By Bill Crow
Within the Fifties, big apple City's Birdland was once the heart of the area of recent jazz--and a revelation to invoice Crow, a wet-behind-the-ears twenty-two-year-old from Washington country. positioned on Broadway among 52nd and 53rd streets, the membership named for the incomparable Charlie "Bird" Parker boasted lifesize picture work of art of contemporary jazzmen like Dizzy Gillespie, Lennie Tristano, and, in fact, chicken 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 swimsuit 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 eventually four am, blissfully enveloped via the heady track of chicken, Bud Powell, Max Roach, and a bunch of alternative jazz giants.
From Birdland to Broadway is a captivating insider's account of 4 a long time of a lifestyles in jazz. invoice Crow, journeyman bass participant, great 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 used to be befriended via. we discover Dizzy Gillespie, with whom Crow, as a result of past commitments, regretfully declined regular paintings, dancing on the Royal Roost, Stan Getz unfortunately teetering close to wasting himself to medicinal drugs, and Harry Belafonte (known then as "the Cinderella Gentleman") operating a lunch counter in New York's Sheridan sq. among track dates. And we additionally witness a number of the highlights of Crow's profession, corresponding to in 1955 whilst the Marian McPartland Trio (with Crow on bass) used to be named "Small team of the 12 months" by means of Metronome; Crow fidgeting 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 may were a excessive element of Crow's travels out of the country yet was once marred via Goodman's mythical mistreatment of his band.
relocating past jazz golf equipment to the Broadway live performance pit and quite a few studio gigs within the '60s, Crow encounters actors reminiscent of 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 be aware, to the Playboy membership, to the footlights of Broadway. This revealing ebook is a fabulous portrait of the jazz global, instructed by means of somebody who is been there.