It was late in the autumn when I arrived at Castle Hotel in October 1974, that early morning. I was still just 13 as I am born late in the year and my peers, as there were three of us were their 15, bordering on 16 years old. They had an international world accordion competition on, so I met some of them as our hotel was branding itself as a Jazz hotel.

One day I learnt Count Basie was coming over with his then guitarist Freddie Lean. I told my father as I had no idea who the man was, and father, always encouraging: ‘’Henrik, go up and talk to him and show that you speak English’’. I did. He sat their with his colleague, the famous rings on his fingers and I took that in, before going up to him. I presented myself, he spoke to me and said: ‘’Do You know who I am’’? I immediately said as a child would, honestly: ‘’No, but my father says you’re good’’! You could see him taking that in.. then we discussed my earlier childhood in Hong Kong and I asked for his autograph, which I got, thanked.. and left. That was my meeting with this great gentleman, that I years later really grew to admire and whose recordings now are part of my collection! Love the Man! 🙂

April in Paris

Henrik Mjoman

Riga 2023-08-01