"I saw the movie 'Cotton Club' and I was so impressed by the music, I really feel that if some entrepreneur had the foresight to open some little club around here and call it the Cotton Club and have a house band and shows and dancers, I think it would be a big hit," muses trumpeter Ray Disney. Disney grew up in Baltimore and studied as a youngster with the late Ira Wright, a legendary trumpeter. With an approach that blends be-bop, older standards and contemporary sounds, Disney will take a trio into the Park Place Cafe Saturday. Wade Beach will be at the piano, Dave Jernigan on bass.
"You get so frustrated," laments Disney, "because the music business is being controlled by so many factors that have nothing to do with music." Disney points out that the hotel circuit "just started to dry up, and the musicians were replaced either by no music at all or by a deejay." As for the increasing use of synthesizers, Disney says that "what you're hearing on a record, you don't know whether it's a very good guitarist or a part that was meticulously programmed."
Disney is diversifying. He has incorporated his own Arlington studio, where he plans to record local jazz artists, self-produced a debut album on his label Sonority Records and founded a music publishing company. "You got to crawl before you walk," says Disney. "I keep plugging away and little by little, it keeps mushrooming."