By Bill Crow
Within the Nineteen Fifties, big apple City's Birdland was once the guts of the area of recent jazz--and a revelation to invoice Crow, a wet-behind-the-ears twenty-two-year-old from Washington country. situated on Broadway among 52nd and 53rd streets, the membership named for the incomparable Charlie "Bird" Parker boasted lifesize photograph work of art of contemporary jazzmen like Dizzy Gillespie, Lennie Tristano, and, after all, poultry himself, looming huge opposed to jet black partitions. unique dwell birds perched in cages in the back of the bar. The midget grasp of ceremonies, 3'9" Pee Wee Marquette, wearing a zoot go well with and loud tie, smoked large cigars and screeched mispronounced introductions into the microphone. And the jazz-struck younger Crow could park within the bleachers until four am, blissfully enveloped by means of the heady song of chicken, Bud Powell, Max Roach, and a number of alternative jazz giants. From Birdland to Broadway is a captivating insider's account of 4 many years of a existence in jazz. invoice Crow, journeyman bass participant, magnificent storyteller, and writer of the profitable Jazz Anecdotes, the following narrates many relocating and pleasant stories of the pioneers of recent jazz he performed with and was once befriended via. we discover Dizzy Gillespie, with whom Crow, as a result of previous commitments, regretfully declined regular paintings, dancing on the Royal Roost, Stan Getz unfortunately teetering near to wasting himself to medicinal drugs, and Harry Belafonte (known then as "the Cinderella Gentleman") working a lunch counter in New York's Sheridan sq. among track dates. And we additionally witness the various highlights of Crow's profession, similar to in 1955 while the Marian McPartland Trio (with Crow on bass) was once named "Small staff of the yr" by means of Metronome; Crow twiddling with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet at venues like Storyville in Boston and Harlem's Apollo Theater (where they seemed with Dinah Washington); and the travel of the Soviet Union with Benny Goodman, a trip that will were a excessive aspect of Crow's travels in a foreign country yet used to be marred by means of Goodman's mythical mistreatment of his band. relocating past jazz golf equipment to the Broadway live performance pit and a number of studio gigs within the '60s, Crow encounters actors akin to Yul Brynner and pop-rock acts like Simon and Garfunkel. From the good to the near-great, from Billie vacation to Judy Holliday, invoice Crow's wealth of non-public anecdotes takes the reader from Birdland, to the part observe, to the Playboy membership, to the footlights of Broadway. This revealing booklet is a wonderful portrait of the jazz international, advised via anyone who is been there.
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Additional info for From Birdland to Broadway: Scenes from a Jazz Life
C. had worked hard at being independent, and was able to do most things for himself. He didn't have a seeing-eye dog, but he had a phenomenal sense of direction. One night he and Janet and a couple of other friends rode in the old Chevrolet I was driving to an after hours place I hadn't been to before. C. was in the back COAST TO COAST 27 seat, involved in conversation, and I wondered if he remembered that I didn't know the way. C.? " "Just keep on keepin' on. C. continued his animated conversation.
It was done out of respect, as an acknowledgement of where we came from. I left Lennie's studio feeling excited about having some music to work on. At my job, I practiced my lessons while feeding my printing press, SCUFFLING 41 singing to the rhythm of the machinery. The print shop was a noisy place. I could barely hear my voice over the rumble and clank of two job presses, the clatter of a folding machine, the crunching of a paper cutter, the banging of a compositor hammering down his frames of type, and the screaming of the boss's wife at the secretary and the stock boy.
The front of the piano had a large crusty brown stain that had built up over many summers. Dave spent a year in the Civilian Conservation Corps, worked as a tree surgeon in Westchester for a while, and then joined the Army in 1940. He trained as a paratrooper and saw some active duty. It was in the Army that he fell in love with vocal group singing, listening to records of the Merry Macs, the Modernaires, and other good groups of the day. After his discharge in 1943, he got his friend John Benson Brooks to show him how to write out the vocal parts he heard.