Keystone Korner: Portrait of a Jazz Club

Overview

During the 1970s, when jazz clubs all over America were folding under the onslaught of rock and roll and disco, San Francisco’s Keystone Korner was an oasis for jazz musicians and patrons. Tucked next to a police station in the city’s North Beach area, the Keystone became known as one of the most important jazz spots in the United States. It was so beloved by musicians that superstars McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Ron Carter, and Elvin Jones played a benefit concert just so the club could buy a liquor license. In...

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Keystone Korner: Portrait of a Jazz Club

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Overview

During the 1970s, when jazz clubs all over America were folding under the onslaught of rock and roll and disco, San Francisco’s Keystone Korner was an oasis for jazz musicians and patrons. Tucked next to a police station in the city’s North Beach area, the Keystone became known as one of the most important jazz spots in the United States. It was so beloved by musicians that superstars McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Ron Carter, and Elvin Jones played a benefit concert just so the club could buy a liquor license. In this book, more than 100 black and white photographs, a collage of oral histories, and a marvelous CD of recordings from the club chronicle the Keystone experience.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times

"…[A] compelling book of photographs and oral-history interviews by Kathy Sloane...paints a vivid picture of the club and its social context in the post-hippie landscape of the Bay Area. What’s captured best in the recollections, and in Ms. Sloane’s atmospheric black-and-white photographs, is the warmth and informality of the place." —New York Times

newbooksinjazz.com

"Like the Keystone Korner itself, Sloane's book is a labor of love and a testament to a memorable time and place. If you were lucky enough to have been there, you can relive it; if you missed it, you can go back in time and live in the heart, art and soul of a San Francisco institution that epitomized the music and feeling of jazz." —newbooksinjazz.com

Wynton Marsalis

"Keystone Korner was the quintessential jazz club. With the down-home feeling of your favorite neighborhood watering hole and with the special spark of international artistic charisma that a knowledgeable jazz audience brings to any environment, the Keystone was a happy home to people of all persuasions." —Wynton Marsalis

Dan Morgenstern

"A truly unique record of a unique jazz venue, in images and words. Kathy Sloane captures her subjects at just the right moment, her insights human as well as visual, illuminating the frank and vivid recollections of performers, staffers and patrons. Listen to the music as you view and read, and it's almost like being there, at one of the greatest jazz nightclubs there ever was." —Dan Morgenstern, author of Living With Jazz

Julius Lester

"Kathy Sloane uses her photography in a way that brings people together rather than as an end in itself. That’s unique among photographers and might be her special gift. People trust their spirits with her and thus they allow her to see their beauty. She makes a record of that beauty in her photographs. That to me is holy work." —Julius Lester, author and photographer

Deborah Willis

"The great success of Keystone Korner comes from the relationships between the waiters and bartenders, the musicians, the people who visit the club, the owners, and the managers. That success is evidenced by the intimate photographs and the memories captured in this book. In looking at these strikingly imaginative framed portraits, I can only imagine the sounds, the lighting and the emotions of the time. The text reads like ambient sound, which I believe makes this such a remarkable project." —Deborah Willis, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts

Lewis Watts

"Kathy Sloane’s book beautifully captures an important period in time reflecting local, and national cultural history. These images and interviews in Keystone Korner reflect a creative environment, and a rich musical heritage that might have been lost if not for Sloane’s passion and vision." —Lewis Watts, author of Harlem of the West

Duncan Schiedt

"The book is a kaleidoscope of verbal and pictorial images by an articulate group of jazz players, club employees, and some who merely hung out for the listening.... Its raison d’etre is largely dependent on [Kathy Sloane's] striking images." —Duncan Schiedt, author, jazz historian, and photographer

Hank O'Neal

"... a welcome and much-needed addition to the documentation of jazz in America." —Hank O'Neal, record producer, photographer, and author of The Ghosts of Harlem, among many other books

robertaonthearts.com/Jazz and CabaretCorner

"[T]his fantastic book... chronicles the incredible years of Todd [Barkan's] ownership and management of the infamous Keystone Korner jazz club, dating from the early '70's to the early '80's, in San Francisco." —robertaonthearts.com/Jazz and CabaretCorner

From the Publisher

"Oakland photographer Kathy Sloane has written a splendid history of the club, featuring interviews and more than 100 photographs of artists.... Keystone Korner closed in 1983, but Sloane's book re-creates it in vibrant detail." —Mercury News

"This book, on the basis of the text alone, merits a spot on the shelf alongside the classic oral jazz histories of Nat Hentoff and Studs Terkel." —All About Jazz

"Like the Keystone Korner itself, Sloane's book is a labor of love and a testament to a memorable time and place. If you were lucky enough to have been there, you can relive it; if you missed it, you can go back in time and live in the heart, art and soul of a San Francisco institution that epitomized the music and feeling of jazz." —newbooksinjazz.com

"Keystone Korner was the quintessential jazz club. With the down-home feeling of your favorite neighborhood watering hole and with the special spark of international artistic charisma that a knowledgeable jazz audience brings to any environment, the Keystone was a happy home to people of all persuasions." —Wynton Marsalis

"The book is a kaleidoscope of verbal and pictorial images by an articulate group of jazz players, club employees, and some who merely hung out for the listening.... Its raison d’etre is largely dependent on [Kathy Sloane's] striking images." —Duncan Schiedt, author, jazz historian, and photographer

"The intersection of Sloane's presence and the Keystone's reputation as a venue for both premier and up-and-coming musicians resulted in an extraordinary photographic record of many of jazz's leading lights in action." —Library Journal

