The Ray Alexander Guestbook

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NOTE: All information is kept private, and no names or addresses will EVER be sold or given out.

Ray was my drum and vibe teacher 1980-1983, he was great!!!!!!!!! I remember going to hear him play on Saturday nights at a Jazz Bar in ??? Cant remember.
Steven
USA - Monday, January 08, 2007 at 19:11:08 (CST)
I am going through some old cds and am playing "Vigorous Vibes" as I am typing this. Googled Ray and discovered sadly that he has passed. Ray visited me one night at WLIM in Patchogue, NY and, aside from being a hell of a great interview, was one of the funniest guys you would ever want to meet (unfortunately, most of the funniest stuff was not suitable for broadcast!).Please pass on my best wishes to his family. Rich Keith Music Director (Jazz & Standards) &Air Personality WSHR, Lake Ronkonkoma, NY
Rich Keith WSHR 91.9
Lake Ronkonkoma, ny USA - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 20:30:51 (CDT)
I had the pleasure of seeing Ray Play a bunch of times at Five Towns College and with Joe Carbone a few times in a small place on long island..... I have a cassette tape of that gig somewhere..... Ray could swing hard..... he was also a very sweet person... we will miss you.....
Michael Sylvester
USA - Wednesday, April 19, 2006 at 13:49:50 (CDT)
Whether catching Ray at Sonny's or at Borders or at a benefit, it was always a pleasure to hear those swinging tones and know that these wonderful standards were being played to the highest level. We miss him even today.
Dr. Robert D. Berman (Bob)
Wantagh, NY USA - Thursday, February 02, 2006 at 23:47:05 (CST)
hi, I'm Victoria, his grandaughter. I loved my grampa and have witnessed his spirit watching over my lovely grandma. I will always remember the last night i saw him - that was the night he died - but i will always remember him as a great jazz artist and good person. As of right now i am writing a report on him.
- Victoria

victoria alexander
brentwood, ny USA - Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 10:10:39 (CST)
I'm 18 years old 1965 every Monday night, Tomahawk Room Manhasset Motor Inn, Ray with Johnny Knapp P. Ray Mosca D. Al Ferrari B. till 2+AM man those cats were awesome. Ray was beautiful man so appreciative of his fan base, I brought lots by continued thru '66-67 then went in Army. Came back and Ray was still swinging. He'd play extended solos driving intense numbers sweat dropping down on those beautiful vibes, Mosca crisp and precise, tasteful, Ferrari big and full and Johnny, seeming so mild mannered but monster keyboard master. Totally tight group! Ray could swing on drums and played pretty good piano too. I followed him all over L.I. He had Chubby Jackson and Marty Napolean around too, the badest cats especially when they were just making a living playing those small clubs, closed many of them everynight. One of the GREATS!!!
Greg Fischer
San Francisco, CA USA - Friday, July 15, 2005 at 22:51:46 (CDT)
I was unaware of Ray's transition.I wish his soul peace and love......
Marc Berner
Miami, Fl USA - Thursday, June 30, 2005 at 17:50:39 (CDT)
Hi Ray, I used to live a stone's throw from the Greenhaven Inn in Mamaroneck and knew that Coleman Hawkins had played there but was unaware that jazz graced the place in about 1961,about 3 years before I began playing piccolo in Port Chester.I've been working my way down ever since and I've gotten as far as bass flute,along with most of the saxes,and play professionally in Miami,Florida.Nice visiting and stay well.
Marc Berner
Miami, Fl USA - Thursday, June 30, 2005 at 17:45:05 (CDT)
I'd never met Ray in person, or any of his family. I was introduced to Ray by his Son Russ over the Internet.I do feel like I know Ray. I'm lucky enough to encounter Ray's music virtually every working day. I never tire of it. It's always such a joy.....Bill
Bill Atkins
Spokane, WA USA - Monday, June 27, 2005 at 12:36:09 (CDT)
Ray was my first jazz ensemble teacher in 1980 when I was just starting to get into jazz and was palying the electric bass. He was always very encouraging to me and commented to me that I should take up the acoustic. After awhile he used to come to my gigs and eventually we ended up playing together several times over the years. I remember going to birthday parties, meeting many of his friends and getting to know Ray in a multitude of settings. His wife Joan was jewel to him. I remember how she use to set-up and breakdown his vibes at gigs while he'd be talking to friends. I miss Ray and I hope to meet him one day again in Paradise
Al Cardillo
Mineola, NY USA - Wednesday, February 02, 2005 at 20:15:46 (CST)
I was a student of Ray's and learned a great deal from him on playing the Vibes. Attending one of his gig's outside of school was a blast. He let me sit in on the kit for a set. I'm glad he gave me the opportunity to do that. Thank's Ray.
