Three Wishes: An Intimate Look at Jazz Greats

Overview

An unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look at jazz legends

 

In the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, Pannonica de Koenigswarter, known as Nica, was a constant and benevolent presence on the thriving New York jazz scene. Known as the Jazz Baroness (she was born into the wealthy Rothschild family and later married a French aristocrat) she befriended such giants as Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Barry Harris, Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Bud Powell, and many more. She inspired over twenty ...

See more details below
Paperback
$16.87
BN.com price
(Save 23%)$21.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $2.86   
  • New (9) from $11.30   
  • Used (8) from $2.86   
Sending request ...

Overview

An unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look at jazz legends

 

In the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, Pannonica de Koenigswarter, known as Nica, was a constant and benevolent presence on the thriving New York jazz scene. Known as the Jazz Baroness (she was born into the wealthy Rothschild family and later married a French aristocrat) she befriended such giants as Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Barry Harris, Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Bud Powell, and many more. She inspired over twenty jazz compositions, bailed musicians out of jail, and even acted as a booking agent.

 

She also collected wishes. Over the course of a decade, Koenigswarter asked three hundred musicians what their three wishes in life were, jotting them all down in a notebook. At the same time she took hundreds of candid photographs, saving them all. In Three Wishes, Koenigswarter’s forays into the psyches and lives of these legendary jazz artists are made available in America for the first time.

 

With a foreword by celebrated jazz critic Gary Giddins, and a introduction from Nica’s granddaughter, Nadine de Koenigswarter, providing rare insights into the mysterious baroness’s life, this funny, eclectic, and moving compilation is a uniquely intimate look into the immortals of the classic era of jazz, and a must-have for any fan or afficianado.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
De Koenigswarter (1913-1988), known as the "Jazz Baroness," was a fixture on the East Coast jazz scene of the 1950s, '60s and '70s. Born into the wealthy Rothschild family and married to a French aristocrat, de Koenigswarter emigrated to New York City in the early '50s and became an enthusiastic patron of artists large and small. She was also a canny amateur photographer, evidenced in this enthralling collection of candid snapshots. She also, over course of a decade, collected wishes from some 300 musicians; alongside vibrant, smoky Polaroids, these wishes-though plenty go to money, health and more wishes-provide a brief glimpse into each subjects' dreams: Julian "Cannonball" Adderley wishes for a jazz artists' subsidy organization; Dinah Washington wishes for triplet girls; and Charles Mingus wishes for "enough to pay my bills, but that's absolutely all." Not everyone wishes deep: Bill Hardman wishes for "a crazy old lady"; David "Fathead" Newman wishes "To get high... right now." Legends like Art Blakey Jr., Miles Davis, Horace Silver and John Coltrane are seen as often at work as at play-de Koenigswarter's New Jersey home, "The Cathouse," was known for housing cats both literal and jazz (Monk spent years there). Free of speculation or commentary, the work has an appropriately improvisational feel, perfect for engaged browsing-if only it came with a CD.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Barnes & Noble Review
Certain select individuals actually do live lives that only Hollywood could have invented. Pannonica de Koenigswarter, Nica to her many friends, was a rich, aristocratic French émigrée who embodied both cultured sophistication and street-level bohemianism. Whether holding court from her palatial apartment or frequenting Manhattan's nightspots with her Bentley parked outside, this Rothschild heiress became the jazz musician's best friend, opening her home and pocketbook to the artists she passionately admired. Charlie Parker is said to have died in her living room; Thelonious Monk lived his last years as her guest; and the list of significant musicians who enjoyed her hospitality is innumerable. (Koenigswarter, who died in 1988, is immortalized in nearly two dozen titles of original jazz pieces composed by grateful pals.) This romantic figure -- she and her former husband were active members of the French Resistance to boot -- was also skilled at taking off-the-cuff Polaroid shots, and, starting in 1961, she engaged in the charming habit of chronicling her acquaintances' three main wishes. The results can be found in Three Wishes, one of the most revealing portraits of the jazz life to date. Taken at home or in clubs, Nica's photographs posses a soulful spontaneity in keeping with the music itself, catching a deeply personal view of musicians whose reverential stature can often obscure their quotidian humanity. As for the wishes, some are prosaic, some poetic and philosophical -- all give us special insight into the person behind the instrument. A typical beauty is attributed to saxophonist Charlie Mariano, who compresses his dreams in terms of his idol, Charlie Parker: "I wish I had Bird's heart and technique. But who needs the technique? If I had Bird's heart that would be enough." --Steve Futterman
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810972353
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 776,220
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Pannonica de Koenigswarter, daughter of Charles and Rozsika Rothschild, was married to the Baron Jules de Koenigswarter, a renowned freedom fighter in the French resistance, before she moved to New York City, where she emerged as a major patron of the Jazz scene. Nadine de Koenigswarter, Nica’s granddaughter, is a multimedia visual artist living in Paris and West Africa. Gary Giddins is an award-winning jazz critic and author. He writes columns about music for Jazz Times and about film for the New York Sun.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    INSIGHTFUL

    AS A LONG TIME JAZZ LOVER I WAS INTRIGUED. THE PHOTOS ARE ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE LOOKING AT A CLOSE FRIENDS PHOTO ALBUM. THE WISHES EACH MUSICIAN HAS ARE INTERESTING, INSIGHTFUL AND SOMETIMES DOWNRIGHT FUNNY. AT TIMES THE WISHES BECOME REPETITIVE, BUT THE PHOTOGRAPHS MAKE UP FOR IT. THE ONLY THING THAT WOULD IMPROVE THE BOOK IS IF YOU HAD MORE BACKGROUND STORIES TO SUPPORT THE BOOK AND ADD WEIGHT TO IT. BUT STILL IS WORTH IT.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)