Emails, Stories and Memories.

This area is deticated to stories and memories from those who either knew or encountered Arthur Rhames somewhere along the road of life. If you have a story you'd like to share with the rest of the world, this is the place to do it.
If you have a tape, video or a photo, you can share it by sending us an email.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Dan Krimm Wrote:

Funny coincidence that I discover this site just after Ken posted his story (hi Ken!).  That band that Stanley was playing in during the late 70s and early 80s was actually led by Jimmy Allington, and it was called "Mainstream".  I played fretless bass guitar in that group for a couple years around then -- still a little new on the instrument which I had only begun playing in late 1975 after classical violin training for a decade before.  I played two gigs where Arthur was the guest, one out in an outdoor amphitheater (I think that was 1980), and another one at one of the eating clubs on campus.  There was another gig Arthur played that I didn't participate in, where he played all three instruments in succession: sax like Trane, piano like McCoy, and guitar like Hendrix. Whew.

I was still a little green in those days, and the gig we played at the eating club was very cool, but when we played Impressions I hadn't realized that Trane used to go way out and just go duo with drums at a certain point in his evolution and Arthur was totally into that groove, so when we got to the sax solo I was still playing to support the solo, and Arthur just walked off the stage to the side, totally surprised me.  I didn't quite "get it" until later, so I was stuck there starting with a sort of a drone thing and there was nothing else to do but build it into a solo of my own, which actually turned out to be pretty inspired. So I drew my solo to a close and laid out, and then Arthur walked right back on and started blowing.  That's when it clicked in my head what was going on ("oh ... I get it ...").  And he went on to do something awesome as usual.  I think there was a little more magic that evening than the outdoor gig, though the outdoor one definitely had a lot of crowd energy.  I saw a YouTube clip of one tune from the outdoor gig (yeah, somebody grabbed it off the board, a pretty raw mix) Arthur and Stanley are awesome, and Jimmy rocks, and I play fine walking underneath the ensemble sections but I hear myself struggling during my solo (maybe it sounded better a few feet away with the sound coming off the stage -- it wasn't so bad as to destroy the overall energy, so at least I didn't do any serious damage -- I guess I was just inspired to reach for a little more than I was capable of at the time).  I got a little better in the mid-80s to early-90s with some serious woodshedding.

But I won't forget those two gigs with Arthur. I felt like a spectator as much as a participant.  Great seats for a fan, right on stage!  :-)

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Ken McCarty wrote:

Thank for this site. Arthur was remarkable spirit and those of us who knew him should do everything we can to keep his memory  alive.
I first heard about Arthur from Beth Cummins, daughter of the founder of India Navigation Records. I believe she has quite a few photos of him.
I had to chance to hear him play in several venus then, but the only one I remember the name was a Knitting Factory gig.
How wish now we had the cellphone video cameras then that everyone has now.
I remember also going to hear Arthur in a loft setting with the pre-famous Stanley Jordan and I remember Stanley just "rocking out" as a member of the audience as did I.
I arranged two gigs for him at Princeton (probably '81)  One of the gigs was Arthur playing with Stanley's quartet. He lit a real fire under the band.

Again, how wish I'd done something to record them, but concert recording was not a simple deal back then. (Wait! Newark born drummer Jimmy Allington who I have not seen in decades might have taped off the soundboard!)
I don't really have words for Arthur' music..."a force of nature" ... "a divine wind." You just had to be there to appreciate it.

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Les Kromer wrote:

I was bicycling in Switzerland in 1981 when i noticed a poster for a jazz festival in Willasau. I headed over there for what was a great 4 day festival and personally bought my tickets from the promoter of the festival at his house. He was excited about bringing Arthur over and I had no idea what or whom he was talking about. But the one night that was dedicated to Arthur and Rashid Ali playing Coltrane brought the house down. Arthur played tenor like Trane and played piano like McCoy. Who was this guy? When the festival was over I headed to the post office to mail some postcards back to the states when I bumped into both cats leaving the post office. I told them I much I loved their music and i could see how excited Ali was. My impression was that Ali was planning on this duo for the foreseeable future but after that day I never another word about Arthur until just a few years ago when I discovered the CD of their performance that day online. Yes I bought the CD and it brings back memories every time I play it. I never heard how Arthur died at such a young age. and I'm not sure the story is told on your site. If you could email me I'd appreciate it. Thanks for creating this website.

August 24, 2013

Warren Bradley Wrote:

My Message: I stumbled upon this site at 1:23 AM, while having a few beers & watching an old Elizabeth Taylor film (Virginia Wolfe), I lived with Arthur for several years in the 80's (can't remember exact dates right now), helped with his career at the time (I'm a visual artist) and for a brief moment in time was a part of his life (dare I say an integral part?). I have a few photos, some tapes, his weights, and a lot of memories (mostly personal). I'm proud and glad to see such adulation here (we all new the greatness, didn't we?), and proud to have been a part of his life - one memory that I'll share now is his love of the Stevie Woner song "All I Do (Is think about you)", he would play it over & over; dedicated it to me (us), and I might've gotten sick of it, except it's Stevie... still think about you whenever I hear it. RIP.

January 28, 2013

Gary McGill Wrote:

Remembering Arthur & I ripping through "Rene's Theme" by Larry Coryell with 2 acoustic guitars at Fryfogle's in London Ontario in front of 25 "deers in headlights" type Londoners who were out to cast a critical eye on the "kid from New York". Then we did "Dance of Maya" at the Ridout Tavern on the Saturday afternoon & messed the place up. A good solid week of great memories. :) I loved you guys! Me crying over Hendrix, Arthur crying over Coltrane...
ha! Veggie Panzerotti @ Mario's on Clarence!


What a great guitarist!

We loved that week in London Ontario Canada with Gary McGill.

