REALLY THE BLUES MEZZ MEZZROW PDF

At the counter, you take a seat two stools away from a middle-aged man in fine trousers, a white shirt, and a wide, loud tie, drinking something brown on the rocks. Just as the bartender calls for your last order, the story winds to a shimmering conclusion, leaving you with an unexpected sense of hope, of the power of persistence, of the redemption of art. The version of Really the Blues might open with opium addiction and professional disappointment, flash back to a more innocent and promising youth, and then fast forward to present redemption. Mezz Mezzrow, c. Take that stolen Studebaker.

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At the counter, you take a seat two stools away from a middle-aged man in fine trousers, a white shirt, and a wide, loud tie, drinking something brown on the rocks. Just as the bartender calls for your last order, the story winds to a shimmering conclusion, leaving you with an unexpected sense of hope, of the power of persistence, of the redemption of art. The version of Really the Blues might open with opium addiction and professional disappointment, flash back to a more innocent and promising youth, and then fast forward to present redemption.

Mezz Mezzrow, c. Take that stolen Studebaker. On a second trip to prison, Mezz is the perfect trickster, sweet-talking a porter into stealing the sputum of a TB patient so Mezz himself can pretend to cough it up and get transferred from the chain gang to the hospital.

After a hundred pages of these unlikely escapades and brushes with American icons, I stopped questioning them. Almost every sentence drips with similes. At one point, the book actually reproduces a whole conversation—four pages long—of the most intense jive-talk imaginable, and includes a translation in an appendix.

Mezz himself has an unusual relationship to race for his time. A white musician who loves New Orleans jazz, he at least once even pretends to be black, so that he can live on a cellblock with black inmates instead of white.

With the help of his wife, Mezz kicks his opium habit, despite the severe effects of withdrawal. Then comes the harder part—he has to put his life back together again. And you know what my piece was?

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Mezz Mezzrow

Our lounge is a place for adults to enjoy the relaxed social atmosphere of a jazz club. Mezzrow is owned and operated by the folks from Smalls Jazz Club next door at west 10th street — a musical environment run by musicians for musicians. To all hipsters, hustlers and fly cats tipping along The Stroll. Keep scuffling To all the cons in all the houses of many slammers wrastling with chinches Short time, boys. To all the junkies and lushes in two-bit scratch-pads, and the flop-house grads in morgue ice-boxes R. To all the sweettalkers, the gumbeaters, the high-jivers, out of the gallion for good and never going to take low again. You got to make it, daddy.

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Really the Blues

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REALLY THE BLUES, a memoir by Mezz Mezzrow and Bernard Wolfe, reviewed by Beth Johnston

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