Feed on

From the get-go, Birdland became one of his favorite haunts. He always went to the 52nd Street club alone. He’d pay two dollars to the cashier at the bottom of the stairs after hassling with a midget-spade about his proof of age, and stand at the bar or sit in the gallery and drink Cutty Sark while watching and listening to musicians like Bobby Timmons, Cannonball and Nat Adderly, Charles Mingus, Stan Getz, Jackie McLean, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Herbie Mann, Philly Joe Jones, LeRoy Vinnegar, and Horace Silver, whose piece “Senor Blues” was a melody which Kenny considered as a theme along with “Filthy McNasty.”

Between sets, Kenny would hang around the bar and get acquainted with some of the folks, telling them his name was Eddie. He got friendly with a few people and with one dude in particular, a middle-aged jazz aficionado from Holland who owned a jewelry store in Brooklyn and had a display case in the Diamond Exchange in Manhattan. Kenny told the guy that his grandmother had died and left him her wedding ring, which he wanted to get appraised, and if it was worth anything, possibly sell to cover the cost of his education. The jeweler gave him his card and invited him to drop into his Brooklyn shop anytime.
— Emmett Grogan, from Ringolevio (1972)

Señor Kenny Wisdom listened to Horace Silver records with Willie Sutton in Spring Hill, Florida. Horace-scope! Where you at?

Leave a Reply