“The End of a Love Affair” — a short story by Gareth Davey

April 1st, 2021

 

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“The End of a Love Affair,” a story by Gareth Davey, was a short-listed entry in our recently concluded 56th Short Fiction Contest. It is published with the permission of the author.

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“Gone Too Soon,” by Andres Chaparro

"Gone Too Soon" by Andres Chaparro

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The End of a Love Affair 

By Gareth Davey

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It was a blizzard in the Bronx. Lee was driving by the Grand Concourse, snow pounding, piling up on the sidewalk. Five inches in some places. It was falling so thick, we couldn’t see the two blocks of flats that towered either side of us, as we drove down the street in my maroon Imperial. Damn I loved that Imperial.

…..We had a Max Roach track playing through the speakers. “Lonesome Lover,” I think. Kinda creepy one, slow building, with singers and everything chiming in. Lee was humming along to the trumpet.

…..“This is wild!” he shouted over an isolated drums section. He was taking corners like a madman, the back wheels whipping behind us every time we turned. Then he was tipping his head back and laughing – that cheeky, schoolboy laugh he’d had, long as I’d known him.

…..It was evening. Maybe it was nine, something like that. I remember Lee was relaxed in the driver’s seat, so it can’t have been later than nine – he had a gig that night at Slug’s, due to start at ten. We were on our way to his apartment to pick up the trumpet. The streetlights were on, and the snow was spiralling in the brown light – like when you’d open up an old attic door and dust would swirl out at you.

…..“Lonesome Lover” turned to a sax-solo, and Lee cocked his head towards it, taking his eyes off the windshield. The wheels loosened their grip beneath us, like the car was no longer attached to the road.

…..“Lee!” I yelled, but it was too damn late. We’re skidding when the sax hit this note that doesn’t seem to fit – you know when they lower real fast, I think Lee used to call them blue notes – well the blue note hits at the same time as the wheels touch something on the road, ice or whatever. Then we spin, smooth as the music purring from the stereo, Lee with them wide eyes shut, his heavy lids folded, like he’s ready, and me – well I just sit there, fingers sweating in my gloves, whole body tense. We mount the curb with a thump, and then this streetlight comes out of nowhere and white powder’s bursting round us like a bag of flour thrown at the ground.

…..And then a bang and the music stops. Something crashes, something crumples.

…..My eyes shut and I swear I thought that was it. People died like that, you know? Coming off a road, wrapping themselves round a streetlight. People died.

…..I closed my eyes and figured that when I’d peel them open I’d be in some pearly jazz bar with ripped leather seats and Lee would be standing on stage with Clifford Brown, the two riffing on trumpets, blowing “Joy Spring” out their horns.

…..But my eyes opened and I was still sitting in the passenger seat, windshield covered by a few inches of snow. Lee beside. He was breathing slow and long behind the wheel. Dark eyes were open.

…..“Damn, JJ,” he said. “I thought we were damn gone, you know?” I didn’t speak. Neither of us were hurt. Lee had this dumb grin on his face – he’d wear that same grin when he climbed on stage, trumpet by his side, staring out at the crowd. He was shaking, in the car, but you know, Lee always had a shake on. Since the horse. Always had this little shudder when he wasn’t on stage. I knew he was fine, you know? Sure, his hair was messed up, the slick black clumps peeled back to reveal the little bald spot on his scalp. Other than that, Lee was fine.

…..We got out, cold wind slamming into us like another car off the road. My Chrysler was torn up good, bonnet crumpled like some crisp packet, wrapped round the street light real tight. Lee rolled out his side – falling onto the sidewalk on all fours, vomit streaming from his mouth and melting the snow below him.

…..“Fuck,” I said. “She’s done in.”

…..“That’s a red mess,” Lee shouted over the wind. Shook his head. I could still see a fleck of vomit on his chin, but he wiped it off. “This is just like Cliff man. We’re lucky.” Cliff – Clifford Brown – was his mentor. He died in a crash when Lee was just a teenager, you know?

…..“Listen. I gotta get my trumpet. Gotta get to the show, you know?” He was still shaking. Lee didn’t miss shows no more, but I didn’t know he would be able to play in the state he was in. His fingers were still shaking.

…..“You still gonna play?”

…..“I missed too much to let em down,” he said. “I gotta get there,” he said. “Come on, we’ll grab a cab to the apartment, then get em to take us Slug’s.”

