Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Jazz & Cocktails at the Center of the World

From the November 2006 edition of Fringe Magazine

During a trip to New York City several years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

It happened this way. I was visiting my friends, Kevin and Kathlene, who like thousands of other ambitious twenty-somethings had moved to the city to seek out their fortune, and even though fortune was a little slow in arriving, had in fact been delayed indefinitely, they nevertheless assumed an air of sophistication and decadence. From a distance and in silhouette Kevin and Kathlene looked like those svelte, stiffly posed figures you see in Jazz Age advertisements, all sharp angles and long lines, a man and woman sipping martinis while standing at a penthouse window; a flapper in a sequined dress, a dandy in a tux, templates used by graphic artists who designed the programs for the latest Gershwin or Cole Porter musical. Girl Crazy, Oh, Kay!, Anything Goes. Whenever they were nearby I heard, or at any rate imagined I heard, muted trumpets, saxophones, syncopated rhythms, Strayhorn’s “Lush Life,” Ellington at the Cotton Club...

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