Christopher Scherer
Flushing, NY USA - Tuesday, February 01, 2005 at 13:54:02 (CST)
I love your music
Katie
East Troy, Wi USA - Thursday, November 11, 2004 at 19:21:52 (CST)
Greetings from Canada. It's so nice, this tribute site from Ray Alexander's son. I must confess I never heard him play, but he sounds like an incredibly talented individual. Lynda
Lynda
Toronto, Ont Canada - Friday, November 05, 2004 at 15:49:41 (CST)
Ray Alexander was a great man. He was a superb musician. But then again I am his grandchild. But Everyone who knew him are sad to see him go. But in his memory he gave me the love of playing mallets and I shall play to my fullest.
Victoria Alexander
Brentwood, N.Y. USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 at 09:58:04 (CDT)
I heard about Ray's passing a while back, and i recently came upon this guest book, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to say a few words about Ray. I first met Ray back in 1988 when I was a student at Five Towns College. I was, and still am, a Jazz freak, so I quickly gravitated towards Ray. He was a fun guy to talk to, with lots of stories to tell..Like the time he was driving George Shearing in his car, and Shearing decided to take over at the wheel. I remember how excited he was at that time about his CLOUD PATTERNS album,especially because the great Pepper Adams was playing Baritone on it. Years later I got reacquainted with Ray when I returned to Five Towns as a staff member. I used to help Ray and the other Faculty members organize concerts, and Ray was always ready to play and have a good time. He had tremendous energy and enthusiasm. He used to get frustrated sometimes because it was not always easy to get students to sit down and really listen to Jazz. He was passionate about getting through to them, and he was often able to in his own way. I also remember listening to Ray on many occasions at Sonny's place. Sometimes he'd bring in a trio with Jack Wilson or Wes Belcamp on Piano. Other times he played with Bobby Forrester on Hammond B-3. He told me that he thought the combination of Vibes and Organ was unique and beautiful, and of course he was right. With Tootsie Bean on drums, they had one heck of a trio. Ray was a funny and intelligent man, and he was all about swingin...
robert klein
Ft Lauderdale, Fl USA - Saturday, August 07, 2004 at 23:13:00 (CDT)
really an excellent site - keep it going... greetz from vienna/austria and - stay creative !!
georg
austria/europe - Tuesday, June 08, 2004 at 06:02:32 (CDT)
Ray was my jazz lab band instructor during my guitar studies with Pete Rogine at Five Towns College from '88 - '90. 15 years later I still talk about how much his tutelage has affected & effected my musicianship. Although some of us were were fusion punks back then, we learned respect for the bop era & it's significance in the realm of today from him. I can still hear his voice saying, "Ya gotta learn thyat jyazz, myann, it's beeeautiful. "
Geoffrey Caputo
Tampa, Fl USA - Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 00:48:10 (CDT)
Ray was not only a Gifted Musician,but a beautiful Fun Loving human being.I spent many nights with him in clubs which gave me an education in music from a master.I also tuned his piano many times in his home(He said he would't let anybody else touch it after I fixed it up).I also tuned the piano at times at clubs where he played.I studied drums from Mousey Alexander in the late 70's-early 80's.I looked up to Ray & Mousey with the greatest respect.I miss them both very much.I feel that both ray & mousey were the two most talented musicians that I ever knew.They were both my friend & I thought of them both as the father that I nenver had.The world should know more about both Ray & Mousey.Ray knew what quality music was & always played as a true artist with super taste.He taught me so much.Thankyou Ray.I hope we all meet again in a future lifetime to play great music again.Sincerely,Drummer/Piano Tuner JIMMY ABBATIELLO
Jimmy Abbatiello
Bethpage, NY USA - Saturday, April 17, 2004 at 01:25:06 (CDT)
Ray was my teacher at Five Towns College. I have alot of great memories about Ray. Most of the students wanted to bypass the oldtime stuff and get right to the Mahavishnu stuff, Ray didn't discourage us, instead he showed us how it was all related. I remember one day he blew the whole class away by playing Chick Corea lines on the vibes. Years later my wife and I went to see him at Sonny's Place. I couldn't believe that he remembered me. He treated me like an old friend and introduced me to the band. To this day I treasure my autographed copy of 'Cloud Patterns.'Ray was a beautiful guy & will be missed.
