Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Jeremy Pelt: "In my experience, the hottest player on the scene is almost always the most annoying motherfucker on the scene because they know that they're hot." - (DownBeat June 2019).

Archive

2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Monday May 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

?????

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Book review: The Baroness by Hannah Rothschild.


(Review by Lance.)
Suddenly she's everywhere in my life. A BBC documentary (The Jazz Baroness), a DVD of the same plus, a biography by David Kaskin - Nica's Dream - and now this! The Baroness by Pannonica Rothschild's great niece Hannah.
I devoured the pages - how could I not? I think I fell in love with the Baroness when I first read about Charlie Parker dying in her apartment  whilst watching the Dorsey Brothers' Show on television!
To an impressionable 15 year old whose parents had yet to acquire a television set the idea of a jazz musician dying in the New York apartment of a beautiful Baroness whilst watching other jazz musicians on tv seemed to me to be the ideal way to go! Of course if I'd realised at the time the tragi-drug related circumstances described in the book I may have removed the rose tinted glasses.
At least 24 compositions have been dedicated to the mysterious Baroness, including one by Britain's Eddie Thompson. - I wonder if anyone other than Duke can boast more?
This is a book to stay up night's for because, unlike other treatise's on the subject, this one concentrates on Hannah's quest to find out more about her great aunt Pannonica Rothschild rather than Monk, Bird and co although they are not short changed by any means.
The first half of the book delves into the Rothschild dynasty and what an odd bunch they were. Hannah's brother Victor studied jazz piano with Teddy Wilson and, during the Second World War worked for MI(5/6) on bomb disposal. He claimed that years of copying Teddy Wilson and Art Tatum's chords was ideal preparation for such a tricky task. He was awarded the George Medal - presumably for his bomb disposal rather than deciphering Art Tatum chords although that too is most surely worth a gong of some sort!
Nica also had quite a war fighting with the Free French Army in North Africa and rumoured to have flown Lancaster Bombers....
The second half centres around Monk, the drug bust she took for him, her tending him both in sickness and in health, his idiosyncrasies and much, much much more.
They were enigmatic people and despite the reams that have been written about the true relationship between Nica, Monk and his wife Nellie, it remains Mysterioso.
Nevertheless, although there isn't a lot of new jazz material in The Baroness, I found it compelling reading. Should you have Pannonica playing as you read - the live version recorded at The Five Spot - it will do nothing to spoil your pleasure. Pleasure perhaps isn't the right word as there is a lot of pain and suffering re-counted but, whatever, it is a fascinating study of pre-war European opulence, wartime, bebop and black America in the 1950s and '60s.
Nica, if there's a bar at that jazz club in the sky and the guys are blowing, - put down an extra teacup at the table and pour me a demi-tasse of Scotch.
Lance.
Hannah Rothschild: The Baroness. Virago Press. ISBN 978-184408-603-0.

No comments :

Blog Archive

Subscribe!