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A Tribute to Richard M. Sudhalter New York, January 2009 Albert Haim http://bixbeiderbecke.com Richard Merrill Sudhalter 1938-2008 Musician, Author, Jazz Historian Educator A Celebration of His Life January 2009 The Defining Moment in Richard’s Life
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Richard M. Sudhalter
New York, January 2009
Musician, Author, Jazz Historian
A Celebration of His Life
Interview in August 1999 www.allaboutjazz.com
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.
Richard’s writings provide an
education, not just information!
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 Chordsis a lifetime guide to its subject – the sort of book that in a sense one never finishes.”
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.
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 …
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.
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 (www.bixography.com), embarking upon a
marvelous and endlessly evolving adventure.
Thank you, Richard!
Classic Jazz Quartet Reunion
JOE MURANYI - clarinet
MARTY GROSZ - guitar
Dick Sudhalter, cornet
Joe Muranyi, clarinet
Dick Wellstood, piano
Marty Grosz, acoustic guitar