Monday, November 8, 2010

Sid Simmons-Rest in Peace

Late Saturday afternoon I received an e-mail from Bill Meeks. He conveyed the sad news that Jazz Piano player Sid Simmons had passed away a few hours before. Sid was a Philadelphia native and a very serious talent on piano. Of all the local and national players I heard when I owned the Jazz Club, Sid was my particular favorite. He had a light touch on the keys and a swinging Bop style that just hooked me from the first time I heard him play. He combined the class of Bill Evans with the soul and hard hitting style of Oscar Peterson. I knew Sid had been suffering from a variety of medical ailments. The last time I hung out with him in September he did not look well and his handshake seemed frail. If a guy who played thousands of hours of piano has a weak know there is trouble.
In addition to the many hours I heard Sid play, I also spent quite a bit of time in conversation with him. After a gig, he would sit at the Bar with me and sip a Remy and talk about eveything from Jazz to Eagle's Football. He was a soft spoken and polite gentleman who enjoyed a cigar and the company of his friends.He was one of those African American cats who looked ageless. When I met him I thought he was in his early 40's when in fact he was in his late 50's. Sid always appreciated it when I would go see him play at a different venue. A few of us would cab it over to Ortlieb's Jazz Haus when Sid was playing there and it meant a lot to him that we would make the effort to see him at another joint. The Jazz world has lost a great talent and I am truly saddened. Enjoy the video of Sid playing jazz piano.


Hilton said...

Interesting article, Mr. MLS.

Are you a handgun enthusiast by any chance? I looked at a S&W 66 and 686 today at a local gun dealer. I already own a semiautomatic pistol (SIG). I would like to acquire a revolver for self-protection during hiking. Now that the law has been changed regarding carrying into a state park, I would be better able to respond in the unlikely event of a bear attack.

Thank you.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Hilton-I am not a big handgun guy. I do have a .32 Cal 5 shot revolver that is small and light for carrying( I have a Penna. permit and when I owned the Jazz Club I carried when I made bank deposits.)
For bear protection..whatever you would need to stop said bear...and not just piss him off...would be to heavy and unwieldly. But if you do not mind the weight.....45 cal or .357 with the correct load can make a big bear think twice. You are better off with good pepper spray and some bells on your pack to make them run off when they hear you 150 yards away.
For a personal item, a 9 mm Glock or Beretta eems a good choice. However,I like revolvers for their safety and foolproof set up.

Hilton said...

Thank you, sir.