Fulbright riffs, 1991 — day 7, Wednesday, June 5

Jan Morris’s Manhattan 45 is a brilliant piece of travel writing and social history. I love the portrayals of New York’s many eccentrics, such as the Collyer brothers who barricaded their apartment with newspapers and stuff, setting traps for intruders. When they died it took the police two hours to break in.

I started to elaborate on the twelve-week master plan given to Dan and Ed: it looks like I can afford to get to New Orleans.

Continuing my line of research into jazz arrangers, I found the Horace Henderson interview fascinating, throwing out loads of extra leads to follow up. I listened to Focus, that Eddie Sauter wrote for Stan Getz but find it over-sentimental, echoes of Stravinsky and Ravel bouncing off the backbeat. [At this time I am not a fan of Getz either and only start to appreciate his inventiveness and distinctive sound after listening to his recordings of Stella by starlight a few years ago].

I discovered the Village Voice, this week’s edition containing good, liberal comment on George Bush’s ‘New Order’ (New world odour) and hundreds of things to see or hear in the listings, dwarfing the listings I’d been used to reading in Time Out. I began by taking in early evening jazz at the South Street Seaport Museum, part of the Ray-Ban Festival. The set kicked off with Roy Hargrove (the new trumpet star) and his quintet, including Antonio Hart on alto (who was the best of the quintet in my view), Yoron Israel on drums, Steven Scott piano and the bassist’s name I didn’t catch, though it was probably Scott Colley. And what a setting, backing onto the East River and a converted ocean liner pier, and hemmed in by the downtown skyscrapers of the financial district. The audience was mixed, around 50% black. There’s a college ball or private party going on aboard one of the ships in dock — loads of classy gear walking around.

Roy Hargrove’s Public Eye album cover, released May 1991

Home early to tuna salad to neutralise lunchtime’s quite awful taco salad — warm mince on tortilla chips! Wrote home.