Lorraine Gordon, who inherited the Village Vanguard after her husband Max died in 1989, remained its proprietor and no-nonsense guiding spirit until her death yesterday in New York. She was 95. Under the Gordons, the Vanguard became quite likely the most famous jazz club in the world. Bill Evans, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra and Wynton Marsalis were among many musicians who made memorable live recordings and videos there. The club is a destination not only for New Yorkers but also for jazz listeners from throughout the world who make it a required stop when they visit the city. Here is a recent interview with Mrs. Gordon, courtesy of the National Endowment For The Arts.
For an extensive summary of Lorraine Gordon’s life, see her obituary in today’s New York Times. Her daughter Deborah will reportedly take over management of the Vanguard