For a couple of weeks, I’ve been waiting for permission to post photographs from the collection that Lennie Sogoloff donated to Salem State University in Massachusetts. Sogoloff was the proprietor of Lennie’s On the Turnpike, a club north of Boston that presented jazz, comics and cabaret from 1951 to 1972. In that era, it was not unusual for artists to appear in clubs for a week, two weeks or longer, not the one- or two-night gigs customary in the 21st century. The range of performers that Sogoloff hired was remarkable. It ran from budding humorists and singers (among them Jay Leno and Bette Midler) to established jazz artists, including Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Earl Hines, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. Among the recordings From Lennie’s was Jaki Byard’s Live!, a masterpiece that—for no apparent good reason—has gone out of print and become a bizarrely overpriced collectors item. Maybe Concord Records can explain why. In the 1963 photograph above, Sogoloff is introducing trumpeter Joe Newman. Five years ago, he turned over his archive of photographs and other memorabilia to Salem State U., which has posted many of the pictures on the web.
Thanks to the university archivist, Susan Edwards, for permission to show you a few of Sogoloff’s, and his customers’, memories.
Woody Herman and Sal Nistico
To see the entire Sogoloff collection of 118 photographs, go here.
Coincidentally, as we were about to post this item, Alan Broadbent alerted the Rifftides staff to a video clip of Sogoloff in 2011. The pianist remembers Lennie’s as “the great club where I heard Miles with Herbie and Wayne in 1966 or so.”
The irrepressible Lennie is still presenting artists he loves and respects, but in rather different circumstances, at the Devereux Nursing Home in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Listen to what he says when his interviewer asks him about jazz “acts”——words to remember.
If you’d like to hear Mike Palter and Lynne Jackson perform a song with words by Palter and music by Alan Broadbent, go here.