ALIVE AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD: My Life In and Out of Jazz Time
by Lorraine Gordon as told to Barry Singer
WINNER OF THE ASCAP DEEMS TAYLOR AWARD FOR MUSIC WRITING
Lorraine Gordon lived more than a few lives: downtown bohemian, uptown grande dame, record business pioneer, wife, lover, mother and, finally - at a point when most women her age were just settling into grandmotherhood - owner of the most famous jazz club in the world, The Village Vanguard. It is this last fact that casts her life with a late-blooming significance verging on the inspirational. In many ways she was just an average person with an above average appetite for jazz; not a musician but a fan. Her love of the music, however, was unusually tenacious. Her life adds up to far more than just a jazz story. Yet it also constitutes, if only by inference, pretty much the story of jazz in the 20th century. Hers was also not solely a “woman’s story.” Yet it remains one of the more extraordinary and, yes, enlightening stories about one woman’s life in 20th and 21st Century America.