"Open Kathy Sloane's new book, Keystone Korner, and you can smell the cigarette smoke. Put on the accompanying CD, and you can hear Bill Evans or Stan Getz playing this cramped room in North Beach 30 or 40 years ago." —San Francisco Chronicle

"The great success of Keystone Korner comes from the relationships between the waiters and bartenders, the musicians, the people who visit the club, the owners, and the managers. That success is evidenced by the intimate photographs and the memories captured in this book. In looking at these strikingly imaginative framed portraits, I can only imagine the sounds, the lighting and the emotions of the time. The text reads like ambient sound, which I believe makes this such a remarkable project." —Deborah Willis, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts

"A truly unique record of a unique jazz venue, in images and words. Kathy Sloane captures her subjects at just the right moment, her insights human as well as visual, illuminating the frank and vivid recollections of performers, staffers and patrons. Listen to the music as you view and read, and it's almost like being there, at one of the greatest jazz nightclubs there ever was." —Dan Morgenstern, author of Living With Jazz

"An essential read for anyone who's ever stepped foot in a jazz club." —Jazzwise Magazine

"Kathy Sloane’s book beautifully captures an important period in time reflecting local, and national cultural history. These images and interviews in Keystone Korner reflect a creative environment, and a rich musical heritage that might have been lost if not for Sloane’s passion and vision." —Lewis Watts, author of Harlem of the West

San Francisco Chronicle

"Open Kathy Sloane's new book, Keystone Korner, and you can smell the cigarette smoke. Put on the accompanying CD, and you can hear Bill Evans or Stan Getz playing this cramped room in North Beach 30 or 40 years ago." —San Francisco Chronicle

Downbeat

"From the antics of the photo-laden backroom to the underground hype of Ora Harris' Keystone Kitchen, Sloane and fellow editor Sascha Feinstein leave no stone unturned. They examine the backstories of some of Keystone's most lovable characters... [Keystone Korner] is a delightful sensory overload definitive of the Keystone experience." —Downbeat

SF Weekly

"Kathy Sloane's oral and pictorial history... is a treasure." —SF Weekly

KALW-FM

"Jazz these days is different. The close-knit sense of community between the players and audience is rare, but Kathy Sloane's photographs preserve the spirit of Keystone." —

Mercury News

"Oakland photographer Kathy Sloane has written a splendid history of the club, featuring interviews and more than 100 photographs of artists.... Keystone Korner closed in 1983, but Sloane's book re-creates it in vibrant detail." —Mercury News

In a Blue Mood

"Keystone Korner is terrific as a window into a legendary jazz club in addition to serving as a coffee table book. It is a fabulos book that jazz lovers will treasure to enjoy the photographs and the story of a fabled room." —In a Blue Mood

All About Jazz

"This book, on the basis of the text alone, merits a spot on the shelf alongside the classic oral jazz histories of Nat Hentoff and Studs Terkel." —All About Jazz

Jazzwise Magazine

"An essential read for anyone who's ever stepped foot in a jazz club." —Jazzwise Magazine

www.robertaonthearts.com
"[T]his fantastic book... chronicles the incredible years of Todd [Barkan's] ownership and management of the infamous Keystone Korner jazz club, dating from the early '70's to the early '80's, in San Francisco." —robertaonthearts.com/Jazz and CabaretCorner
www.newbooksinjazz.com
"Like the Keystone Korner itself, Sloane's book is a labor of love and a testament to a memorable time and place. If you were lucky enough to have been there, you can relive it; if you missed it, you can go back in time and live in the heart, art and soul of a San Francisco institution that epitomized the music and feeling of jazz." —newbooksinjazz.com
Library Journal
Having since documented events and had her work displayed in museums and galleries around the world, photographer Sloane began her career at San Francisco's iconic Keystone Korner jazz club, which persisted through the 1970s as jazz venues around the United States were shuttering. The intersection of Sloane's presence and the Keystone's reputation as a venue for both premier and up-and-coming musicians resulted in an extraordinary photographic record of many of jazz's leading lights in action. In this first collection of her work, Sloane, aided by Feinstein (editor, Ask Me Now: Conversations on Jazz & Literature), includes interviews with employees, performers, managers, and hangers-on to supplement the images and create a composite of Keystone Korner that captures the club in an extended moment of outstanding performances (some of which became live albums). VERDICT This book is no mere time capsule; since many of the interviews took place more recently, they have more of a reflective quality, contextualizing the importance of the Keystone as a landmark of jazz history. For jazz fans, historians, and performers.—Genevieve Williams, Pacific Lutheran Univ. Lib., Tacoma, WA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253356918
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 11/7/2011
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 1,084,278
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathy Sloane has been a freelance photographer for 35 years and has exhibited her jazz images in San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles. In New York, she exhibited together with bassist/photographer Milt Hinton. A portfolio of her work was featured in Jazz Times, and five of her images appeared in Ken Burns's PBS miniseries, Jazz.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Al Young
Preface: Keystone Legacy: Sascha Feinstein
The Story Tellers
Forward: Before There Was You
1. Todd’s Tune: Todd Barkan
2. Begin the Beguine
3. The Space is the Place
4. The Back Room
5. Ora’s Kitchen Ora Harris
6. Taking Care of Business
7. Rahsaan Roland Kirk
8. Teach Me Tonight
9. Bobby and Bags
10. Dexter Gordon
11. Compared to What?
12. East Side / West Side
13. Orrin Orates Orrin Keepnews
14. Bright Moments
15. Rifficials: Jack Hirschman
16. Then and Now
17. The End of Keystone
End Notes: My Years at Keystone Kathy Sloane
Keystone Korner Discography
Notes on CD Sascha Feinstein

Indiana University Press

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