Lou Carrollo
Island Park, NY USA - Sunday, November 09, 2003 at 10:35:21 (PST)
Joan and Russell We just want to share just how much Ray has been an example of a musical "humanitarian" to us and all the people he has encountered. He truly expressed this in his music and personality. We will always remember the great times at Sonny's and Poparazzi's. I met Ray at Five Towns College. His classes were the most rewarding, but most of all FUN!. He will always be a part of our lives!!! We wish you well, and only great memories. Love Linda & Joe
Joe & Linda Ciaffone
Island Park , ny USA - Sunday, November 09, 2003 at 05:53:24 (PST)
Dear Joan, so sorry to learn of Ray's passing. We have happy memories of meeting & talking to you both when you were last in Birmingham & Ray was playing in Rackhams Department Store. He & I went out for a quick smoke during the intermissions!! Tom & Margaret
Tom & Margaret Forster
Birmingham, England - Monday, July 07, 2003 at 02:11:18 (PDT)
A real gentleman of jazz who is greatly missed. Although the fans in the UK at least have his CDs the London scene won't be the same without Ray's annual summer visit which was always a time of good talk and great music.
Tatiana
London, UK - Friday, June 20, 2003 at 06:48:12 (PDT)
I always enjoyed playing bass for Ray. He was a powerhouse of a musician and a human being. He is and will continue to be an inspiration to anyone who desires to improve and persevere during these very challenging times for musicians.
Jeff Ganz
Cranford, NJ USA - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 20:15:38 (PDT)
It was only a few weeks ago that I became aware of Ray Alexander and his music. I came across his "Rain In June" album in our local library, thanks to the donated collection of the well-known and beloved jazz commentator Oscar Treadwell. I became an instant Alexander fan. I was just now searching to find out how to buy Ray's other CDs, only to find this website, and sadly to find that I had discovered Ray just a bit too late to tell him directly how beautiful I think his work is. A special talent and clearly a very special human being.
Al Harris
Cincinnati, OH USA - Thursday, March 20, 2003 at 17:09:33 (PST)
This is hard! I was all excited about finding Ray online and was all set to contact him and find that he's gone! Ray was my teacher at Five Towns College and my favorite person there! Now I can't tell him that Lionel Hampton hired me. I just played Bobby Forresters memorial (along w/ Geroge Benson and others). At least I have fond memories of them! Great guys!!
Craig Haynes
Queens, NY USA - Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 14:58:54 (PST)
I am so saddened to hear that Ray passed away- I was very lucky to have met Ray several times through mutual friends- cats he played with back in the day. All I can say is that everything people have said of Ray is true- He was a fine gentelman, and of a generation of musicianship that the world will never see again. I must say though, if anyone else was inspired as I was by Ray; if anyone else got to see, hear, and experience his music (which in my opinion was nothing short of poetry in motion!) if anyone else is trying to emulate the great things this man achieved musically, then we are surely in for a treat when these individuals bear their fruits...There will always be a part of you in my playing....God Bless Ray!