Cleve Alleyne


February 17th, 2012

Vincent Atwood Wrote:

455 Rogers Ave Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY. Arthur and his band Eternity use to practice and jam in my basement with many other fellow musicians. Arthur use to drill (run scales) for hours and hours. His motto was practice, practice, and more practice. He approached his instruments like a kung fu master (guitars, upright piano and sax). He mastered them all, what an amazing talent back then, but it surpasses many musicians of today.

Vincent (Vinny) Atwood

October 7, 2011

Gary B. Jackson wrote:

I was in Steve Arrington's Hall of Fame with "Butch" Arthur Rhames. He was truly gifted and brought forth positve powered emotion, thru his instruments, and total personna !!! I remember the time we spent in the studio and on the road !!! When we were playing a gig in Atlantic City, Butch would play on tenor and I would play jazz drums between sets !!! The people loved it !!!
I introduced Butch and the late great bassest Steve Neil to each other in a jazz club called Gillys,located in Dayton,Ohio !!! Arthur was playing with Rashid Ali and they asked Steve Neil to sit in !!! This was instant fire works !!! Butch said later : Rashid I bet this reminded you of the old days with Trane !!! Rashid replied : Man the old days were never like that !!! He was referring to Steve Neil's bass antics and Butch's unearthly Sax progressions !!! I was sitting in on congas and the atmosphere was mind blowing !!! That was the last time I saw Arthur !!! Three great ships of legend passing thru the times of life !!! I love Butch for who he was and not just his gifts !!! His limitless energy and love of the universal positve elements !!!


June 28, 2011

Myke21 has made a comment on Eternity, Featuring Arthur Rhames (Part 2):

This is purely Heavy!!!!!


May 13, 2011

f0ckt has made a comment on Eternity, Featuring Arthur Rhames (Part 2):

So good.

April 19, 2011

Robert Williams wrote:

I met Arthur in 1970 when he was about 12-13 years old. I had been hired as assistant band-director at JHS 271 in Brooklyn because of my experiments with African-American music theory. One day I saw Arthur walking in the hallway where I was assigned to patrol. He stood out among the crowd and carried a few albums under his arm. I spoke to him and inquired about the albums and the kind of music he was playing. He named a few classical pianists. I then asked him if he ever played any of his own music- the kind that he was "hearing" in the back of his mind. He seemed puzzled by that question, so I invited him to come to the bandroom before classes the next day and I would demonstrate. From that day on Arthur and many other students would gather in the bandroom while I improvised on the trumpet. "How are you able to play so much music without repeating yourself and with no music in front of you?" ,  Arhtur asked. I replied that the possibilities of the chromatic scale/system language were endless and that the source of the music beamed into his mind was eternal.  He needed to believe in that source and master the language.  I shared my work with him and about 12 others. I was employed at 271 for only a few months before it became apparent that I had to resign. Arthur would travel to my apartment in Harlem to learn more. However, I was giving up my own efforts to live the life of a jazz musician in order to learn more about the music and support my family. There was not a lot of time to devote his needs.  I am amazed at his development. He learned from everybody and everything. It is important for those of you who would follow in his wake to "Know Thy SELF"

April 11th, 2011

Richie Nick wrote:

I was standing at the Prospect Park Bandshell yesterday,  paying tribute to a deseased friend, Sam,  who wished to have a little of his ash remains scattered at that site where he enjoyed many concerts.  In conversation with another guest, i recalled the best concert I've ever seen, at this or any other venue, put on by "The Society for the Preservation of Intense Music"!  I think I was still in High School, it might have been 1976.  I mentioned to my friend, this Sunday morning, some 35 or so years later, how I was blown away by this musician, at this site several years ago.  I recalled how he enthalled me with his virtuosity on guitar,then he sat down on the piano any wailed.  When I tried to catch my breath, he picked up the sax and started playing, I think  "Giant Steps", I told my friend, Norman, who attended the concert with me, I'm leaving, "I'm going home to practice.  The friend I was talking to this Sunday morning, said in disbelief, "why don't you see if he is on Youtube?".  Glad I took his advice and glad you posted this site.  This was Brookln's own Woodstock, you had to be there.  Arthur opened the door, shined the light that illuminated what was possible - the guy wailed on three instruments.  I currently teach music at an elementary school in Brooklyn, earned a Bachelor's degree in music from Queens College, play guitar with several local bands, and work diligently on Bach's two part inventions  to gain more facility on the piano. Arthur we're glad you came through.


March 11, 2011

904tf has made a comment on Eternity, Featuring Arthur Rhames (Part 2):
This guy was off the charts! I have a cd of him playing tenor live and it is just astonishing how all the music poured out of him in such natural fashion, much like in this clip. I found the disc by accident in a bargain bin, it is on the DIW label from Japan, if you can find it, you will be amazed.


February 14th, 2011

Marty Steinberg wrote:

I had the pleasure of meeting Arthur ( and Cleve ) in the early 70's, I was working at Sam Ash on Kings Highway, and Arthur was always coming in looking at guitars and playing. we started jamming during this time, and were instant friends. At the time, I think Arthur was working as a rehearsal guitarist for Jazz/Fusion Violin legend Michael Urbaniak. Arthur could play anything, he was truly inspired (primarily at the time by John McLaughlin and Sri Chinmoy ). I left New York in the late 70's and have always wondered why I never heard more about Arthur and his prodigious talents. I am saddened to learn of his passing, even at this late date. His spirit lives on in those who had the pleasure to hear him and the honor to play with him. He was a great guy as well as gifted musician.

February 12th, 2011

Richard Termini wrote:

It must have been 1974 or so when I came down to jam at a fella's basement in Brooklyn. I walk in and the Jam is underway. WOW! Who is this guy? He was doing things I never heard or had seen on guitar before. I am an improv-player, rocker, avant guard kinda player... not a Jazz player but I played with some Jazz players during the Fusion era and this was to be one of those Jams. Arthur put down the guitar and started playing piano! Then Sax! What a trip. I never forgot that night and I always wondered what happened to that amazing musician. I never saw him again. Thanks very much for this site and your postings, fantastic. Arthur's memory and music should and must be kept alive. He was a rare person. He was rare artist. He was the real thing. Cheers.

