Today, October 24, 2020, Dan Morgenstern celebrates his ninety-first birthday, and we celebrate him.  He’s been an eager participant on the jazz scene since his mother took him to see Fats Waller and the Quintette of the Hot Club of France in 1939; he’s hung out with Louis, Billie, Duke, Lester, Bird, Miles, Stan, Rowles, and a hundred others; if there was a jazz event in New York, Boston, or Chicago in the last seventy years, chances are he was there and wrote about it.  I could continue, but I’d rather let him speak for himself.

Since spring 2017, I’ve had the immense privilege of bringing my camera to Dan’s Upper West Side apartment and capturing his singular memories: you can find memorable ones on the blog.  But for today, I offer two interview segments that have not been seen.

Dan talks about Ella:

Ella in 1936 with Teddy Wilson, Frank Newton, Bennie Morton, Jerry Blake, Teddy McRae, Leemie Stanfield, John Trueheart, and Cozy Cole:

and about Lena, Maxine, and Eva Taylor (I apologize for the ragged ending of the segment, but YouTube refused to let me be any neater):

Lena in 1941 with Teddy Wilson, Bennie Morton, Emmett Berry, Jimmy Hamilton, Johnny Williams, J.C. Heard:

Maxine in 1938 with Bobby Hackett, Bud Freeman, Chester Hazlett, and others:

Eva Taylor, 1926, with Clarence Williams and Charlie Irvis, others unidentified:

and fifty years later (!) with the Peruna Jazz Band:

We are so fortunate to have our Jazz Eminence, Mister Morgenstern, with us!

May your happiness increase!


  1. Many thanks to Dan and Michael for these wonderful interviews. They create a uniquely valuable celebration of Dan’s direct memories of so many incredible artists that is preserved in this series of taped interviews for all time. Truly invaluable. In my own case, Dan sponsored my ongoing efforts to document Ruby Braff’s career as he has done for countless other projects. We are so grateful for your countless contributions and collaborations over the years.

  2. Dan knew my wife thru business. He came to our apt one eve to buy some of our LP collection (we had about 25,000 jazz LPS…sold most to two guys in Brazil). My wife, Paulette Weiiss was music editor at at Stereo Review Mag, and I designed some music zines…plus collected ofcourse. Dan in about 10 minutes, pulled about 100 records off the shelves to get for the college. He said he never seen many of them. Unfortunately we couldn’t agree on most prices, so he left with only about a dozen. I do remember he was very happy to get that Ella/Larkins Decca in new/mint condition. Spent the rest of the evening chatting “music”. Would also run into him at those July .Festival parties at Gracie Mansion every summer. A wonderful man!

  3. Thanks for ALL these imperishable interviews, and happy birthday Dan!

    Speaking of imperishable, here is Eva with Pops and Bechet:

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