Daily Archives: May 4, 2011


Bobby was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island.  He told me that he became an alcoholic playing at Portuguese weddings there in his early teens.

In the 40’s after a concert, a few members of the Boston Symphony decided to walk a couple of blocks to the Savoy for a drink and persuaded Roger Voisin — the first trumpeter — to go with them.  Hackett was playing.

Some time later George Poor (a Hackett admirer, a cornetist himself) asked Voisin what he thought of it and he replied, “I do not much care for jazz, but Bobby Hackett – he is an artist.”


I found out about the video below through the magic of YouTube — “luh2” found me . . . and I casually began to watch this. 

And found myself on a gray day feeling mightily elated.  The music?  Decca, Basie, JUMPIN’ AT THE WOODSIDE.  The dancers?  Athetic, spinning, stomping, joyous. 

(Dance purists please take a deep breath before commenting on violations of historical purity.) 

The place?  SWINGLANDIA, September 2010 . . . . Kiev, Ukraine!

Wouldn’t Herschel Evans have been tickled beyond words to know that his music had such vitality seventy years after his death in a place he’d only seen on a map . . . and that young young young folks were still swinging out to it?

As if their lives depended on it, which of course they do!  (Ours too.  Imagine a life without music or dancers. . . . )