Theme and Variations

Thoughts and experiences of exploring classical, jazz, and other art music.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Jazz Hall of Fame

Jazz at Lincoln Center has announced the inaugural class to be inducted into the new Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame in New York.

The 14 members of the inaugural class are: Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Bix Beiderbecke, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk, Jelly Roll Morton, Charlie Parker, Art Tatum and Lester Young.

I don’t think there is any question that all of these musicians are most deserving of induction into a jazz hall of fame. But what strikes me about the list is at least three glaring ommissions:

Benny Goodman
Count Basie
Ella Fitzgerald

I’m not sure why they settled on 14 as the limit for the inaugural class, but leaving out Benny Goodman is kind of like the Baseball Hall of Fame leaving out Honus Wagner from its inaugural class. (The other members of the Baseball HOF’s inaugural class in 1936 included Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson).
I think having a jazz hall of fame is an excellent idea, but since they are getting such a late start with it they probably should have considered expanding their list of initial inductees just a bit further.

Hopefully, they will rectify this next year. Here are my suggestions for the second round of inductees in 2005 (including the three listed above):

Artie Shaw
Charlie Mingus
Glenn Miller
Art Blakey
Stan Getz
Lionel Hampton
Dave Brubeck
Fletcher Henderson
Tommy Dorsey
Chick Webb
Django Reinhardt

Any other suggestions?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few additional names that come to mind quickly for Jazz Hall of Fame consideration are:

King Oliver
Jack Teagarden
Chet Baker
Oscar Peterson
Gene Krupa

Looking over the inauguaral group again, I think the choices are excellent.

Sorry to be anonymous and late in response. I came upon your site while searching for possible bloggging products to sign up for myself, so do not yet have an account or user name. I'll mark this as a page of interest (both in jazz and classical) for the future.

11:27 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home