Posted by Joe S. on October 09, 1999 at 16:48:07:
New Orleans-born Sam Butera, virtuoso jazz tenor saxophoist, worked with Louis Prima (Find out about Louis Prima on the web, if you don't know who he was.) for decades in Vegas (beginning that Vegas stint in the early 1950's), made many recordings with "The Witnesses" + Louis Prima & Keely Smith, and several with his (Butera's) own band, "The Wildest".
Last night, I finally had the opportunity to meet and hear Mr. Butera in person with his band, "The Wildest". He plays, sings, tells jokes, and dances ABSOLUTELY as well as he ever did, now in his 73rd year. I heard him mumble some things about retiring within the year when he was speaking to autograph seekers and others between sets. If you get a chance to catch his act this year, whether at a Vegas casino or in a casino in another city (Yes, I find casinos disgusting too, but on the other hand, I did NOT want to miss my lifetime chance to "Witness" Sam Butera.) you MUST try very hard to do so. This man will INSPIRE you to attain virtuosity in your music, realize that the PURPOSE of virtuosity is COMMUNICATION, and you will also see that in many cases age is INDEED mostly an attitude and that continuous hard work will keep you young.
The last thing that he said to the audience at the end of his final set was, "Remember that it is nice to be important, but that it is more important to be nice."