In honor of the great American journalist Nat Hentoff — who died yesterday at age 91 — I am publishing a 2005 interview I conducted with him as he turned 80.
I am saddened to read of the passing of journalist Nat Hentoff, who died yesterday at the age of 91. Hentoff’s work was published by the Village Voice for 50 years, and was also frequently found in the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, the Wall Street Journal, and Jazz Times. He was also editor of Downbeat during the mid-1950’s. There are many obituaries available to read about Nat and his career – including Robert McFaddin’s in today’s New York Times.
As I began publishing original content on Jerry Jazz Musician in 1999, I had the privilege of having my site embraced by the three most prominent jazz writers of the time, Gary Giddins, Stanley Crouch, and Nat Hentoff. All three of them got involved in Jerry Jazz Musician in their own way.
Giddins — who I was able to catch up with during a recent trip I took to New York — and I developed an interview series called
At the abandoned jazz club,
where I once debuted,
only spiders and rodents
reside behind the acoustical panels
that once resonated my dreams.
I see my distorted image
reflected upon the scarred ride cymbal
of a headless drum set
and feel like an intruder,
disrupting a Buddy Rich riff
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Where have all the flowers gone?
Have I been asleep?
The brilliant yellow sunshine crispness of
The seductive red rouge intimacy of
The smooth rich rose caress of