…..“What about my car?” He shrugged.

…..“Ain’t going nowhere. Get the tows in tomorrow.” Lee was already walking towards the Concourse. I was a bit pissed, for a moment, that he would just walk away from the crumpled carcass. He was like this, sometimes. It was Lee’s world. He did as Lee pleased; walk away from a car crash here, ditch out on day plans because he had some song raging in his head. I just wanna keep moving he used to say.

…..Above us, the streetlight was flickering. I turned, took one look at the crumpled mess of my Imperial, shook my head and let out a sigh that got lost in the blizzard. He was right. This time. My Chevy wouldn’t go nowhere, and it was already late, so the tows wouldn’t come until morning. I shrugged, whispered fuck it, and followed Lee to the end of the sidewalk.

…..Might be, had I knocked on one of the apartments and got them to call a tow for me, or tried to get the car sorted while Lee went to his show, it would have changed how that night turned out. As it was, I left with Lee. He already had a cab pulled up at the sidewalk. Behind us, the streetlight flickered off.

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In the cab on the way to Lee’s, with a Jimi Hendrix song playing over the cabbie’s radio, I thought about my car, and then about something Lee had said when we were lying in my bed together New Year’s Eve. Maybe it was New Year’s Day, I dunno. The evening went by pretty fast, lying there, drinking Cognac, watching the guppies drift by in my fish tank. Lee and I – well we weren’t too sexual, you know? The horse fucked him up real bad, so he was effectively impotent. I wasn’t always too bothered. I mean his company, his mind, the way it would flick round like a midnight moth, landing then flitting – that was almost enough for me. Anyway, so in my bed, watching the fish do circuits in the blue light, Lee turns to me, his head rested on my shoulder, stares with those big brown eyes and he says:

…..“Something gonna happen this year. Either real good or real bad. I can just – I can feel the chaos, you know? It’s out there, waiting for me.” When we walked away from my impaled Imperial, I figured he was half-right. There was chaos about, but Lee seemed blessed, as if someone had cast a shield over him. As part of the Lee Morgan Quintet, he was taking off, his career rejuvenating after it had been pawned off in his twenties. He was the trumpet player of the band and drew plaudits from everywhere. He was on TV, on the show Soul! playing “Sidewinder” and “Angela”. He was talking out on TV, talking politics, trying to change shit.

…..I hoped that he’d dispelled the chaos he felt was following him. I hoped that he could move on with his career – could reach the heights that were waiting for him.

…..We held hands in the cab. We didn’t hold hands much – didn’t touch much. Lee looked a little shaken still, eyes a little wild, hair still a bit raggedy, but you couldn’t see that bald spot no more.

…..“Howdy Doody,” I grinned. “Where’s your mind at?”

…..“Baby Huey,” he replied. Baby Huey was this cartoon duck he said I looked like. “I feel sick. That damn car – we could have died in there. I’m too young to go. I got shit to get done.” I brushed his soft cheek with the outside of my hand. His eyes were cast downwards, same way as they were when he was playing his trumpet.

…..The cabbie slowed. Lee’s high rise was in front of us. It grew into the snowy sky like some snowy oak tree. I looked up, about half-way, and saw his apartment window somewhere in the middle. The window was shut, the lights were off, but I still got that stomach-churning feeling I always did when we went near his place.

…..“You sure she ain’t in?” I asked. I was talking about Helen. His wife.

…..“Yeah she’s round Eddy’s,” Lee said. He didn’t look at me as he spoke. He wanted to be rid of his wife, for sure. But he hadn’t done it, not yet. She had talons, did Helen, that stuck into Lee’s shirt like an eagle holds its master’s arm, puncturing the skin with its sharp claws.

…..“Alright, well hurry.” Lee got out of the cab and ran inside, disappearing into the flurry of flakes. I drummed my fingertips on my knee. I damn hated going near that apartment.

…..Helen was only technically his wife. I say technically because, first of all, Lee was married to her – even then. But Helen was more like Lee’s mum than his wife. She was like, thirteen years older, something like that, and she just followed him everywhere, tidying up after him, acting like that made Lee her property. Doing his washing, laundry, keeping him clean, checking in on him. She was so restrictive, man. Like she were one of those straightjackets the Crazies wear. Lee damn well hated it – he needed to be free, like one of the robins lined up on fences, flitting back into the sky whenever the hell it wanted.