Tom Manuel
Lake Ronkonkoma, NY USA - Saturday, January 11, 2003 at 15:19:59 (PST)
Hello, Ray, I don't know how I missed you on 52nd Street all those long years ago. The street was my hangout. Also Nicks. and the Embers when Art was working there. And we were more less neighbors. I camde from Far Rockaway and later, Woodmere. Best of luck to you,Ray.OldTimer
OldTimer
Greenacres, FL USA - Tuesday, December 17, 2002 at 19:56:09 (PST)
Unlike most of the contributors to this guestbook my wife and I only knew Ray from meeting on a cruise holiday and not through his musical talents. We shared a dining table each evening with Joan and Ray and adjourned to the stern deck each evening for a drink to toast the departing port. Ray was fantastic company, we had some great laughs. We mourn his passing and share in the grief of his family and many friends. He made our holiday truly memorable and we will remember him always with great affection.
Arthur Donald
Deal, Kent England - Friday, December 13, 2002 at 03:54:12 (PST)
My son, Alex, and I, met Ray through mutual friends, about 3 years ago. At that time, Ray kindly agreed to have Alex play with him on several gigs, the last of which was at Trumpets in NJ. I am sorry to learn today from this website, of his passing. Regrettably, we had not kept in contact with him since 2000. He will be greatly missed.
John Han
Scottsdale, AZ USA - Saturday, November 23, 2002 at 22:39:51 (PST)
Dear Lovely Lady, Dear Joan,As I close my eyes I see you elegantly dressed setting up those vibes before a gig for your darling. Ever the subtle smooth other part of the duo who just happened to have the fun of sitting out thre in the darkness of the audience as your baby would send the roof off of the proverbial house with his incomparable talent! I have numerous pictures of you two in some special spot that wil eventually get into your hands. Forgive my delay as I only hearad via the jazz grapevine of our devastating loss. My buddy Russ! Those phone calls to come to gigs...and we did! I rmember on a trip to London when I was a guest of David Lund's at the University School in Hamstead not too many years ago...when I was introduced by Russ as 'LADY HAIG!" To see that we were umbilllically connected, throught he music, is an understatement. He was proud to say we had come across the Big Pond to hear him play. I am sure Al Haig was looking down from the big gig in the sky having a hoot of a time with the likes of Russ and crew. You are always linked in my heart to your darling. He will live on when "NOW'S THE TIME FOR AL HAIG; BY LADY HAIG AND FRIENDS (by Grange Rutan The Wife No One Knew)....be patient your darling is ever elequent!
Grange Rutan (Lady Haig
Cedar Grove, NJ 07009 USA - Thursday, November 21, 2002 at 20:26:30 (PST)
My belated condolences.My dad died in sept.It was an honor for him to share a room with Ray Alexander at LIJ.
joe braun
great neck, ny USA - Sunday, October 06, 2002 at 21:01:10 (PDT)
Me and the other London fans will miss a great gentleman of jazz...thanks Ray for all the great music and the great times, we'll really miss ya, man. Joan, your husband was one hell of a guy.
Greg
London, - Monday, September 30, 2002 at 05:29:05 (PDT)
I didn't know Ray and that was my great loss. And I lived so close to him--- he in Lynbrook, I in Woodmere. So many of the people mentioned in the article were first-name friends of mine on 52nd St. Art Tatum, Errol, George, Marian,. sure wish I had known him. Milton Berlin
milton berlin
Greenacres, FL USA - Tuesday, September 10, 2002 at 17:51:29 (PDT)
the world has lost one of the nicest,and most talentnted musiciansthat GOD ever put on earth , I will always remember all of the many dates that I did with Ray , Rio Clemente and Bill Crow...
MAY YOU REST IN PEACE MY GOOD FRIEND RAY.. YOU ARE MISSED SO...
