More an ongoing jam session than paying gig most of the East Bay jazz revival gang jammed there
On the washboard played by Brett Runkle, above, left, are the words: "Nod's Saloon Ensemble" L to R: Runkle, Oxtot, Butterman, Scheelar
Personnel heard there included: Byron Berry, Ted Butterman and Bill Erickson (trumpets), Bob Mielke (trombone), Bunky Coleman, Frank Chace, Earl Scheelar and Frank Goudie (clarinets). Dick Oxtot played banjo and some tuba.
“A place called Nods in Berkeley had begun having jazz bands play once a week in a back room. It wasn’t very big, but there was a bandstand if no dance floor. Tables came up pretty close to the bandstand and the musicians."
Oxtot, Butterman, right
"A little small backroom-type place . . . on Shattuck just a couple blocks north of University. I don’t know that these people hired a band or what they did, or if it was just a jam joint. But they had some wonderful bands that crewed there.”
Greer’s fondest memory is of his friend, trumpet player Bill Erickson jamming with Ted Butterman at Nod’s:
“Some of the most exciting sessions were: Butterman would be there playing horn and they’d be swapping choruses. They swapped choruses that were some of the most exciting music I ever heard. It’s just a pity we don’t have a recorded example of that.”
In his memoir Dick Oxtot had fond memories of Nods: “One of my favorite gigs, and probably the funniest. A chief reason was the quality of the players, both regulars and sitters-in. Some of them recall included Byron Berry, Bunky Colemen, Bob Mielke, Devon Harkins and Frank Chace, an excellent Frank Teschemacher-style clarinetist.
Sometimes I played tuba, which I had been doubling on for a while.” -- Dick Oxtot, Jazz Scrapbook, Goggin & Oxtot, Creative Arts, 1999, p. 24