrote “Hound Dog,” and that made it very …

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: She was very open and warm-hearted.

JIM DULZO: Yeah, I liked her a lot. She was very kind to me, because I am sure I was very shy and very worried about the whole thing. As was Howlin’ Wolf. Howlin’ Wolf’s mind was psychedelic. 

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: I interviewed Big Mama Thornton as well and we (my brother Dan and myself) stayed up most of the night drinking whisky with Big Mama in her room at the Michigan League. She drank a lot more whisky than I did. Dan and also did the same thing with Arthur Big Boy Crudup, who also was there early – really a great, grand being. We showed up at Crudup’s room (also at the Michigan League) with a 5th of Jack Daniels under out coat. When Crudup came to the door, Dan opened his coat to show the whisky and Big Boy Crudup just said: “Come on in, boys.”

JIM DULZO: I remember interviewing Howlin’ Wolf and just being scared as hell, just because he was so big and so gruff and so totally cranked after his set. I talked with him right after his set 

A lot of these guys I saw, not that many years later, at the Blind Pig Bar in Ann Arbor. So that makes it kind of hard to sort out. But I do remember, probably the most amazing set that I saw in the two years there was the Magic Sam set, the 2nd year. That was just an astonishing set.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: Magic Sam died in December of 1969, soon after the first Ann Arbor Blues festival. Magic Sam was both an astonishing guitar player and a singer. When I first saw him in a Chicago club, in the mid ‘60s, I came into the bar from the back, a large bar, with very low ceilings, felt like a Chinese food place, filled with people dancing and moving around. I couldn’t really see Magic Sam that well. I had my back against the back wall, it was so crowded. Way up front there with Shakey Jake, the harmonica player. Magic Sam was singing like he did. It was like a sheet of sound that extended from his mouth, through the bar and the people, and went right into my ears and brain. I had never heard singing like that and it made the hair just stand up on the back of my neck and my ears felt like they were glowing or alive in some new way.

He also was a really great and kind person. I later interviewed him at the first Ann Arbor Blues Festival in 1969. Some artists are harder to get to or appear less than friendly.

JIM DULZO: Another really cool memory I have from that is interviewing B.B. King, the first year, before his set. And he had a tape recorder with him just like this recorder here. And he had tapes from his brand new album that was coming out very soon and he was very excited about it and really wanted us to hear it. And I believe the tune was “Why I Sing the Blues,” because they had a real funky, very, very funky baseline to it, that seemed really extreme in terms of a blues style. It had a whole different thing to it. And he was very excited about that.

And I also really remember that he really struck me as seeming more like a bank president than a blues guy. He was so classy and so fastidious as a dresser and so great with language and everything. He really struck me as being from kind of a different mold than a lot of the other guys.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: When I first saw B.B. King, we used to drive into Detroit. This was before the festivals. We would hear him at night in high-school gymnasiums in Detroit, where there would be beer, fried chicken, and B.B. King. That’s it. And we were the only White people there, of course. And there would be B.B. King, with Duke Jethro sitting at the organ, Bobby Forte on sax. And there, in that school gym, B.B. King put on a complete show, like it was for the president of the United States himself. We had never seen anything like this before. What a gentle man, as was Bobby Blue Bland.

JIM DULZO: B.B. King was so proud of this tape. He was clearly very excited about it and really wanted people to hear it. Everybody was kind of amazed at what they were hearing because it was blue, but it didn’t sound like ‘the blues’, you know. It was much more uptown.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: When we first used to try and get together with Junior Wells, outside of the bars, when he would play a small concert, in Chicago, we would want him to play what was on his first Delmark album, Hoodoo Man Blues. And he was into a James Brown-style trip. He wanted to show us that he could do James Brown. And we didn’t know how to tell him. We were so disappointed that this is what he wanted to present to us. Later he got more into playing what we wanted to hear, his earlier style and stuff. His is some of the best. Period.

At that point, for some reason, Junior wells was trying to get out of that early stuff. He didn’t really want to play it for concerts. And we didn’t really want to hear James Brown from him or anything like it. Yet in the Black clubs and bars, he would play more like his original (Delmark) material.

JIM DULZO: You know, it was always like that with Luther Allison. Luther Allison kept jumpin’ around, wasn’t quite sure what it was he really wanted to do. “I’m goin’ back to the blues now” and this time, through town, he would play the blues and then the next time it was some Motown stuff.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: When I first met Luther, he was just hanging out, much like we were. He wasn’t much of anyone on the scene or he was very low key when around the older blues artists. He didn’t have much of any name. He was just a player, almost like we were, watching the other older blues artists. A nice guy. He didn’t put on airs. Ann Arbor was great for him. I think that playing around Ann Arbor really helped him get a start.