January 13th, 2011


I first saw Arthur in the late 1970's at the New Muse in Brooklyn NY. He played the tenor sax like it was his last day to live. I would see him perform on both sax and piano at Pumkins on the corner of Nostrand and Church avenues, also in Brooklyn. He was only about 22 yrs old then, and could play Coltrane tunes with such energy and knowledge. He offered to show me some things on the guitar. I was deeply disappointed, shocked, and deeply hurt to hear of his passing.

He left this world too soon!! He really had some kind power and discpline!
He said " I would practice instead of playing basketball and skelly ".
There must be a whole lot more recordings that can be shared of the young great giant " Arthur Rhames". He has performed with Reggie Workman, jazz legend, and other well-known artists and groups.
Please submit something on behalf of this great cause, if you can.


November 23rd, 2010

Al Mack Wrote:

I meet arthur while touring with Arto Lindsey, Nana, and Melvin Gibbs in 1987. what a trip! we talked, then he came over the next day and we jammed and tapped avant garde cassetes for hours as he played sax in my chelsea loft on 7th and 22nd street. We planned on doing another tape session when i had to go back on a mini tour with Arto, we never spoke again. New York is like that sometimes, although i have the cassette tapes from the session i have never shared it...
he was the bomb!

October 30, 2010

CHarles Telerant Wrote:

In 1981 when I went to Arthur's job as a security guard in the 40's
between Broadway and Eighth Ave to try and get him to replace Kevin
Eubanks in " Steve Arrington's Hall Of Fame." he initially wanted no
part of it. It was all I could do to get him to come over to S.I.R to
meet the guys. He was jaded and wanted nothing to do with the music
business whatsoever. He eventually joined and signed a contract with the
band (w/o a lawyer looking over it) and announced to the band, "Very
soon, we're gonna have to renogiate the Arthur Rhames part of this
Anyway, he finally agreed to go over there on his lunch break and
told me the following story which he repeated many times and is
indicative of Arthur's rather developed sense of humor and irony;
While on his lunch break on 50th and Broadway he saw a jazz band
playing: Keep in mind he was wearing his rent a cop uniform complete
with hat. He had his sax mouthpiece with him and asked to sit in on
alto saxophone. The guy said OK and Arthur called "Giant Steps".
People freaked seeing a cop" playing jazz. Arthur never got tired
of telling this story. In fact Arthur identified wiith cops which was a
surprise to me. Not many bruthas from Bed-Stuy did. In his relativly
later years, much more than stardom and glory Arthur craved stability.
In the mid-80's it was all he talked about


February 11, 2010

Andre Nelson Wrote:


I am Andre Nelson. I played with a band called Wajang along with Larry Marsden and 2 other guys from South Shore High School. We played on 93rd st around the corner from Cleve Alleye's house in Brooklyn. I believe,  it was in the summer of '72 my band was taking a break from rehearsal and we came out on the sidewalk to get some air. We heard this screaming guitar that was pure talent. We ran around the corner because we were hearning some amazing fusion, rock and blues solos that went on forever and sounded so professional it sounded like a Fillmore East or Madison Square Garden concert. The solos sounded cleaner than Larry Coryell and cleaner than Johnny Winter too. I remember they played rock and roll Hoochi Coo and it sounded better than the original because Arthur and Cliff would take turns teeing off on that.  Larry and I ran around the corner and went around to the back of Cleve's house and there was Cleve, Arthur, Cliff and I forget the drummer's name in another zone. Larry and I had been figuring out guitar parts from records and had never seen anyone up close  link all the blues rock positions on the guitar. That day we got a crash course from looking at both Arthur and Cliff .  We must have been over there in Cleve's back yard for about 2 hours listening to the band and till this day I still play many of the blues fills I picked up that day. After Larry and I left we were completely blown away but at the same time lightbulbs were going off in our heads because we had finally figured out the right fingerings and connections for many of the runs and fills we had been hearing for so long.

Cleve and Arthur were very approachable but very serious dudes and they would get you on the side and lecture you about getting serious about your "axe". The first question they would ask was how many hours a day you practiced.  At least 8 hours a day was their standard.

Arthur had something going in his head that was beyond the specific instrument he was playing at the time. You could see him trying to get the instrument to execute what he was hearing. He would play these synthsizer lines on guitar with all kinds of crazy bends at top speed. It was incredible. Once he came down to our rehearsal and man were we honored to have Arthur stop by and check out our band. That night you could hear a pin drop in rehearsal when Arthur walked in. In our band we used vocals, horns as well as guitars so we played a mix of dance music, rock, caribbean, mixed up with some Tower of Power and Ronnie Laws etc. Well Arthur couldn't resist sitting in, he took out his guitar as we went through some of our tunes. We gave him plenty of room to stretch out and that was the first time I had ever seen anyone do a fretting-hand tapping technique with the fingers laying on the fretboard like a piano player. This was 1974 and way before Stanley Jordan. Arthur was known for his wild fusion stuff but that night he was as melodic and soulful as Santana. Arthur was really feeling it man because I remember it seems like he was using the whole basement floor to do his guitar act.  Man, he started croching down to wring the note out of the e string and he would skip sideways and play another burst and he would hop and jump about as he soloed. What a performance. Before he left he told me that he knew I loved the Stratocaster but that he thought I would be more comfortable on a neck like a Les Paul. He then wanted to know how much practice I was putting in. He then suggested that I leave the girls alone and practice some more. I thanked for him for the advice but told him I would have to work extra hard to stay away from the ladies.

What can I say, the guy was real scary on any instument he touched and I can tell you it felt strange taking advice from a younger guy but he was on another planet with his talent and when he spoke you would listen.   He was just the most amazing musical talent I have ever seen up close. How he did what he did took an understanding that was way beyond his years.  May he rest in peace, we all still miss the man!


aliensporebomb has made a comment on Eternity, Featuring Arthur Rhames (Part 2):

I've posted this before on a guitar but watch Art's hands at 0:54: it's like watching ocean waves moving undersea plants but in fast motion. I've never seen another player do anything remotely like that before. Off the hook? More like off the planet.


