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A Tribute to Richard M. Sudhalter New York, January 2009 Albert Haim

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Presentation on theme: "A Tribute to Richard M. Sudhalter New York, January 2009 Albert Haim"— Presentation transcript:

1 A Tribute to Richard M. Sudhalter New York, January 2009 Albert Haim

2 Richard Merrill Sudhalter 1938-2008 Musician, Author, Jazz Historian Educator A Celebration of His Life January 2009

3 The Defining Moment in Richard’s Life Interview in August 1999 EJ: Do you recall the first time you were attracted to music? DS: Yes, with absolute clarity, though it was nearly half a century ago. I was twelve, and had flogged away at the piano for nearly five years without discernible result, when one day I found a Bix Beiderbecke record ("San," with Paul Whiteman's orchestra) in my father's record cabinet. He was an alto saxophonist, equally adept at "legit" and "hot" styles, and among his idols no one ranked higher than Bix and his saxophone-playing partner, Frank Trumbauer. The ringing, sweet-hot sound of Bix's cornet on that record electrified me; animated and astonished me. I couldn't wait for my dad to get home so I could ask him: “Who is Bix Beiderbecke?" From that day on I was hooked on Beiderbecke in particular, hot jazz in general.

4 Jerry Jazz Musician Interview by Paul Morris, July 23, 2002 If you could pick any event in jazz history to attend, what would it be? RMS I guess I have to split it into three even parts. - To have been in the crowd at Roseland the night the Goldkette orchestra bested Henderson's band. - To have been in the crowd at the Club New Yorker when Rollini unveiled his wonderful new band. - To have heard the Whiteman orchestra live, anywhere, in the early weeks of 1928.

5 Courtesy of Norman Field

6 Richard was an educator Richard’s writings provide an education, not just information!

7 Mr. Phillip D. Atteberry, Professor of Music at the University of Pittsburgh, the Mississippi Rag, April 1999 Most books embellish or refine an existing way of thinking. Only a few books prompt us to think in fundamentally new ways, to see a subject through an entirely new lens. “Lost Chords” is one of those rare books.” Mr. William Youngren, Atlantic Magazine, February 1999 “Lost Chords is a lifetime guide to its subject – the sort of book that in a sense one never finishes.”

8 Norman Field Sep 20 2008 in Doug Ramsey’s Rifftides writing about J.R.T. Davies and Richard Sudhalter Both of them were mentors to me; John in person, and Richard mostly by his books and recordings. Still, the only effective tribute we can really pay to human beings of this exalted stature, is to do our best to live up, however modestly, to the very high standards they set.

9 From: Richard Sudhalter To: Subject: Re: Bix Web Page... Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 21:50:35 -0800 (PST) Dear Albert, Finally it's Saturday, affording me a chance at last to read through the printout of your Beiderbecke web page, which arrived yesterday. As you'd expect, I enjoyed it; certainly any Bix cyber-enthusiast is going to have the time of his (or her) virtual life here. ************************************************************** 1442 words of highly detailed comments after reading ca. 200 pages in a few hours. A bit of praise, but then …

10 *****THE FINAL YEARS: I fail to see in what way "Friend With Pleasure" anticipates the swing era. Bix apart, it's an all-too-characteristic arrangement of its time. You can argue that such Casa Loma records as "San Sue Strut" anticipate swing band methods and sounds, but this? If you're determined to contend that, you must support it with firm musical evidence. *****BOOKS: "BB: Sein Leben, etc." It's not enough to say your Deutsch isn't up to it. Find someone who speaks the language and knows the subject. Scheuer does all right, but falls into some familiar traps. You owe your readers more than a disclaimer that reads like a cop-out. 1442 words!!! Richard even corrected typos. The educator in action. Another dimension to Richard’s intellectual qualities. Generous, but highly demanding.


12 The Mississippi Rag, October 2008 Richard Sudhalter Obituary by Albert Haim I owe an immense debt of gratitude to Richard Sudhalter. His writings, in particular Bix, Man and Legend, had a profound impact on me. Had it not been for Richard's comprehensive, insightful, and deeply moving account of Bix's life, my own life would have charted a far less rewarding course. Ultimately, I was inspired to create the Bixography website (, embarking upon a marvelous and endlessly evolving adventure. Thank you, Richard!

13 In his music In his brilliant scholarship In his ever-expanding field of influence and inspiration Richard Lives

14 Next 8:25-8:30 Classic Jazz Quartet Reunion JOE MURANYI - clarinet MARTY GROSZ - guitar Dick Sudhalter, cornet Joe Muranyi, clarinet Dick Wellstood, piano Marty Grosz, acoustic guitar

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