Born: Friday 13th May 1932 7.00 am--Breach birth. Sickly child, protected by his mother. Started questioning the wisdom of God at the age of 5 after an incident with his black nanny and convicts working on the road on his way to nursery school. Decided to do something about his frail form at the age of 8 and started to play soccer and to swim.
At the age of 14, became fascinated with the music of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Barney Bigard and Benny Goodman also Leadbelly and the blues. Started studying clarinet at 16 with Louis Nicholaeff who was a pupil of composition and theory with Rimsky Korsakoff at the Leningrad Conservatory. To the disappointment of his teacher he started to play jazz with high school friends, but still went on playing duets with Nicholaeff.