12/13/09 Charles Telerant wrote:

Arthur meets Sal Nistico

This will only mean something to the hardest of hardcore jazz fans
,especially tenor players, because unless you play, chances are you
have never heard of a tenor sax giant, Mr. Sal Nistico
   After meeting arranging great, George Russel while playing with
Arthur(he gave us ten dollars, stopped to listen and hung out with us
on 72nd and Columbus, which is where we encountered jazz luminary
drummer Billy Hart also, earlier) I thought it couldn't get any
better. At this point in the story, dear reader I urge you to go to
YouTube and type in Sal Nistico. You'll be astonished. Soulful and
quite known for his ability to play blisteringly fast tempos, he spent
years with Count Basie which he joined in 1965, and was also the tenor
player on Chuck Mangione's first album. He also played and recorded(w
Al Cohn) w Woody Herman("The Four Others"). A giant on the instrument
and ironically the first jazz musician I ever saw live in Santa Monica
California w Ex- Monk bassist Larry Gales and Charlie Parker's pianist
Walter Bishop Jr.
On an overcast day on 50th and Broadway I was playing with Arthur. We
had just begun, so the first person(and the only one)to stop was Sal
. I recognized him immediatly and so insisted that we play "I
Got Rhythm
" way up tempo which didn't take much convincing, Arthur
loved uptempos most. Sal stayed for a good while and was really
digging Arthur: unfortunatly Athur did not know who he was. I did
introduce them, however and Arthur was very respectful, as always as
was Sal. We all talked for ten minutes or so before Sal went on his
way.The moral of this story is that someone of this caliber was so
taken with Arthur So as to stand  in the street for a good half hour
and listen. I know Sal "got it". I remember thinking, "Good lord ,
only in New York on the sidewalk, some of the scariest cats on the
planet, standing there talking  to each other. And to people who knew
who Arhur was, and who knew who Sal was, this story will be most

Charles Telerant



Charles Telerant wrote:

Arthur, Kenny Werner and Joe Lovano

On a late , cool afternoon as we were playing on one of our favorite
spots, W. 43rd and Sixth Ave., right in front of the buidimg  which at
that time housed RCA records. Lonnie Liston Smith would come by often
and without exception stop, listen and put five dollars in the till.
It was the corner where the great vibist Warren Chaison , stopped and
befriended as, as well as did Barry Rodgers. Anyway, this guy comes
riding up on a coaster bike whom I remember from playing a gig with,
with an excellent tenor player named Mike Citron, an ex-Maynard
Fergeson alumnus who was tragically murdered in his apartment. The guy
on the bike was pianist Kenny Werner. After listening to us play, he
explained what he was doing there. "I got home and there was a message
on my answering machine from a guy named Joe Lovano. He said "Go to
the corner of 43rd and Broadway, John Coltrane has risen from the dead
and come back."   Kenny  rode right down and actually ended up playing
a gig with us billed as "The Return of Arthur Rhames" which might have
been the last gig Arthur ever played, I'm not quite sure. Benny Green
was  going to do the gig originally but opted out.  I remember Vincent
coming up to me  the next day on the street and asked me if I
wanted to play sometime because Hayward Peel, the bassist on the gig,
and who also played with Vince on the street had given him a good
report. Sadly, some months later, Hayward was also murdered in his
apartment. Hayward and Vincent played regularly for a couple of years,
I think along with a fine tenor player named Charlie Davis(not the
same one who recorded on Barotone sax w. Elvin). RIP, Hayward.
     Whew, Arthur Rhames fans; Lots of history there, inexorably linked.

Charles Telerant


Charles Telerant wrote:

So it's the hottest friggen' day of summer 1980: I'm playing w Arthur
on 50th and B'way. Bernard Purdie is standing there scowling at me
just like he was almost every day; he would stand there for a long
time and scowl; never saying anything: It was so hot that Arthur wore
shorts: the only time Iv'e ever seen Arthur wear shorts: we're playing
the entire "Love Supreme Suite" by Coltrane; the only time I can
remember doing the whole album: Finally we're in the "pursuance" part
and believe it or not, on this 100 degree day, we manage to draw a
sizeable crowd. Arthur begins to crouch, lower and lower, until
finally, and I had never seen this before, or since, he is on his
knees on the hot pavent playing his heart out , he even lies on his
side for a second and writhes while he is playing; totally consumed;
just not caring;  overcome with the spirit; the deepest and the
farthest I'd seen Arthur go; maybe humans weren't meant to go there; I
dont't know. Any readers here ever hear the classic album "The George
Benson Cookbook", with those incredible baritone sax solos by the
great Ronnie Cuber? I look up, and there is the man himself, El Ronnie
probably on break from one of the shows grinning from ear to ear; he
just could not believe what he was seeing; I remember it as if it were
yesterday; he had his horn with hI'm a light green custom made leather
bag with black moccasin type leather laces along along the sides. I
motioned for him to sit in, but he declined. I can't remember if
Arthur actually got blisters from that ; I remember checking his
knees, though. I do rember he was playing an alto with customarily
some of the notes missing. He prided himself on having learned to play
on inferior instruments. I remember when he was loaned a Selmer
balanced action, and he kept saying over and over again "Thank G-d for
this instrument". And that is my story for today, Dec 14, 2009
P.S.-Any of you guys who knew Arthur remember this? When he was at a
show or a session playing saxophone, he would clasp his hands right
before playing; not in a prayer fashion but a clasp, if if pleading
with the lord to give him the strength; if u watched carefully, u
could almost see him mouthing the word, "Please". HOLY SH-T!!!!! I
swear as I'm typing this at exactly 1:29 a.m. Dec. 14th, RONNIE CUBER
just came on the radio, I SWEAR TO G-D!! Arthur, that must be you!!!
Dear reader please check The WBGO playlist for this time and date:
they're playing "The Duke". I've never heard them playing a Ronnie
Cuber album
ever. Go Ronnie, Go Arthur!

