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Book Chronicles the Life of a Lost Jazz Shrine

Ever heard of the New York Jazz Museum? Me neither. Apparently it was, during its five-year existence in the ’70s, one of the most significant jazz institutions in the world. That’s the case made in a new book, anyway. Howard E. Fischer, the museum’s founder and onetime director, has chronicled the rise and demise of his now largely forgotten temple of jazz in the intriguingly titled Jazz Exposé: The New York Jazz Museum and the Power Struggle That Destroyed It, due September 15 from Sundog Ltd.

Included in an e-mail received from the book’s promoters was a list of 51 reasons to read it. Among the most persuasive teasers are that the books tells all about:

11. What Charles Mingus asked the author to do.

23. How we purchased a midtown Manhattan building for $5,000 cash!

29. The Betrayal

41. Why many jazz musicians died so young.

49. What the jazz community said about Benny Goodman.

50. The power struggle

And, number 51:

Why Mick Jagger was turned away from the Museum.

(Lemme guess: Was it because Mick arrived at the museum dressed like this?)

Jazz Exposé is sure to be a good, gossipy, 135-page read. For the non-trashtalkers out there, Fischer also writes all about the museum’s 25,000 item archive of jazz and the programs the museum presented during its brief existence. And there are words from Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and other jazz luminaries sprinkled throughout. But I’ll be reading mostly just to find out how I can get me a sweet piece of Manhattan for a paltry five large.

For more info on the museum and the book, visit

Originally Published