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From Birdland to Broadway: Scenes from a Jazz Life [NOOK Book]

Overview

In the 1950s, New York City's Birdland was the center of the world of modern jazz--and a revelation to Bill Crow, a wet-behind-the-ears twenty-two-year-old from Washington State. Located on Broadway between 52nd and 53rd streets, the club named for the incomparable Charlie "Bird" Parker boasted lifesize photo murals of modern jazzmen like Dizzy Gillespie, Lennie Tristano, and, of course, Bird himself, looming large against jet black walls. Exotic live birds perched in cages behind the bar. The midget master of ...
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From Birdland to Broadway: Scenes from a Jazz Life

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Overview

In the 1950s, New York City's Birdland was the center of the world of modern jazz--and a revelation to Bill Crow, a wet-behind-the-ears twenty-two-year-old from Washington State. Located on Broadway between 52nd and 53rd streets, the club named for the incomparable Charlie "Bird" Parker boasted lifesize photo murals of modern jazzmen like Dizzy Gillespie, Lennie Tristano, and, of course, Bird himself, looming large against jet black walls. Exotic live birds perched in cages behind the bar. The midget master of ceremonies, 3'9" Pee Wee Marquette, dressed in a zoot suit and loud tie, smoked huge cigars and screeched mispronounced introductions into the microphone. And the jazz-struck young Crow would park in the bleachers till 4 am, blissfully enveloped by the heady music of Bird, Bud Powell, Max Roach, and a host of other jazz giants.
From Birdland to Broadway is an enthralling insider's account of four decades of a life in jazz. Bill Crow, journeyman bass player, superb storyteller, and author of the successful Jazz Anecdotes, here narrates many moving and delightful tales of the pioneers of modern jazz he played with and was befriended by. We find Dizzy Gillespie, with whom Crow, because of prior commitments, regretfully declined steady work, dancing at the Royal Roost, Stan Getz sadly teetering on the brink of losing himself to drugs, and Harry Belafonte (known then as "the Cinderella Gentleman") running a lunch counter in New York's Sheridan Square between music dates. And we also witness many of the highlights of Crow's career, such as in 1955 when the Marian McPartland Trio (with Crow on bass) was named "Small Group of the Year" by Metronome; Crow playing with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet at venues like Storyville in Boston and Harlem's Apollo Theater (where they appeared with Dinah Washington); and the tour of the Soviet Union with Benny Goodman, a journey that might have been a high point of Crow's travels abroad but was marred by Goodman's legendary mistreatment of his band.
Moving beyond jazz clubs to the Broadway concert pit and a variety of studio gigs in the '60s, Crow encounters actors such as Yul Brynner and pop-rock acts like Simon and Garfunkel. From the great to the near-great, from Billie Holiday to Judy Holliday, Bill Crow's wealth of personal anecdotes takes the reader from Birdland, to the Half Note, to the Playboy Club, to the footlights of Broadway. This revealing book is a marvelous portrait of the jazz world, told by someone who's been there.

In the 1950s, New York City's Birdland, a club named for Charlie "Bird" Parker, boasted lifesize photomurals of modern jazzzmen from Dizzy Gillespie to Lennie Tristano. Crow's enthralling inside account of his experiences in this musical wonderland is a revealing and marvelous portrait of the jazz world--and was voted Best Jazz Book of 1991 in a Jazz Times readers' poll.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199879731
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/12/1992
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

About the Author:
Bill Crow is an accomplished jazz musician and writer. He is the author of Jazz Anecdotes, which was voted Best Jazz Book of 1991 in a Jazz Times readers' poll.

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Table of Contents

1. Birdland 3
2. The Big Town 6
3. Home, School, and the Army 10
4. Tacoma, Baltimore, and Washington 15
5. Seattle 20
6. Coast to Coast 26
7. Charlie's 31
8. Jam Sessions 36
9. Scuffling 40
10. Dave Lambert 44
11. Tupper Lake 49
12. More Scuffling 55
13. "The Music Goes 'Round and Around," 61
14. West Tenth Street 67
15. S.S. Uruguay 71
16. Gigging Around 76
17. Slim Gaillard, Stan Getz 80
18. Pee Wee Marquette 87
19. Papa Jo 91
20. Stan the Man 95
21. Claude Thornhill 99
22. Gene Quill 104
23. Terry Gibbs 109
24. The Marian McPartland Trio 113
25. Jazz Records 119
26. Popsie Randolph 122
27. Vic Dickenson 125
28. Bird 129
29. Gerry Mulligan 133
30. Duke Ellington 138
31. Garner & Monk 144
32. Pee Wee Russell 149
33. All Around Town 153
34. Dave Lambert, Last Chorus 159
35. The Gerry Mulligan Quartet 164
36. Europe 170
37. Good Gigs 175
38. The Concert Jazz Band 180
39. Judy Holliday 184
40. The Sherwood Inn 190
41. Benny Goodman 195
42. The Half Note 204
43. Japan 210
44. Al the Waiter 214
45. Condon's, the Playboy Club 220
46. Comedians 227
47. The Studios 234
48. Lainie Kazan 238
49. Peter Duchin 243
50. Doubling in Brass 246
51. 42nd Street 250
52. Jazz Anecdotes 255
Index 263
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2013

    High Rock

    A large looming structure peirced the earth from the other side of the clearing, many paws have scored deep scars upon its stony armor. This is the High Rock.
    --Crowstar

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