Charles Telerant

December 4th 2009

Ekendra Das ( Eric Ghess) Wrote:

Hari Bol, I knew Arthur as well as all the musicians who all played together in Brooklyn. I remember many jam sessions in Collins basement, trying to keep up on congas and percussion with Collin Arthur and Cleve. I also went to the Krishna temple with Arthur. I have now been an initiated devotee for 30 years. I am still by those early seeds playing and have been fortunate enough to travel the world and play with some great artist. There are some very special spiritual powers that blessed that community of musicians, almost all of whom are still playing professionally. I remember the formation and playing with Point of View Vernon Reid, Melvin Gibbs Greg Barrett, Andre, and myself on percussion. Such a rich musical place Brooklyn NYC. I also remember our muse performance, Arthur played guitar and piano that night and finally sax, Reggie Workman was proud to see such young players digging deep and turning their spirit into music.

I want to thank Cleve for putting up the site, and keeping Arthur’s music and spirit fresh.

Hare Krishna Peace

Ekendra Das ( Eric Ghess) Percussionist


November 12th, 2009

Gregory T Barrett Wrote:

I grew up with Arthur and when I started to play drumz my life was and is still extremely enriched by all the things he showed me. Since then I have traveled the world playing music and have not meet anyone that even comes close to the kind of PERSON this man was, beside being a real true friend and the most talented musician I have ever known..I MISS U ARTHUR..Love always Gregg..


Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Mel Holder Wrote:

I was just getting out of Eramus Hall High School when I meet Athur Rhames at a club call Kabuki on Lincoln Road and Ocean Ave in Brooklyn. He was playing a beat up bundy borad of ed saxophone that he made sing. We developed a great friendship and he bagen to teach me so many thing on the sax. We practiced for 12 hours a day. I had a selmer balanced action tenor that i would let him use and WOW he blow that horn and made in speak in every musical language. I wish i would have saved many of those recording which we recorded on cassette tape. Arthur was one of the most gifted musicans on this planet....

Mel Holder

Website Address:


Karpen wrote a Youtube comment about:
Cleve and Ed Young Remember Arthur Rhames Part 1

I was a DJ at WKCR in NYC when Arthur was doing his thing in the late '70's. I recall some shows at downtown sites that were totally off the charts... What Arthur did is pretty much indescribable to people, as far as I can tell. The little bit of video is the tip of the iceberg, but whatever it is, I'm glad to see it out there, and that people are keeping the name of this briliant, gifted musician alive.





I first met met Arthur in the late 70's.  We use to jam in the infamous Smalls Paradise. i was on trumpet and he would take a long,complex guitar solo, then someone else would solo and he would comeback and take a long saxaphone solo, then someone else would solo and he would comeback and take an even better piano solo. this inspired me to play more instuments seriously. all of his solos were technical but he still told a story. i found him to be one of the most intense musicaians i've ever met, and he was even a better person. yes i know it sounds to good to be true but so was Bird, Trane and Tatum.



Dan Sterns wrote;

hey i really appreciated this!

hello there cleve.
thanks so much for taking the time to check some stuff and write back, i really appreciate it. For me it was so inspiring to finally see Arthur play. I'd heard tapes of him all the way back when i was a kid, but the sound quality was unfortunately very poor. However, i heard enough in them to know that i really wanted to hear much energy and such a personal approach to things i already knew, like Coltrane, Hendrix and McLaughlin. But these little clips on youtube really surprised me, because i pretty much had forgotten about Arthur simply because i had heard so little and nothing else ever seemed to surface over the years.....but none of that would've meant much if the playing wasn't what it is---and man, that's some playing! Funny, listening i can hear his lines, even if they're very unique, but watching him is odd.....his left hand technique is so peculiar that i can hardly cop a line the way he plays it!
I'll read thru the site before i ask some questions you might already've posted answers too elsewhere--like is this entire concert preserved on film, etc.
Unfortunately i'm heading to Slovakia Thursday morning to visit family, so i won't be able to look at this stuff for a couple weeks.....but oh man, when those vids hit me yesterday i was the lit up like christmas tree and doubly inspired to get moving on with some new thanks again, it really made a difference in (this) someone's life.
ps---by the way, i kind of keep my online pieces and links and stuff as a kind of a defacto web page at Myspace (even though i never really go there myself), and if you wanted to link something like that, i'd be honored:



danstearns has sent you a message:

hey i really appreciated this!
thanks so much for sharing the Arthur Rhames vids
this is someone i always wanted to hear, and man i wasn't disappointed!




danstearns comment on Eternity, Featuring Arthur Rhames (Part.1):

whoa----thanks sooooooooo much for sharing these, Arthur is really a kind of missing link, especially considering these vids are 30 years old !
great stuff, i just hope there's more out there?



aliensporebomb comment on Eternity, Featuring Arthur Rhames (Part 2):

Crimeny, this is so great. Like looking under a dusty curtain and finding piles of gold just sitting there. Wonderful. Cool to see Arthur with a Gibson L6-S. I had one of those too but I could never make it sound like THAT. Good grief! The intensity.




aliensporebomb comment on Eternity, Featuring Arthur Rhames (Part.1):

WHOA! Now THIS is what I'm talkin' about. Arthur was an amazing musician, the great lost guitar hero who slipped thru the cracks but rumors and whispers of his playing kept on getting mentioned by guys like Vernon Reid and others and then came the news that he had passed away. Some parallels with Shawn Lane: immense talent, unbelievable chops, passing away before really being allowed to make an impact. But the vitality here is just crazy - feel the energy!


