Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Alive at the Village Vanguard: My Life In and Out of Jazz Time by Lorraine Gordon

Anyone who has descended the steps to the Village Vanguard during the past 18 years, since Lorraine Gordon took over the stewardship of that hallowed, subterranean, oddly triangular-shaped jazz club in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village, has firsthand experience with just how formidable a presence she can be. She is the quintessential tough broad with a no-nonsense style.

Lorraine’s colorful memoir details her journey from Newark, N.J., where she became an avid jazz fan and record collector with a schoolgirl crush on swing-era Benny Goodman, to her seven-year marriage/partnership with Blue Note Records founder Alfred Lion and her second marriage to bohemian intellectual and Vanguard founder Max Gordon. Finally, it assesses her ultimate rebirth as a jazz club owner at age 67. “Max left me this wonderful little club,” she writes. “Except he didn’t actually leave it to me. It was there. So I took it. By the horns. And I shook it up.”

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published