Notes on a Native Son

By Dan Wakefield GQ August 1988 The first thing I saw were the eyes. They were large and looked very wise, older than the face in which they were set. There was a sadness about them. but more than that, a power, a strength that survived whatever the blows...

On Bird

By Nat Hentoff From Jazz Is 1976 There have been a number of instances in jazz history of the incandescent hero-as-world-overturning-improviser eventually plunging, like Icarus, into burnt-out extinction. Bix Beiderbecke, Bunny Berigan, Fats Navarro, and, way back,...

Louis

By Nat Hentoff From Jazz Is 1976 Louis Armstrong, summoned by King Oliver, came up to Chicago in the summer of 1922, Buster Bailey reports that “Louis upset Chicago. All the musicians came to hear Louis. What made Louis upset Chicago so? His execution, for one thing,...

Lady Day

By Nat Hentoff From Jazz Is 1974 Dizzy Gillespie’s big band, at Birdland in New York. Coming down the stairs I heard a crackling, stunning trumpet cadenza, brilliant in content as well as in its reckless virtuosity. And yet it wasn’t Dizzy. I looked at the stand and...

Express Trane

By Nat Hentoff From Jazz Is 1976 Coltrane, a man of almost unbelievable gentleness made human to us lesser mortals by his very occasional rages. Coltrane, an authentically spiritual man, but not innocent of carnal imperatives. Or perhaps more accurately, a man, in his...

The Stacks Chat: Ron Rosenbaum

By Alex Belth Esquire Classic June 2016 The Classic Q&A: Ron Rosenbaum Though he needs no introduction, we’ll give is a shot: Ron Rosenbaum is the author of seven books, including three anthologies of his magazine work (most recently The Secret Parts of Fortune)....

Wolfe and Breslin and the Birth of New York Magazine

By Richard Kluger From The Paper: The Life and Death of the New York Herald Tribune 1986 Of all James Bellows’s efforts to strengthen the Tribune, none was more striking than his willingness to take chances on new young writers, whom he encouraged to work in whatever...

Lenny

By Seymour Krim Nugget June 1963 We come, with mixed feelings, to the Case of Lenny Bruce. You probably have an opinion—who doesn’t?—but sit still long enough to hear ours. First, so that no matter how finky you finally think our stand is, let it be triple-clear that...

Farewell to the Duke

By Ralph J. Gleason Rolling Stone July 4, 1974   Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was three weeks and four days past his 75th birthday when he died last month in a New York City hospital. He had played his music in almost every part of the world except China and...

Authors

Search for: Top of the Stack Editor’s Notes Authors Categories A living archive of the best print journalism, curated by Alex Belth. Authors Explore our list of original publication authors, sorted by last name. A Dave Anderson Tom Archdeacon Pete Axthelm B Eve...