Beans Bowles Remembered
BY LARS BJÖRN
year I reported on a tribute to Beans
Bowles in Detroit. He spoke very openly about his days being numbered.
When he finally passed away on January 28 it did not come as a surprise,
but it did create a sense of loss among those who knew him. He was a
very important baritonist and leader in the Detroit jazz community and
he played a pivotal role at Motown as an instrumentalist and administrator.
One of the highpoints of his jazz career was
his stay at Lavert's in 1956-58 with a group that included among others:
trumpeter Al Aarons, tenorist Joe Henderson, pianist Kirk Lightsey,
bassist Clarence Sherrill and drummer Roy Brooks. This was sandwiched
between tours with Illinois Jacquet and Bill Doggett. In the 1960s his
Swinging Dashikis played at the Drome and were part of the Motown Review,
an idea to which he gave birth. Some of the Dashikis were Marcus Belgrave,
Teddy Harris and Harold McKinney. In the 1970s Bowles started his work
with the Graystone
Orchestra and Museum, which he continued to his last days. Beans
Bowles was an inspiration to many young musicians and someone who touched
all those he met. I had the privilege of meeting him on a number of
occasions and found him a very caring and engaging human being.