Monday, August 17th, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Rodney Mitchell (guitarist)

Website Address:

Message: Awesome! This website is a great tribute to one giant of a player! I met Arthur in the mid seventies. Arthur Rhames was the most phenomenal player I have ever seen & heard! I played gigs with Arthur back there in the 70's where he would play the acoustic piano inside out and then pick up the guitar and obliterate everything within the sound of his instrument!!! I also sat in on jam sessions at a club called "Ali's Alley" in New York where Arthur played tenor, alto and soprano saxes...back to back!!! Again obliterating everything within the sound of his instrument. And with all of that talent, Arthur was one of the most humble cats i've ever met! I have and will always inform people of this legendary artist! His beautiful spirit manifested through his artistry. I will never ever forget Arthur Rhames!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, June 13th, 2009 at 10:41 pm

Jeff King

I met Arthur when he was 18 or so, he played piano and guitar, I played Sax. We shared a lot of music and spiritual times together, he became the pianist in my band.
I taught Arthur how to play the sax,... not music,... but how to get around the horn. I still know some of his compositions. On a gig one day during the piano solo Arthur took out his sax, I think that was the last time I hired him. We remained friends until he passed. He was the most honest and dedicated musician I knew.

Jeff King

5/29/09 Bob Murad

Web site Address:

I had the good fortune of studying piano/music with Arthur and hearing Arthur perform multiple times on Piano, Guitar and Sax in NYC in the early 80s. I heard him play most frequently with John Esposito (Piano) and Jeff Siegel (Drums). I also heard him sitting in with Elvin Jones at the Village Vanguard, with Reggie Workman and Top Shelf, Jaco Pastorius and many others- I'm still applying the interval cycles he introduced me to over 20 years ago!. He presented a novel way of approaching Jazz improv and opened my eyes and ears to a radically new way of approaching the instrument. He was a true genius in his approach. I spent many nights in the audience transported and elevated by Arthur's music. I feel extremely fortunate that we crossed paths. Of the hundreds of live Jazz performances I've heard, Arthur's were most memorable in the sheer transcendent power of the music. I miss him. His music and inspiration lives!


Saturday March, 2009

My meeting with Edward Young
Edward Young lives in Cochabamba Bolivia and is Editor of

One rewarding thing about this effort to share the memory of my friend and brother Arthur Rhames is connecting with some of the people who Arthur crossed paths with. The spark of something very special always shines through. While preparing to meet with ED I realized I was a bit preoccupied with things not allowing me to be fully focused on the issue at hand. I thought I was missing something. That's when It hit me that video taping would be the best way to share Ed's memories of Arthur Rhames in real time. So I assembled my gear and proceeded to meet ED Saturday at noon as we agreed.

Ed Young contacted me via to let me know he'd be visiting Los Angeles and wanted to share a few personal effects he'd accumulated over the years pertaining to Arthur, flyers, news clippings, etc.

Cleve Alleyne & Ed Young Remember Arthur Rhames

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Sunday, March 29th, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Name: Khalil Calvin Curtiss

I could say a thousand things about Arthur. I knew him when he was very young at the Bethel Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Brooklyn N.Y. He was younger than myself as I was born in 1952. When I was in the process of making my brake away from the church Arthur, I remember was learning piano at the time. It was very confining to be involved with music while in the church. I myself being a musician at that time playing drums eventually would switch to flute, sax, and bassoon. But in any case, when I left the church after having grown up in it from birth, I was going through my own spiritual growth. After my mom passed in 1974 I started going to the Hare Krishna Temple when it was on Henry Street in Brooklyn, for Prasad which was served on Sundays, and who do I see standing on the steps but Arthur. To be honest I couldn't remember his name but I told him that " I remember you from Bethel" and who my Mother was and he lit up and said wow you're here that’s good. I think if I not mistaking he was shaved up and wearing the type clothes one would wear when in that mode of life. But I wasn’t sure if was totally at that time. He was playing guitar then I didn't know he played sax until one day When I used to work at channel 13 on 57th street, I took lunch in front of Columbus Circle and I hear this sax and I draw a little closer and I see its him. I couldn't believe my eyes or ears, but it was Arthur playing with a drummer who I think was Charles. I saw the youtube video but it was hard to hear. But Arthur and I had talked briefly about playing together when I was learning Bass clarinet But I was nowhere Arthur at that time and he wasn't "There" either at that time but was a whole lot more into it than I was and it inspired me to study even more. One thing I will say Arthur Practiced incessantly, which is what I did once I ran into Arthur again in the 55th street temple of ISKON, where I spent a great deal of my free time in those days chanting and eating vegetarian food and talking about music. I could probably write a book about it. I saw Eternity on two occasions for free, once in Prospect Park at a type of gazebo behind the Brooklyn Museum one a Saturday night in the late 70’s. Needless to say everybody in that trio was on a whole level than the average musician at that time and he was still young. He, Cleve and Colin were just plain awesome. And to make even more insane he played piano TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I could say so much more but we would never stop. It's amazing that his life was so short and he accomplished so much in such a short period of time when you think about it. He really had the spirit of music and his technique caught up eventually. Who know what he could have accomplished had he live. But " c'est la vie" sometimes all the good people are dealt the uneven Hand. Long Live Arthur Rhames.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get in touch somehow musically yours

Khali Calvin Curtiss

August 20th, 2008
sachem onedegodth, John Purvis

I first met Arthur Rhames in 1974/75 at the house of collin young who lived on Midwood street Brooklyn at the time. I lived around the corner on Rutland Road. I was visiting Collins Younger brother Carl who everyone called pumpkin. We were in the basement when they came in, Ok fellasyou have to go, so we left and went upstairs. Soon this amazing music came forth from the basement. I was playing at the time but I wasn't into that music at the time, i wasn't ready.

One time after my band rehearsed and I had left, Arthur came and jammed and the next day my phone was ringing off the hook about what had happened. I would see Arthur around the hood and he was always friendly, telling me to keep on playing. I
still wasn't ready, not yet.

Many years later I was ready and I started hanging with collin,for some reason he would always let me borrow those Eternity tapes which I studied earlier. I applied what i was hearing to the music and I was playing. I was studying Trane and Mclaughlin, I had also seen Eternity play and never forgot it. During the early 80's there was alot of jamming going on in downtown Brooklyn, many times Arthur would come in and wipe
out the place just blowing everyone away, then myself and drummer Keith
Demary would come in and redestroy the remaining muscians.

