It’s very important to me that the musicians I love never get forgotten.
I know that the man-and-woman-on-the-street in 2011 don’t recognize the names Joe Oliver or Herbie Nichols. That might be inevitable, but I don’t want these figures and a thousand others to be forgotten even more than they are now.
So I am sending out a global cyber-request. Send no money, clicks, tweets, proofs of purchase, or boxtops.
But if your Mom or Dad was a musician or singer of note, your Uncle or Aunt or Grandpa . . . would you get in touch with me and consider telling your stories?
I would be delighted to use JAZZ LIVES to celebrate my artistic heroes and heroines. We could do a telephone interview (to be transcribed and printed here); we could talk face-to-face; I could take photographs of memorabilia; I could even bring my videocamera if you don’t live more than ____ hours away from New York City.
I’m absolutely serious. My email is email@example.com.
And I understand that there are many jazz-children who would regard this request with puzzlement or suspicion, if their experiences made them sad. I was once given the telephone number of the daughter of a musician, then dead, whose name you would recognize. I called her and asked if she would be willing to talk to me about her father, and she was very politely puzzled, “What would I say to you?” she asked. And she asked if I could call her back some other time, which I took (perhaps correctly) as a very veiled “No, thank you.”
I promise I am not looking to pry or to uncover traumas. But I am a born hero-worshipper, and I think many of my readers are too.
And — if you are reading this entry and thinking, “Well, I didn’t have the good fortune to be Henry “Red” Allen’s son, but I did see him play,” I would be delighted to hear or read and print that story too.
Consider this blog a collective memory bank: no minimum deposits, everything repaid with grateful interest.