JIM DULZO: Yeah, I liked Luther a whole lot.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: Were you involved in the first Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival in 1972?

JIM DULZO: Yes, I was.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: What about the 1974 ‘Concert in Exile’?

JIM DULZO: No, I wasn’t involved. I went, but I wasn’t involved at that point.

One of the friends I drove over with, as we were coming in the front gate. He has his weed sort of sticking out of his vest pocket, the plastic bag or something and they just plucked it out and said…”Come with us”. Like we turned around and he was gone. They arrested him.

It was tough. The thing I remember about the ’72 festival was working on the live national public radio broadcast. I worked on that as a field reporter. I interviewed people… like Freddy King. I interviewed Sun Ra. I interviewed Count Basie. I was running around with my tape recorder all the time and handing it off to Bud Spangler, who was actually producing the live broadcast and they would chop it up and apparently use it.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: And Pete Andrews and John Sinclair were in charge of that? How was it working with them at that time?

JIM DULZO: Yeah. Well, I will tell you. Apparently, I liked working on the ’72 festival enough with those guys, that I ended up moving into the Rainbow People’s house [on Hill street]. And I was there for about eight months, and it was a real bad move. I mean it really scrambled my brains. I’m really, really sorry I did it.

Everybody was very stoned, all the time. They were under heavy police surveillance. I ended up leaving there extremely depressed and it took me a couple of years, including some fairly heavy therapy to get over it.

Yeah, because I kind of like left my friends behind… that’s a heavy line to cross, so I felt when I came out, that I had no life, no friends. Whatever idealism I had going in had pretty much been destroyed by seeing how ineffective a lot of what they did was. It was all certainly, coming from a really good place, but between all the stuff they had to deal with, particularly the money. They were in a lot of trouble all the time. It was really…

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: You weren’t that political, ultimately.


MICHAEL ERLEWINE: I came from an art/music background. John Sinclair and I really were not friends during that time. Like I believe John SInclair helped to bring Jerry Garcia to West Park and we [Prime Movers Blues Band] would play together. John would come and feel he had to go out of his way to taunt the police and make them the enemy, and it wasn’t necessary. The police were just there, peaceful. A lot of us looked at the White Panthers, not as a real political movement, but as parasitical. Basically, they ran out of money and agenda in Detroit, so they came here, where the scene was fatter, and attached themselves to our scene, while we were much more peaceful, doing music and art. We really weren’t very political, certainly not into militant confrontation. It was not our nature.

John and I have become good friends, but then I was not very appreciative of what they brought to the scene. I love John and have played behind him as part of the “Blues Scholars” several times.

JIM DULZO: I still consider John more than an acquaintance. I don’t know if I consider John a friend. I think what you are talking about is something I describe as a real gangster mentality. It just seemed like whatever they were doing, it sort of had this real sort of rough, aggressive edge to it.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: The scene could have been done without it. But they thrived on it and couldn’t listen. They had been through to much with police in Detroit, perhaps.

JIM DULZO: So, I guess in ’72. That was when Rainbow Multimedia was going on over in that building on Liberty. Do you remember where that was? Kind of around the corner from the Blind Pig, next to the parking structure.

If you walk right down the hill from Mr. Floods Party and cross the street, before you got to 1st street, it would be on the right. That building is still there, but it is something else entirely now. But I remember that they moved in there, when they were doing the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival. They were producing it from in there and that’s where I met Pete Andrews and John Sinclair and I was sort of their radio guy. That’s what I was doing. I produced the spots that ran on public radio for the 2nd year’s live broadcast, which had Ray Charles on it. 

In fact, we used a Ray Charles tune. In my working with them, going over to the Rainbow House every day or going over to Rainbow Multimedia every day and working and getting to know these people better, I really liked what they were doing. And given everything else that was going on, I thought I would just move into the house and save on the rent. And work with them.

And it lasted until after the second festival, which was in its own way kind of a fiasco. I just knew it was time for me to get out.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: What was the problem with the second festival?

JIM DULZO: Well, with the second festival, they left a mess. They didn’t get it cleaned up right and they got all these… It didn’t go well. It lost more money than the first festival. I think they videotaped the 2nd festival and so they spent a lot of money on a lot of ancillary stuff, and I think they lost a greater amount of money the second year than they did the first year. It went down, not up.

And between that and the fact that they didn’t clean up their mess after… kind of like the fence was left standing there… and there was all this trash and everything, but it just played right into the Republican’s hands, so that’s it.