I encountered Arthur many times but never got the chance to play with him. Collin and
I worked on many different projects but he never allowed any of his guitarist to play like Arthur, not really, but thats another story.

I saw Arthur about 3 months before he died, he was wearing a suit and carrying an
attache case, he looked as strong as ever and we spoke for a few minutes. A couple of months later I got the call that he had passed, I was very sad. There was a radio show that was put together on KCRW in NYC, I helped on that project with vernon reid and others but was unable to attend. As I continued studying Trane, Mclaughlin and others Arthur's music became clearer. When I formed the ReAwakening band we began doing some of his music, It's our a way of turning people on to him. You could'nt be a musician in Brooklyn and not be influenced and inspired by Arthur. Arthur Rhames is
the tree and gutarist such as Vernon Reid, Gary Paulson, Alex Mosley, and myself are branches from that tree. If you like Arthur's guitar music, check out the piano and sax music. To this day people debate which was his true calling.

Arthur was a master on all 3 instruments, He would go and woodshed with a gutarist
5-6hrs then go play piano another 5-6 hrs and then play sax for yet another 5-6 hrs. This was his weekday routine. He once vanished for 3 days and when he returned he said he was in the park woodsheding. As a gutarist I will do what i can to keep his legacy alive. Sadly there are not to many who can, maybe one day that will change, because if you cannot do it with the passion and intensity of his music Don't Do It and disrespect his legacy! You know who you are!!!!

Sachem Onedegodth, John Purvis



April 2, 2008



Thank you, awesome, to the friends,fam.., and fans for this web site.
Don't know where to start. I had the honor to cross paths with the Legacy of a Great Creative Artist ,A Musical Force and a Musical Prophet, Arthur Rhames. I was mind blown when word of his passing came down. Last time I saw Rhames I was on my way to work in a city job, burnt out, away from the music, in the grips, forget it I was in a dark place. Arthur reach out to me and encouraged me to come out and jam with him. I broke down in tears, I was so touched by his compassion. The great Arthur Rhames had ask this down and out cat at that time to come out and hang. I was truly humbled with mist in my eyes. I struggled getting to downtown B'klyn, three weeks later. There was no sign of him. Some time later, I heard the brother had pass on, man, it broke my heart.
I have a few golden memories, the one that comes to mind is; the yr. 1976, bottom of the Village gate. An all Women Jazz Festival fund raiser for the UNCF, where Phyllis Hyman was the head liner. I was backing up Nicole Nyyanti, vocals, myself on guitar( juan q.) along with Isaac falu on bass, Arthur Rhames on paino. We all stumbled in there late, unrehearsed, without a drummer and almost weren't allowed to play. Isaac F. twisted Buddy Williams arm to back us up on drums. Andrea B. sat in on flute.
Yeah, I knew we would be the highlight of the evening, although we were last to come on, it was all impromptu, raw, and fiesty, hey what can I say, we were on fire. We kicked off with a blues.
I was keenly aware what a treat and an unprecedented moment of history was taking place. I don't have the words to descibe the feeling, the thrill, man, it was something.
Before we got started, Arthur was warming up softly on Giant steps. He looked at me from the corner of his eye, daring me on, checking me out, well, I picked up the que, and followed suit.
We got through a couple of choruses before the band filled the stage. The whole scene remains vivid in my mind, every moment.

Thanks for this opportunity to share, more to come.


Memories of Arthur Rhames
March 2008

By Steven J. Rosen (Satyaraja Dasa)

Unlike most people, I guess, my friendship with Arthur had little to do with music: It was all about spirituality. He and I met at the Henry Street Hare Krishna temple in Brooklyn. The year was 1973, and our friendship lasted until the day he died. And then some.

About a year into our friendship, I remember hanging out with him at Rasikananda's house in Harlem. There was an acoustic guitar sitting around and one day he picked it up and played -- that was the first time I even realized he was a musician, and I saw that he was a damn great one! After improvising a while with blues and jazz scales, he
started singing a song about Prabhupada, the founder and spiritual preceptor of the Krishna movement in the West -- these were obviously his own lyrics, and he sang them like an angel, with intense feeling. By the time I relocated to State Street, I guess in the early '90s, he had somehow transformed his body into a powerhouse -- I guess he was working out in his spare time. So when I asked him to help me move, and he agreed, I knew that he'd be able to handle the heavy lifting! And he did. Man, was he strong. There were pieces of furniture I couldn't budge -- but he effortlessly lifted them with that characteristic Rhames smile. We laughed and laughed. He was a special soul. And I'll miss him for the rest of my days.



Chester Arthur French wrote:

Arthur was and is still the finest musical mind of the last 40 years. His approaches to improvisation and the spiritual nature of his statements are an inspiration to those that understand that they were communications to and on the highest level.
Arthur turned time signatures inside out, scales upside down and totally obliterated the modal system into particulates, only to re-integrate them into a tsunami of sound and ideas. His sound was at once timeless and eternal, but still speaking of ancient and future unlimited possibilities and potentials. Presently I have the honor to be playing with Eternity drummer Collin Young and study some of the approaches that Arthur imparted to him. We play some of Arthur's compositions as well as inspired originals in his band, The Underworld Fusionist, with a CD soon to be released.

Chester Arthur French



Photo Provided by:Jan Ström

Ayler Records wrote:

It was in March 1980, me and my wife were walking on Broadway and we were passing this duo busking – tenor sax and a small drum kit. Just a snare and some cymbals. (See photo!). They played Coltrane tunes like Giant Steps, Mr. PC, etc. I was completely overwhelmed to have the luck to hear such music be played on the street.

I took some pictures, made a short cassette recording, placed some money in the basket and left without knowing who the two were. Some 15 years later I happened to get the DIW recording from Soundscape in my hand and recognized Arthur at once.

