The Gift of Jazz

When I was six my parents took me to a jazz show somewhere in New York. I think it was the Palladium, but my memory doesn’t stretch back far enough to remember the exact location. I do remember that there was George Shearing on the bill and I didn’t understand how a blind man could play the piano. How did he know what to play without seeing the keys? And there was the Miles Davis quintet or sextet, and I’m pretty sure I saw Trane when I was six. I wish I could have appreciated it. The education in jazz from my parents continued. There were Sunday afternoon concerts at the Village Gate — Jazz Interactions, they were called — and brunches and late afternoon shows at the Five Spot and the Red Garter, all when I was pre-teen and early teen. I remember my father going up to Kenny Burrell and asking if he’d give me lessons. That was not cool. Anyway, Burrell was warm and friendly and I noticed in my collection the other day an autographed copy of Blue Bash!, Kenny Burrell with Jimmy Smith on Verve signed: “To Diane and Hal, Best Wishes, Kenny Burrell.”  All of which is a roundabout way of saying how much I appreciate this great gift my parents gave me and that I am quite sad to report that my mom just passed away unexpectedly. I will be taking a few days off from Jazz Collector, so there will be no new posts from me, but I am hopeful that you guys can fill in the slack. I will post an item right after I post this called: Reader Forum. Please use this to post new comments and keep an eye on eBay and keep the conversation going while I step away for a few days. Thanks.