…..I can’t say she did all bad. She saved Lee, really, from the drugs. They all tell me. Lee was walking round in snow with no coat, no shoes, sold his trumpet for more horse. He got real bad at one point. Needed that high more than he needed the high of music. That’s when he disappeared from the scene. He was spending his days sleeping against radiators.

…..Helen took him from the street and made him hers. She got him into rehab, got him on methadone. Even the night of the blizzard – Lee was still on the methadone. It kept him sane, kept him safe. He was working on weaning off that too.

…..Thing is, it’s like Helen took the addiction off of Lee and kept it for herself. For real, she was addicted to Lee. And it got bad, she got real violent. Helen ain’t big but she’s strong enough. One time I picked up Lee to go for a drive and he had this big purple bruise on his eye, all closed-up and pussy. Said Helen punched him, pulled a gun on him.

…..Lee wasn’t innocent, no way.  I know how he could get, thinking of himself, trying to live his own life, ignoring those round him – but Helen damn near abused him. Hell – she did abuse him.

…..All the jazz guys, they loved Helen because she saved Lee, and they loved his music, and I got that, I really did. And you know, in a weird way, I respected Helen for that. But man, she was intense, damn crazy. Even how she never called him Lee. Morgan, she called him.

…..She said she didn’t like the name Lee, so she just called him Morgan all the time. Imagine being so obsessed you change someone’s name? That shit’s fucked up.

…..I met her once, properly, when I was first getting to know Lee. Didn’t even know they were still together, you know, at least Lee never acted like they were. I remember walking out of their bathroom and she’s there, standing with these cold eyes, glaring at me, puffing out her cheeks and that. She had this little intense look, a big high-top fro and thin cheeks – she was standing there with his fists scrunched by his side like she was gonna hit me. I could actually feel the hate emanating off of her –  like when you pour cold water on a pan and it spits off. Man, she was intense. I ran out of that apartment faster than I damn ever moved.

…..That was the last I’d seen of Helen. I didn’t fancy seeing her again.

…..Anyway, a few blizzardy minutes later, Lee came out of the building holding his case by his side and he was frowning as he jogged through the snow, climbing back into the cab beside me.

…..“Not in?” I said, as the cabbie pulled away.

…..“Nope,” he said. He breathed a sigh, accompanied by a grin. “I’m gonna move out, you know? Need to keep my world moving.”

…..“Always room in Jersey,” I grinned, though I got the feeling Lee might wanna live alone for a bit.

…..“We going to Slug’s right?” the cabbie called from the front.

…..“Yeah, fast as a buck.” Lee got changed inside, and was now wearing one of his favourites – loose white shirt, tight black trousers and a trench coat that was buttoned almost to the top. His skin was smooth in the dim cab-light, and when he grinned it made me smile too. I miss that damn smile.

…..The cabby drove back through the Bronx – slower than Lee had been driving, but that was a good thing. Lee, he was watching out the window at the big ploughs of snow that piled up either side of us, sometimes glancing up into the sky. The snow spiralled in the streetlights up there, jolting manically left and right, round and round, like birds making love.

…..“Crazy up there,” Lee muttered. “That damn snow. Falling like a damn crazy person.” I smiled at that. Lee loved the quiet of the chaos.

…..Neither of us spoke, really, just appreciated that quiet chaos out the window, all the way to Slug’s.

…..Slug’s Saloon was a small bar, with a dark red front barely visible through the snow, and a small block of flats above it, rising into the quiet. Lee played the venue three nights that week already. There was a visible buzz in the bar, even as we climbed out of the cab and heard that weird, muffled silence of snow. You couldn’t hear nothing, but you could see it through the window, illuminated by dim light. It was there, in the puffs of smoke and the animated faces. A few looked out and grinned when they saw Lee clambering out the cab, trumpet by his side.

…..I waved at the cabbie as he left the curb, but Lee didn’t stick around, running straight for the door and yanking it open, breaking the snow’s silence as he did. Soft music, loud chatter, the clunk of glasses on tables – it all tumbled onto the street. The smells too; beer, sweat, liquor, cigar smoke – it all had that sweet music smell, you know the one you get just before the band starts playing?

…..Lee was already talking to Billy when I got in. He was at the bar, a glass of Cognac being poured for him, talking animatedly to the saxophonist that played in his band. I could hear what he was saying, even over the chatter of the bar. He had one of those voices that just rose above everything else.