Some years later, I mentioned this story to Michael Marcus in NYC. Michael told me that I should contact Rashied Ali as they played a lot together.

The result was our release; “The Dynamic Duo”, “Remember Trane and Bird”, aylCD-050/051. A double CD from Willisau in August 1981.

I thought it should be quite easy to find out who the drummer was who played with Arthur on Broadway. I asked a lot of experts in NYC but I never got the name. Not until January 2008 when I had Charles Telerant’s name through Jeff Siegel.

It is a very fine action to create this site to the memory of Arthur Rhames. I know that there are a lot of unreleased recordings and hopefully this can support more interest with more releases in the future.

Jan Ström


January 2008


January 2008

Al Street Wrote:

Hello, I saw the Arthur Rhames footage on youtube and was excited to see it !
When I was a kid I taped a whole radio show they played when he died.
I was just so amazed by what I heard I taped the whole thing - and I still have it.
There's some performances from Eternity at Prospect Park (with guitar and piano)
and some saxophone perfomances with Reggie Workman's group, I think called
the Top Shelf.



The first time I met Charles Telerant was on 48th Street in Manhattan while going to Manny's Music Store. He was playing a small casio keyboard and singing just off Broadway on 48th. I was so moved by what I heard that I had to stop and tell him what I thought about what I was hearing.. The essence of what I heard remains with me to this day! Charles is a great example of what's wrong with the music industry. An Industry which doesn't care about art, just cultivating bodies that will bleed green!

Unfortunately great artist's usually live and die without notice or support from an industry which should be helping artist's propogate these wonderful gifts of song around the world. The fact that great artist like Charles Telerant, Arthur Rhames and many many others have been overlooked for so long, I feel is a direct reflection on the sickly, sorry state society is in today. The 5 and 11 oclock news confirms this fact daily. However the internet has afforded us the opportunity to right this wrong on some level.

I recently received an email from Charles after putting up the Youtube footage of Eternity 1978 and launching the Arthur website. This re-established contact with Charles and myself after about 25 plus years. That email is posted below.

Cleve Alleyne

Charles Telerant Wrote:

Hey Guys, Glad 2 see this site up. Anyone who knew Arthur knew he played in the streets of New York on his tenor and or alto sax(whichever he could borrow at the time) with a drummer. That drummer was me.
We got props from Mel Lewis, Pharoah Sanders, Dom um Ramao, Jon Mayer(the pianist)Grady Tate, Hannibal Marvin Petersen(he slipped Arthur a note with his phone number but Arthur never responded) Charlie Rouse,(repeatedly) Mario Rivera, Billy Harper, Bobby Watson ,Pee Wee Ellis ,Jaco Pastorius(gave us ten bucks in front of Penn station while we played "Moment's Notice". Mike Clark, Warren Chaison Ferrone, Lonnie Liston Smith put five bucks in the till each and every time he saw us ).etc. Every one of these musicians stopped and listened to us. Steve Coleman sat in with us on a regular basis. I remember one night at "Ali's Alley" when Arthur was playing with Rasheed Ali's "Funky Freeboppers", Arthur taking a solo on "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise" on a beat up Fender Rhodes and Steve Coleman standing right next to me yelling out an immense SCREAM!!!!

I remember the late great trombonist Barry Rodgers hanging out with us on 6th and 43rd. I remember Kenny Garrett sitting in with us on a cold fall afternoon at 34th and Broadway (we played on Green Dolphin Street). I remember Chico Freeman stopping on the same corner after hearing Arthur Blaze through "Giant Steps" at about 160 b.p.m. His exact word to Arthur were "You are an inspiration to me, Bro'".
I remember Kenny Werner (who ended up working with us for a night at Mikell's pub; originally Benny Green was slated to do it but canceled) riding up on his bicycle at 6th ave. and 43rd st. and telling us Joe Lovano just called and told him to come down; he told Kenny that "John Coltrane had just risen from the grave and came back".

I remember Bill Frisell giving me a ride home in his light green VW bug after a jam session with both him and Arthur on guitar. and me on drums. "Whaddja think Bill?" I asked him. I remember Bill's exact words. "He was overwhelming", Bill proclaimed. "I've never seen anyone play guitar like that".
I remember one overcast day when we were playing on the upper West Side of Manhattan front of RCI radio. Itzhak Perleman drove by in his grey Volvo station wagon and stopped for an entire fifteen minute version of "Impressions". I remember playing in Columbus circle when it rained because of the Subway canopy that protected us from the rain and and soon as it cleared up a bit , playing "After The Rain". It was just down the street from the Hare Krishna Temple where Arthur lived.
I remember dragging Arthur from his security guard job in a in midtown down to S.I.R where Steve Arrington's hall of fame was rehearsing. I had gotten my former pal Kevin Eubanks the gig (he was working in a Brooklyn bakery at the time, sharing an apartment with his then best friend drummer Sam Allen and Ralph Moore. Arthur came down in security guard uniform! He eventually got the gig. I was at the audition; that's a story unto itself. He ended up touring and opening up for George Clinton. Years later I talked to Dennis Chambers about him. The cats in George's band were blown away by him; they made social gestures toward him to hang out, but typical as could be of Arthur, he rebuffed them
I remember meeting Collin Young on 83rd and Broadway in front of that little Italian restaurant with the circular Stone walls. Very humble cat. Arthur loved him; he thought he was better than Billy Cobham.
Arthur was so good he made you laugh. He was truly ridiculous. George Coleman to Arthur "You are THE inspiration for young people learning their chord changes".

Some years ago I was sitting in the office of Brian Bachhus who was vice president of A&R at Verve records at the time. "Who have you played with?" he asked. "A guy from Brooklyn named Arthur Rhames" I replied. "Arthur Rhames?! " he practically screamed. "You played with Arthur Rhames? Wher can I find him?
I'll sign him right now!" "You can't Brian", I replied. "Arthur died three weeks ago.

"(more to come)

sincerely, charles telerant

January 2008