It was always really clear to me that Pete was kind of the business side of it, and John was definitely the creative side and that John’s business licks weren’t very good and that Pete’s seemed to be OK.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: We used to think that Peter Andrews really didn’t know the music. He and I discussed this the other day. This was when he was just starting out and the Prime Movers were his house band at his teen club “Mothers” in the old armory. He was learning. He was a pinhead, a college kid who was trying to make money, just to pay his bills. And he kind of slowly got into it, involved, and would like to be involved again. He has left behind him, like many people do, a wake of situations. We all do.

JIM DULZO: He has never done anything to screw me and I don’t have anything on him that’s negative and I actually like Pete. I enjoy talking to him. He is a funny guy and a pretty smart guy and certainly been around the block five or six times, by now.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: What have you had to do with the festival, since its revival in the early 90s?

JIM DULZO: Not at all.

I worked on the Frog Island Festival. I was a founder of the Frog Island Festival. That was in 1982 and I am still involved with that. We are going to do our 18th consecutive festival this year. It’s a great event. It really is. I served as the director of the Montrose Detroit Jazz Festival, from the 1994 event through the 1999 event. I did six festivals. And I recently left that.

In 1967 or 1968, probably 1968, I took my first professional job as a disk jockey at WAAM, that Spectrum show, that you see the ad there for in the 1969 blues festival program. I did that for a couple of years and I went over …

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: What was that show about?

JIM DULZO: For AM radio, it was amazing. For the time, I mean ABX had just gone on the air and I was kind of doing the same thing, just for three hours a night, sort of at the end of their broadcast day, from ten until one AM, then we’d sign off, you know.

And I did that for a couple of years. I got fired from that job, because of entangling alliances vis-a-vis the Vietnam War and groups on campus here. A flyer that New Mobilization passed out had my name and my shows name on it, like “tune in tonight, there’s gonna’ be some antiwar songs” or something”… and that got back to the general manager, who was a retired air force colonel, Wayne Adair was his name and I was fired the next day. I was there for a couple years.

I eventually went over to what was then WOIA and then became WNRZ and then became WIQB and did a progressive rock show over there, in the late evening. Then I went into Detroit and started working at WABX… and I worked at WABX, probably in 1972 and 1973. Again, a progressive rock show, but I was really sneaking in jazz and I was sneaking in blues. You know, really trying to take it in that direction.

And I left WABX and got out of it entirely for a while, worked at the Blind Pig… bartended, took money at the door, managed the bands, you know, just whatever you needed to do. It was a real non-hierarchical situation there. I did that for a couple years, like I said, did some TV stuff over at the university’s TV center and then I got back on the air, with an all-night jazz show, again at WIQB.

And I did that in the mid 70s, like ’76 and ’77 and ’78, probably, and then I left that to work at WJZZ, which I did for a couple of years in Detroit, the FM jazz station in Detroit. And that’s when I started writing as well. I started writing for Monthly Detroit Magazine. I became a regular weekly columnist about jazz and blues for the Detroit News. And I did that for 14 years.

One thing led to another and I ended up at WEMU, in Ypsilanti, as music program manager, in 1980…. And I did that for eight years. And that’s when I founded the Frog Island Festival and I also continued to write for the Detroit News and other free-lance opportunities. I left there in 1988 and worked solely as a free-lance writer for four years and sort of got drafted by Metro Times, to be the managing editor, which I did for a year.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: So, you probably know Tom Jurek?

JIM DULZO: I was his editor. I was his managing editor. And then I got drafted by the Montrose Jazz Festival to be their director and I did that for six years. And that brings me to today, pretty much.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: Why did you leave them?

JIM DULZO: The president there is really a problem. She is a micromanager, and she has a very, very different business style and philosophy than me and I felt increasingly undermined, as director. And I really felt that, in fact I know, that it wasn’t gonna’ change. I tried really hard in a number of different ways to get a change, because I was very unhappy. It’s a very, very difficult job to direct a festival like that. It’s really a mother fucker. It really is. And to go out and battle like that every day and then to come back to the trench and have trouble in your trench…

It was too much for me. I just really didn’t want to do it. And right now, I’m looking around.

I think I listen to music very well. I think I have an extremely critical ear. I have quite a bit of knowledge of the history of both blues and jazz. I wouldn’t ever compare myself to Sinclair, but I know a lot. I also think I am a very, very good writer and I think I am a very good editor. And I am good at managing people. People like working for me.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: What blues and jazz do you personally like?

JIM DULZO: In jazz, probably my number one is Mingus. Probably my number two is Ellington. Generally speaking, with jazz, I like the funkier, bluesier stuff: Jimmy McGriff, Jimmy Smith, Kenny Burrell, guys like that, guys who play out the blues. Lee Morgan, people …

I’m doing a radio show on Saturday nights on WDET, from 7 until 10 PM. My catchphrase for it is ‘Rhythm and Blues you can use on a Saturday Night’. So, it's Jimmy Smith and it's Otis Redding, you know and it’s in there. Sometimes I will sneak in a little Rolling Stones or something, for the rock audience.