…..“We almost died, damnit. We almost died,” he was saying. “The car man, spun right into a damn streetlight, out by Concourse. Like Cliff, you know?” Billy was nodding, and then the two walked off. I wasn’t offended or hurt because this was how Lee was when he got to a venue. He was always swept away like a drowning kid by the stage and the band and the music. I’d always be seated in the crowd, both waiting for it to finish and hoping it wouldn’t, all at the same time.

…..I didn’t mind. Slug’s was a cool place, you know? This old western style bar – the walls were all faded bricks, lit up dim by these hanging lights with no lampshades or nothing. The parts of the floor that weren’t crowded with people were covered with sawdust and peanut shells and cigarette stubs. Some parts were coloured dull, where people had spilt drinks or puked up.

…..Right at the back was the stage. The band’s stuff – Mabern’s piano, Billy Harper’s sax, Freddie’s drumkit – it was all ready for them to take to the wood and start playing. Someone stepped up onto the platform, and the already-drunk crowd started to move forward, a tide of New York’s finest, bunching bodies on a cold February night for the sweet sound of Lee’s trumpet.

…..I took a seat at the back of the room after buying a glass of Henny, and leaned back into the wooden chair, feeling it groan. Lee climbed on stage, his trumpet by his side, brass glinting dull in the exposed light. I was beside the window; behind me, the blizzard was still frenzied, powder wildly flitting about in the dim light, but nobody in the crowd was even aware of the tumult outside as Lee stared them down from the stage.

…..The rest of the band were there too; Harold by his piano wearing his trademark felt flatcap, Billy with his fuzzy hair and intense expression, holding his sax by his lips, and Freddie, behind the rest, his thick framed glasses poking out from behind a symbol. It was Lee that spoke, his voice rasping.

…..“Good evening ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming out in this beautiful weather,” he said, his deep voice purring through the mic. “I’m Lee Morgan. This is Freddie on drums, our own Billy Harper on sax and Harold Mabern on the keys. We’re starting with one of Harold’s – ‘The Bee Hive.’” And then it all kicked off, Lee straight in on this winding trumpet over the top of a rolling drum beat – loud and fast, music spilt in waves of swing and bop, the crowd seething and sweating before it even got started.

…..Lee was a damn icon on that stage, hair falling forwards, eyes cast down at his brass that was an extension of his lips, that he breathed his soul into as he leant forwards, cheeks puffing out and fingers dancing over the buttons. He swayed with ease, and the crowd swarmed forwards and backwards and forwards again in time with the trumpet. I was sweating, and I was sitting down!

…..They played “The Bee Hive,” and then Lee sipped some more Cognac, and then they moved on to another Mabern track, one with a softer start and a clamber into this stunning melody. Harold pranced across the piano, the drums were rasping and the sax was damn sexy – but the real owner of that stage was Lee. He could tell a damn novel in one song when he blew through that brass. Could take the crowd anywhere he damn pleased. He was so good I forgot about the cab to take me to Jersey and settled in with my Henny. They went into “Speedball” – a sombre track, and then to one of my favourites that would finish the first set, “Capra Black,” a track with a slow beat, a building drumbeat with Harper and Lee trading blows on a trumpet and sax chase as Mabern sat grinning at his keys.

…..A few minutes in, Lee was playing the lower part and Harper was above him on sax and then there was this silence in the song. You know, how they do it, the good ones, with the silence? When a silence only lasts like two seconds but you really hear it. It was like that. And as the silence hit, the door to Slug’s opened. And I saw her.

…..Helen. She was wearing this navy pants-suit with a blue tie and a long coat that stretched to her knees. She held a small clutch at her side, and her high top was dusted with snow that quickly melted into the dark hair as she stood in the doorframe, her eyes closed. Helen was standing perfectly still as Lee started playing his solo, a beautiful roll of sound that flowed and swayed and then hit rasping blue notes at seemingly random moments.

…..I moved away from my seat, stepping into the crowd. When I glanced over my shoulder I saw Helen’s eyes glowering at the stage, staring at Morgan, who was spinning his stories through her horn.  Then her eyes shifted over to me. They were unstable, those eyes. Wild. Vicious. The knuckles that gripped her clutch handle were tight, glowing white as the blizzard.

