Remembering Central Avenue, L.A.’s jazz oasis
July 19, 2020 8:30 PM   Subscribe

A great read in many ways, although it leaves out too much. The Elks Hall, Moose the Mooche's shoeshine stand, the importance of the Central Avenue barbershops, Jack's Basket Room and Dexter Gordon should've featured in it, for instance.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 12:08 AM on July 20, 2020 [6 favorites]

I enjoyed this. Let us know if you have other reading suggestions, soundsofsuburbia
posted by The Toad at 3:40 AM on July 20, 2020

Moose the Mooche

What kills me is the story about Parker writing that tune in the car, on the way to the studio. Oh, we need more material for the session? Here's one. Maybe he had already composed it, and was just writing it down, but, still.
posted by thelonius at 6:37 AM on July 20, 2020

I second The Toad—seems you are very in the know, soundofsuburbia! Any other readings are welcome.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 10:55 AM on July 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

I added this as a favorite just so I can come back to it. I will gladly read anything Kareem Abdul Jabbar has written. I wish more public figures were as smart as him and chose their moments to chime in on current public discourse as carefully as he seems to.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 8:03 PM on July 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

The Toad & Ahmad Khani: Please forgive my late reply. I'd say that the book Central Avenue Sounds: Jazz in Los Angeles (University of California Press, 1999) is a great primer. And there's a great chapter about Central Avenue in Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon (University of California Press, 2018), Maxine Gordon's biography on Dexer Gordon.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 11:26 PM on July 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

btw, Amazon now has a pre-publication listing for Volume 2 of Stanley Crouch's Bird biography; this may have some interesting L.A. material. In Volume 1, he had found some fairly obscure informants to interview, such as Chicago musicians who knew Parker during his brief sojourn there.
posted by thelonius at 1:40 AM on July 21, 2020

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