B J Papa was a giant. A man among men and most of all the realest of the real. To Mr. B J (as I called him) knew that it was a language with it's own distinct dialects and phrasings. But to get back in the shallow water before I get too deep, just let me say that Mr. B held himself and any musician lucky enough to grace his stage to a high standard of musicianship.Yessir many were the Saturday night when I would race across the city on foot to try and catch the last set of the Cafe Prague session. I play all styles well and consequently I like Mr. B I make a living from my art. I could tell you at least five places a week you can see me but this is about B J. The thing of note here is that all of the cats I have played for or with kept it real for real. From Fillmore Legends like Bobby "Spider" Webb to Bishop Norman Williams there runs a thread of sincere love and passion for the life they lived and the things that they played.Last year we played a gig in Hunter's Point and B.J. told me to bring my guitar as well as my horn because he wanted to get into some different shit. I was surprised to find that B J was one of the funkiest motorscooters I had ever heard. Halfway through the hit he turned an smiled, and said "All styles baby, that's what's up. If a cat aint got that stank then it aint gonna work. Music is music."To make a long story slighty more to the point and even a bit more emphatic, B J Papa was and is a giant. I knew him from afternoons in Cafe International sipping cappucino telling a young brother about ways to make a living in the music scene. He stressed versatility and the need to have your own way of doing things, if you know what I mean. If Mr. B J or Billy Tolliver, or Bishop had time to talk music then if you were down for real then you had time to listen. Once again, B J Papa is a giant.You don't outgrow B J Papa...you become and absorb what B J Papa became by being the personification of Bebop and by living the legend B J didn't live a lie. B J PAPA WAS IS AND WILL FOREVER BE A GIANT.

from Michael Pitre knuckleboogie@yahoo.com