Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:09 am Post subject: Key West Hotel Casa...
By the mid-late 30's, Fats Navarro had been taking gigs in his home of Key West, as well as upstate Florida, before going on the road with a bigband and leaving the town for good.
One of these, the Casa Marina, built during the Henry Flagler railroad era of 1920's, was one of his haunts. The place welcomed travellers, in large part from the northeast booking trips south by rail during the winter months. Around the :40 second mark, a good amount of original facing and exterior is shown, and so a small group would be hired to play for guests on the grounds, tables, or poolside. ..Enjoy
Remote, but not a signpost in a town that is caught up in the history of the island : guided tours of Truman library, Hemingway house etc. So despite being locally raised, there's no awareness of him or his talent. During his peak, Downbeat awarded him 8th or 9th spot..well back of McGee, Dizzy, and Miles. Not a screamer, but warming up he once showed Howard McGee a high B flat, after a move to a smaller cup, and hitting high F's quickly.
The Petersen & Rehak book indicates a reserved and quiet fellow...with a somewhat hardass father who possessed basic skill on piano, but didn't visualize a career for him. After a stint with Andy Kirk's band, Kirk was back in Key West, having supper with the family around '42. The father took to boasting..that his bloodline actually connected him to the great Charlie Shavers, reflecting on it with considerable pride.
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