Alive at the Village Vanguard: My Life In and Out of Jazz Time

Overview

(Book). Jazz fans get the inside story of New York's legendary club. At age 83, Lorraine Gordon is a jazz icon who has lived more than a few lives: downtown bohemian, uptown grande dame, music business pioneer, wife, lover, mother, and finally at a point when most women her age were just settling into grandmotherhood owner of the most famous jazz club in the world, the Village Vanguard. The trajectory of her journey has been remarkable. The details are a Jackson Pollock-like swirl of fierce colors shot through with larger-than-life creative

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Overview

(Book). Jazz fans get the inside story of New York's legendary club. At age 83, Lorraine Gordon is a jazz icon who has lived more than a few lives: downtown bohemian, uptown grande dame, music business pioneer, wife, lover, mother, and finally at a point when most women her age were just settling into grandmotherhood owner of the most famous jazz club in the world, the Village Vanguard. The trajectory of her journey has been remarkable. The details are a Jackson Pollock-like swirl of fierce colors shot through with larger-than-life creative figures: not just jazz figures but luminaries from every point on the political, social and entertainment spectrum: from Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk to Lenny Bruce, Norman Mailer and Barbra Streisand.
• The legendary Village Vanguard has been an international jazz mecca since 1935. According to New York Magazine , "A musician hasn't truly arrived in the jazz world until he's played at the 'Carnegie Hall of Cool,' the Village Vanguard."
• There have been over 100 "Live at the Village Vanguard" recordings by premier artists from John Coltrane to Wynton Marsalis.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
You could describe it accurately as a dark, windowless, slightly decrepit, wedge-shaped basement room, but Manhattan's Village Vanguard is arguably the most famous jazz club in history. Nobody has held a metaphorical ringside seat at the place longer than octogenarian Lorraine Gordon, who inherited the still-flourishing club when husband/club founder Max Gordon died in 1989. In Alive at the Village Vanguard, this robust living legend riffs delightfully about "the Carnegie Hall of Jazz."
Library Journal
One way to make jazz more relevant to people could be through books like this. In her telling to Singer (Black and Blue: The Life and Lyrics of Andy Razaf), Gordon, the owner of the famed New York City jazz club the Village Vanguard, makes little attempt to explain the music in technical terms. Rather, she spends most of the narrative telling humorous and honest stories of how jazz has affected her life. And what a life she has led a jazz fan since 14, the 83-year-old helped discover Thelonious Monk, married Max Gordon (then proprietor of the Vanguard), and was an active member of Women Strike for Peace. Yet this isn't an exercise in name-dropping or a list of best-of records. Gordon shows how simply delving into the music while raising a family and working at various jobs unrelated to music enriched her; it's a down-to-earth and subtle way of demonstrating that jazz, when not perched on the altar of specialness, can be as enjoyable and life-giving as any music. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries. William G. Kenz, Minnesota State Univ. Lib., Moorhead Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780634073991
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
  • Publication date: 11/28/2006
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 702,612
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2006

    Amazing jazz history

    The walls of the famous jazz club Village Vanguard come alive in this book written by it's owner, Lorraine Gordon. This book contains both a history on the great jazz club as well as a touching memoir of this amazingly strong woman. The passion that Ms. Gordon has for jazz is outstanding and shines brightly throughout this book. This is a must read for anyone that loves jazz.

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