RUSS MOY

russmoy
union, nj USA - Friday, August 09, 2002 at 23:16:11 (PDT)
I have had the pleasure of knowing Ray and hearing his musicduring the last 6 or 7 years when he played at gigs in Cheshire during his annual visits to the UK. I always looked forward to his visits. His was a great talent and he was delightful and witty company. I will miss him. I send sincerecondolences to his widow and his family.David Lindley
david lindley
UK - Monday, July 15, 2002 at 08:11:54 (PDT)
July 15, 2002I was saddened this morning to learn of Ray's death. Back around the time he released "Cloud Patterns", I began to hear from him by phone [email was still a thing of the future]. Pepper Adams, who appears on that recording, was my best friend and this led to this series of phone calls. Ray was always fun to talk to and in the course of those conversations I discovered that he was the drummer with the Claude Thornhill orchestra that I had heard in the Sir Arthur Currie Gym of McGill University here in Montreal back in the 50s. He also hipped me to the fact that despite what the initial CD reissue of the Peggy Lee - George Shearing "Beauty and the Beat" session stated, he was in fact the vibraphonist on that one - info that I duly noted in a column I was writing in Toronto's "Jazz Report" at the time. This is my 40th year of jazz broadcasting and I have been elated as each new CD arrived from Ray, the "Clouds" lp, "Rain In June" and "Vigorous Vibes", as well as the aforementioned Lee-Shearing release have all been aired over the years. We lost touch when I moved back into Montreal from the suburbs in 1997 and I miss those phone calls from this superb musician who I was never lucky enough to meet face to face. The musical legacy lives on!God bless.(Any chance of "Cloud Patterns" being issued as a CD?) lendobbin@sympatico.ca
Len Dobbin
Montreal, PQ Canada - Monday, July 15, 2002 at 06:45:06 (PDT)
On behalf of Jazzbone Records, we the staff, wish to express our deepest sympathy to you during this difficult time and loss of a great person and musician. S. Van Allen,marketing director Frank Metis, staff arranger Stuart H. Tresser, TRESSER MUSIC & T.P.O. Tresser Printing Office (Printing and Engraving Division) Rob Eccardt, webmaster: Jazzbone Records Ilse Tresser Cleofus W. Rawls
S. Van Allen
Brooklyn, NY USA - Monday, July 08, 2002 at 11:11:35 (PDT)
I studied vibes in the early '60s in Flushing, New York. The first guestbook comment I happened to read was from another Flushing vibist! I practiced in my basement, too. I wish I had known of another jazz vibes man in Flushing - it could be lonely in a world of rock and roll!My heroes were Cal Tjader, Bobby Hutcherson, and Dave Pike. I never heard any Ray Alexander music until now! Boy, I missed a lot! Although Ray is gone I can play "catch up" through his recordings. There is an old Indian saying: it is better to have a treasure for a short time, than not at all...
Frank Paul Singh Tarney
Boca Raton, FL USA - Sunday, July 07, 2002 at 18:46:17 (PDT)
Ray was my first and only vibes teacher when i was 15 and 16, i'm 55 now and still play. he used to come out to my parents home in flushing li, and work with me in the basement. this was the early 60's and his fee was $8 a lesson. I don't think i knew what i bargain i was getting, happened to see this by chance and had to add my experience with ray. hope you are jamming on the big stage in the sky, i will never forget you. steve alan san diego ca
steve alan
sd, ca USA - Sunday, June 30, 2002 at 21:45:20 (PDT)
Ray taught my then teenage son to play the vibes in the late 1960's. Ray was a teffic guy and a wonderful role model for a teenager. It is with sadness that I read of his passing.
S. Rosen
Hollywood , FL USA - Friday, June 28, 2002 at 05:20:42 (PDT)
Ray and Joan would always come and visit my mother when they came to England, and while the ladies would reminisce about their younger days, Ray and I would chat about music over the very potent dry martinis he was fond of making. He was always encouraging me in music and I always thought of him as a friend - a great character with terrible jokes and a heart of gold.
steve morton
England - Wednesday, June 26, 2002 at 02:56:58 (PDT)
We were away for two months and are saddened to read the news of Ray’s passing on your website. We’ll remember his great music and humour and trust he’ll be up there groovin’ with the greats. Please accept our condolences on your loss. From Ken & Berit in the UK.
Ken & Berit Bolt
UK - Saturday, June 22, 2002 at 07:11:19 (PDT)
I had the pleasure and honor of working with Ray here at Five Towns COllege for many years. Our faculty concerts and the times we spent over lunches and breakfasts can never be replaced. His knowledge of jazz was encyclopedic and taught me more than I could ever hope to learn. I will miss him more than anyone else I have known.....
