He died on February 4, 2013
When Donald Byrd recorded Cristo Redentor, it was empirically proven that Jazz is
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.
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