That Night at Elaine’s

Shortly after Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond came out, we threw a book party at Elaine’s Restaurant. In his last decade, Paul spent a good deal of his time at that way station of culture and good times on Second Avenue in Manhattan, hanging out with writers and thinking about finishing the book he barely started. Malcolm Harris of Parkside Publications, Dave and Iola Brubeck and I co-hosted the party. Elaine Kaufman, her chief of staff Diane Becker and their crew are … [Read more...]

Adoration Of The Melody

Devra Hall yesterday posted a charming memory of Alec Wilder on her blog, DevraDoWrite. I recommend that you take a look at it. Alec and Paul Desmond were friends. Evenings with Alec holding court in the lobby of the Algonquin Hotel, his home, were among the highlights of my years in New York. One occasion with Wilder, Desmond, Willis Conover of the Voice of America and the great French horn player Jimmy Buffington may have been the highlight. There was much hilarity and much wisdom. Alec was … [Read more...]

Good To Be Here

Thanks to the veteran AJ bloggers Terry Teachout, Andrew Taylor, Jan Herman and Tobi Tobias for their warm welcomes into the tent. Following the launch, I heard from writers, musicians, broadcasters, old and new acquaintances and a couple of long-lost friends. The prodigious pianist Jessica Williams checked in with this: Congrats on stepping into a new area of literary critique; before you know it, you might be writing copy for or The great thing … [Read more...]