Dr. Alan Mandel
Dix Hills, NY USA - Wednesday, June 19, 2002 at 06:59:31 (PDT)
Please note - due to our web host making changes this guestbook has not been functioning properly for about a week. PLEASE repost any messages sent between 6-10 and 6-15.
Thank you very much!

Russell Alexander

Dear Mrs. Alexander, Mere words are inadequate at a time like this, but please know that we are so sorry to hear of your husband's passing.
Carmela & Al Gersbeck
Little Neck, NY USA - Monday, June 10, 2002 at 21:25:31 (EDT)
I heard the very sad news, I'll miss Ray he was a nice guy,and all the memories I have of him are good one,s,un-like his jokes!
Simon Grant
London, UK - Sunday, June 09, 2002 at 09:29:32 (EDT)
Dear Joan, Russell & Neil Its a very sad day,Ray was a wonderful friend and great musician, Although he has left the bandstand his music will play on. He will be sadly missed by all his freinds and followers on both sides of the pond. With love.
Susan Sadowski
Ewhurst Surrey, United Kingdom - Sunday, June 09, 2002 at 09:23:13 (EDT)
I was so sad to hear the news of Ray's death - as were all the members of my band. Ray had been an inspiration to us all and we always looked forward to working with him when he came to the UK. He's now making music in Heaven - you can bet on it!
Chris Wallker
FORDINGBRIDGE, UK - Sunday, June 09, 2002 at 02:57:03 (EDT)
Hi Ray I have always enjoyed your playing and hope you are out there again soon swinging! Chuck
Chuck Slate
Newton , NJ USA - Sunday, June 02, 2002 at 12:26:24 (EDT)
Hello Ray: I have said several prayers for you, and I hope you recover fast! I am planning to do some recording of some of my new tunes and I would like to have you play vibes on a few cuts. I have enough material for a new CD, and would enjoy the pleasure of your company on a new "Jazzbone Release". Hank Johnson Stuart H. Tresser Jazzbone Records http://www.jazzbonerecords.com
Hank Johnson
Brooklyn, NY USA - Thursday, May 02, 2002 at 16:43:06 (EDT)
Ray I dont know if you remember me but I was a student of yours at 5 clowns college. Did a webserch and read you were recuping... Hope you are healing well and return to performing soon We used to have a running gag about Irwin Corey Anyway, let me know if you get to south fla... saw you advertised to play here a few years ago but I couldnt get there Take care Ira Green... "However!!!!!"
Ira Green
Margate , FL USA - Monday, April 08, 2002 at 11:31:38 (EDT)
Hi Ray! Hope you’re on the mend now: hope to see you over here in the summer! All the best/Ken & Berit Bolt
ken & berit bolt
UK - Friday, April 05, 2002 at 08:38:06 (EST)
Hi Ray: Sorry to hear that you are laid up. Get well soon. Looking forward to seeing you at your next gig! Love Sue & Eddie
Sue & Eddie Glickstein
East Meadow, NY USA - Friday, March 15, 2002 at 13:32:44 (EST)
Dear Ray, Glad that you are recouperating. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Ivar and I want to wish you the best. We miss you. Get well soon. Love Fran & Ivar
Fran Parrotta
New York, NY USA - Monday, March 11, 2002 at 18:52:15 (EST)
Hey Ray! I used to see you at the Lamplighter, WAY back in the late fifties. Glad to see you're still out there, playing and making great music! Hope to come down to New York and catch you soon. - Jack White
Jack White
USA - Thursday, March 07, 2002 at 17:38:49 (EST)
Dear Ray, Glad that you are recouperating. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Ivar and I want to wish you the best. We miss you. Get well soon. Love Fran & Ivar
Fran Parrotta
New York, NY USA - Monday, March 11, 2002 at 18:52:15 (EST)
Hey Ray! I used to see you at the Lamplighter, WAY back in the late fifties. Glad to see you're still out there, playing and making great music! Hope to come down to New York and catch you soon. - Jack White
Jack White
USA - Thursday, March 07, 2002 at 17:38:49 (EST)

NOTE: All information is kept private, and no names or addresses will EVER be sold or given out.