…..The bag looked light, almost empty. Helen looked cold, her cheeks reddening where the heat from the bar merged with the icy-cold. On stage, Mabern was leaning into a beautiful piano solo, and though I wanted to keep watching the music unfold, I couldn’t take my eyes from Lee’s wife. She turned from her position on the floor and walked slow, steady steps to the bar.

…..I watched as she ordered something. Her shoulders were shaking. Then she looked at the stage and her body steadied. Still. Calm. I knew that look. The look of an addict, of Lee when his body wanted horse, of every damn addict when they needed their drug. That woman was hooked on Lee.

…..The band finished the set with a beautiful, slow fading combination of instruments, then a quick lean into the sax by Billy, and some piano twinkling – and then they descended from the stage, back to the crowd who were whistling and cheering, clapping the band on the back, the shoulders, hugging them.

…..Helen had moved away from the bar. I couldn’t see her. Then Lee was there, standing beside me, a fresh Cognac cupped in his palm, Billy at his side. He was grinning, of course, that old playful grin full of teeth and crinkled cheeks.

…..“Howdy Do, how we do?” he said. He must have seen my expression, though, because that cheeky grin fell, and his eyes got all dim. He looked tired. “What?” It was Billy that replied, his eyes following something in the crowd.

…..“Don’t look now,” he said, “but Helen just came in.”  Lee looked across the room, as did I, following Billy’s eyes, but there was nothing there. Nothing, and then everything. She appeared so fast, coming out of nowhere. Still holding that black bag, staring down her nose at Lee as if her two damn nostrils were shotgun barrels. She looked at me when he spoke, with hatred that could melt down a trumpet.

…..“Where’s my draw?” she said, her mouth almost frothing. “I want my draw!” The room drew quiet round us. People at the back still spoke but I could feel all the eyes watching the high-top nutcase.

…..“I don’t see your damn trumpet on that stage,” Lee spat.

…..“That trumpet would be in some pawn shop if it weren’t for me. Where’s my damn draw? You giving it to her?” Helen nodded towards me. She was taking it in turns now, staring down me, staring down Morgan.

…..“You ain’t getting none of the draw, it’s my damn show. JJ ain’t getting none either.” Helen drew in close. His breath smelt like rot.

…..“I got a gun,” Helen growled. Lee grinned.

…..“You might have a gun, but I got the bullets,” he replied, followed by his dirty laugh. Helen’s face darkened, but Lee didn’t care. He turned round, started walking off. I’m just standing you know, hoping this can all stop soon. Helen looks so damn pissed, that bag dangling by her side, she walks off towards the bar and she’s shouting something. She’s getting more attention at this point than the damn band did on stage.

…..Lee, he’s chatting away to Billy like nothing’s happened – that was Lee, you know? He moves on. That’s him. Stuff goes down, then Lee moves on. Wouldn’t stay on nothing. But Helen – she was at the bar shouting about the draw and getting louder and louder, you know? And the barman, he came out to find Lee. He spoke loudly, loud enough for everyone to hear.

…..“Lee, take your woman outside. Send her home.” And I don’t know why I said the next bit, but I felt this kind of ownership, you know? Lee was my man.

…..“Hey Lee,” I said, real loud. “I thought you weren’t supposed to be with her no more?” Lee nodded. Spoke even louder, to the whole bar.

…..“I ain’t with that bitch. I’m just telling her to leave me alone!” Everything after that happened so fast it’s hard to know what’s what. Like that silence in the song I was talking about, except the silence is filled so fast nobody could do anything except act on instinct. Helen runs at Lee, knocking people to the side and then she slaps him in the side of the head. Lee barely flinches, but he moves fast, hooking his fingers under Helen’s arms. She’s writhing as he carries her to the door. Her coat – she must have taken it off – ain’t on, and so when he opens the door and throws her out of Slug’s, into the blizzard, she’s a sludgy mess on the white ground.

…..Lee don’t even wait round, slamming the door and leaving her out there. He walks back into the bar but I’m watching her through the grubby glass. Watching as she stares back at her husband, whose dumped her onto the ice. Watching as she stands up, eyes wild. Watching as she opens that little black clutch and pulls out a pistol.

…..She’s standing up, storming to the door. Yanking it open, and then she’s back in the room and now people notice the weapon but it’s too damn late. Nobody stops her when she walks in. Lee’s moving away from her. He hasn’t noticed her or the pistol, he’s just focused on getting back to the stage. I open my mouth to shout to him but it’s ain’t fast enough.

