Did he really say that?

The kind of humor I like is the thing that makes me laugh for five seconds and think for ten minutes = GEORGE CARLIN...Stained glass, engraved glass, frosted glass–give me plain glass = JOHN FOWLES...Music is the mathematics of the gods = PYTHAGORAS...Nothing is more fluid than language = R.L.SWIHART

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Donald Byrd, R.I.P.

Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II was born in Detroit on December 9, 1943
He died on February 4, 2013

When Donald Byrd recorded Cristo Redentor, it was empirically proven that Jazz is
a superior legitimate religion.

His recording career spanned seven decades, which is a reasonable reward for anyone empirically proving anything.

In 1959, Donald Byrd was a sixteen year-old kid who serenaded a very late night
New York City subway car audience.
I kid you not but the photograph was taken on the A-Train to Harlem

Please reward your ears with as much Donald Byrd music as you can access. But the remainder of this post is about two people at the unseen end of that subway car.
That is, the photographer and his wife.

During my tenure at Jefferson, I was fortunate enough to sit down with the Claxtons at a Los Angeles art gallery. (The "sit down" was inspired by another William Claxton jazz photograph.) When I told them that some of my better Latino math students were chollos, the wife thought I was referring to a restaurant called El Cholo.
Her name is Peggy Moffitt and, on that 1996 afternoon, she hadn't aged a day in thirty-four years.

William Claxton was the "slash man" of legendary Jazz photographers. He also photographed the most controversial fashion spread of 1962: Rudi Gernreich's topless bathing suit, the monokini

The model was Peggy Moffitt

When you link onto the William Claxton image page
the third photograph you will see is Mrs. Donald Byrd.

Blogger's Notes
Caryl Hobbes, Chancellor pro tem of the Lewis Carroll School of Logic, insists on the following footnotes:

The only chance in hell that Peggy Moffitt would remember Paul Oliverio is due to his bumming a cigaret during our "sit-down" conversation.
I think it was a Marlboro Light.

Upon arrival at the A-Train hyperlink, enter Donald Byrd in the search window. The subway car photograph is not included there but I hope you are fortunate enough to buy access a hard copy of William Claxton's Jazz Seen.

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