Bird and Diz: Spotlite Mystery Solved - JazzWax

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November 10, 2008


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The Hi de Ho Blog

Great inquiry for a great CD. I really like the way you share with us the way you work.

Many thanks.

Robin D. G. Kelley

This is a great story; too bad the date is still unlikely. On June 28, 1946, Dizzy's big band began a week-long stint at the Apollo. He was the headliner, opposite Thelma Carpenter. It was widely advertised in the African American press [See, “Dizzy Gillespie Band Plays Apollo,” Amsterdam News, June 29, 1946; “Dizzy, Thelma on Apollo Show,” Pittsburgh Courier, June 29, 1946, as well as ads in the New York Age]
It MIGHT be possible that the big band then rushed down to 52nd Street in time to play Clark Monroe's Spotlite at around midnight or later, but it's very unlikely. I document this in my forthcoming book, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (due out October). How I wish research could take a couple of hours over lunch!

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of Calif. Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax was twice named "Blog of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association.
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