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Nat Hentoff, R.I.P.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Don Kasper, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    Nat Hentoff, Journalist and Social Commentator, Dies at 91
    Also a Jazz Critic.

    (excerpted from the NY Times obituary):
    The Hentoff bibliotheca reads almost like an anthology: works by a jazz aficionado, a mystery writer, an eyewitness to history, an educational reformer, a political agitator, a foe of censors, a social critic. He was, indeed, like the jazz he loved — given to improvisations and permutations, a composer-performer who lived comfortably with his contradictions, though adversaries called him shallow and unscrupulous, and even his admirers sometimes found him infuriating, unrealistic and stubborn.

    In the 1950s, Mr. Hentoff was a jazz critic in Manhattan, frequenting crowded, smoky nightclubs where musicians played for low pay and audiences ran hot and cold and dreamy. “I knew their flaws as well as their strengths,” he recalled, “but I continued to admire the honesty and courage of their art.”
    lurk, DrayMiles, farace and 1 other person like this.
  2. murrayonbass


    Jan 2, 2017

    Thank you for acknowledging. I enjoyed his contributions -- Hentoff witnessed, first-hand, much of the rich american musical history I find I often take for granted.
    Don Kasper and lurk like this.
  3. lurk


    Dec 2, 2009
    For a lot of players my age (b1949), critics like Hentoff were part of it. Hip intellectuals were into jazz, and even if their musical perceptions were sometimes a little spotty, they drew a lot of people, both musicians and listeners, to the music. Great writer.
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Not to forget his involvement as A&R director for Candid records, producing classic sides by Mingus, Cecil Taylor and others.


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