You know, Anthony Braxton and all of that, well you know, it’s kind of interesting… it’s kind of like a puzzle, but it doesn’t strike me as music.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: Stanley Turrentine? 

JIM DULZO: Stanley I love.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: Because I came in from blues to jazz through folks like Turrentine.

JIM DULZO: And I think that I did too. The first record I bought that was jazz or blues related was a Johnny Hodges album with Wild Bill Davis on the Hammond and Kenny Burrell on the guitar. I bought some other stuff, but then I kind of went off into the blues when I got to college, and I then sort of went back to learning more about jazz from that.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: What blues do you like?

JIM DULZO: Well, they are all dead. I love Howlin’ Wolf. I think he is the most interesting arranger and writer. Nobody has put out records like his stuff.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: Do you know Cub Coda. Cub loves Wolf.

JIM DULZO: Yeah. I think that Wolf is simply amazing, just the way the stuff was arranged. B.B. King, of course. Luther Allison… Jr. Wells… Otis Rush… Otis Rush is great. Buddy Guy’s records are great; Buddy Guy in person kind of turns me off… nonstop showboat.

Koko Taylor, basically the Chicago guys. I absolutely love Magic Sam. He may be my all-time favorite just because of the way he sings; it just pierces… just goes right through you.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: That first Delmark album ‘West Side Soul’ is just beautiful.

JIM DULZO: It’s an amazing record. It really is. To me it’s like: that’s real blues. They start every tune and they are all kind of way off from each other and it just tightens up into this thing, and on the last chorus, man, it just punches you right in the nose.

I remember a guy name Bob Goldenthal. Do you remember that name? 


JIM DULZO: He used to do a blues show on Tuesday and Thursday nights on WCBN and he always opened with the “Ooh wee baby,” from “In the Wee Wee Hours.” It was great. It just blew me away.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: I like Chitlin Con Carne, the alternate take. Where the bass part, by Jack Myers, really stands out. That is really beautiful.

JIM DULZO: So those are some of the guys I like.

You know it’s funny, going back to 1968, 1969, I don’t think that I had any idea how crazy what we were doing was, well, that nobody had ever done this before. I don’t think I had any real sense of that. I had no idea that we were such pioneers.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: Yeah, and what I am trying to show the blues and jazz festival people, who are a far cry from Pete Andrews and John Sinclair, now, the guys who run the current festival. I am friends with Lee Berry, whom I really respect.

You don’t want to run Prism, do you?

JIM DULZO: No. A lot of the stuff they book is stuff that I have no sympathy for. I am not against it.

MICHAEL ERLEWINE: You have to do that. If you don’t do that, you won’t make any money. And it is also really hard work.

JIM DULZO: Oh, I know that.

I don’t really know what I want to do next. What I wanted to do next was to keep doing the Montrose festival. That was sort of my dream come true, in some ways, but its: careful what you wish for. It turned into one of those situations, so I’m really looking around right now. I am not in bad shape financially or anything. It’s not like I have to jump right away to something.

I have a great memory of Rahsaan [Roland Kirk]. He played at the Michigan Ballroom after his stroke, so he was playing two saxophones instead of three, with one hand, instead of two. And that just in itself, was just astonishing. The bright moment that I really remember… you know how he gets into these dialogues with the audience, there is kind of a lot of back and forth. Someone asked him why he wasn’t using his other hand.. and so he had to explain to them that he had just had a stroke.

And I saw Mingus there once and Danny Richmond didn’t make the gig, so they did a quartet instead of a quintet and when they go to the spots, where Danny Richmond usually would a drum solo, Mingus would slap some stuff out, right on the bass.

I remember the Ann Arbor News guy, like put it down. I thought that guy was a fuckin’ asshole. This was brilliant stuff. So, what if they didn’t have a drummer.

One of the things that I like about Mingus so much is that about half of his stuff comes right out of Ellington. I mean he’s really… Mingus in many ways was really a colorist, like Ellington was. I mean he really, he gets that sort of uptown-Manhattan-at-sunset kind of colors, into what he does. At the same time, he is so much wilder. He’s got Eric Dolphy in the band…

I remember Paul Oliver really well. He was this really kind of shaggy brit. I remember his teeth being really bad. He was the MC. He could seem like a real character just like all the blues guys did.

[We could use some photos of Dulzo from back in the day if you have them. Please sent them to]

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Michael Erlewine