…..He turns round at the bar, and Helen’s there and then the bang happens, like one of those blue notes, a bang that deafens everyone. Screams, gasps, and I see him slump, the bullet in his chest and blood flashing everywhere and then – I ain’t proud.

…..I ran away, you know? Figured she could shoot Lee, she could shoot me. I ran out into the snowy New York streets, the ice pelting at my head, at my bare hands. I saw the police-car shoot by me, sirens blaring. But I never saw no ambulance, as I ran through the empty streets, eyes streaming, head pounding. I never saw no ambulance bursting through the snow to get there. They told me there was one, but it took half an hour to get there.

…..Lee died that night. He lost so much blood, spilt on the peanut-riddled sticky floor that he couldn’t blow that damn trumpet no more. He couldn’t do nothing no more except play duets with Cliff on some grubby arse, no good, too clean stage above.

…..And me? I guess I just kept on playing. But I didn’t feel it no more.

…..Nah. I didn’t feel it no more.

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photo by Francis Wolff/© Mosaic Images

photo by Francis Wolff

Lee Morgan during Art Blakey’s Moanin’ session;  Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ; October 30, 1958

 

 

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Gareth Davey is a writer from Milton Keynes, England. He is a Creative Writing graduate from the University of Northampton and is currently working on a novel.  He has short stories published in multiple magazines, and is working on a collection that can be read at morrieblack.com. Come say hello on twitter @gdaveywrites.

 

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Listen to Lee Morgan play “Lot of Livin’ to Do,” a 1967 Blue Note session that also includes James Spaulding (alto sax); Wayne Shorter (tenor sax); Pepper Adams (baritone sax); Herbie Hancock (piano); Ron Carter (bass); and Mickey Roker (drums)

 

 

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Andres Chaparro is a mixed media painter and collagist whose bold and expressive art is a visual representation of jazz music.  Chaparro’s work most recently in 2017 has been published in the book Making The Cut, Volume 1, The Worlds Best Collage Artists by Crooks Press in Australia.  As his work continues to rise in recognition and garnered by art and music enthusiast around the globe, Andres continues to refine his own visual vocabulary through his focus on the intersection between art and music.

View a selection of his work at his website by clicking here

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The publication of Francis Wolff’s photograph of Lee Morgan is courtesy of Michael Cuscuna, the legendary record executive and owner of Mosaic Records and Mosaic Images, which has curated the Francis Wolff photo collection since 1992, identifying and archiving over 20,000 images taken at hundreds of Blue Note sessions between 1940 and 1970. To view a collection of over 2800 images from this historic era, and for details on how you can own or license them, click here

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Community

photo via Picryl.com
.“Community Bookshelf, #2"...a twice-yearly space where writers who have been published on Jerry Jazz Musician can share news about their recently authored books. This edition includes information about books published within the last six months or so…

Contributing Writers

Click the image to view the writers, poets and artists whose work has been published on Jerry Jazz Musician, and find links to their work

Coming Soon

An interview with Tad Richards, author of Jazz With a Beat: Small Group Swing, 1940 - 1960;  an interview with Laura Flam and Emily Sieu Liebowitz, authors of But Will You Love Me Tomorrow? An Oral History of the 60's Girl Groups;  a new collection of jazz poetry; a collection of jazz haiku; a new Jazz History Quiz; short fiction; poetry; photography; interviews; playlists; and lots more in the works...

Interview Archive

Eubie Blake
Click to view the complete 22 year archive of Jerry Jazz Musician interviews, including those recently published with Richard Carlin and Ken Bloom on Eubie Blake (pictured); Richard Brent Turner on jazz and Islam; Alyn Shipton on the art of jazz; Shawn Levy on the original queens of standup comedy; Travis Atria on the expatriate trumpeter Arthur Briggs; Kitt Shapiro on her life with her mother, Eartha Kitt; Will Friedwald on Nat King Cole; Wayne Enstice on the drummer Dottie Dodgion; the drummer Joe La Barbera on Bill Evans; Philip Clark on Dave Brubeck; Nicholas Buccola on James Baldwin and William F. Buckley; Ricky Riccardi on Louis Armstrong; Dan Morgenstern and Christian Sands on Erroll Garner; Maria Golia on Ornette Coleman.

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