Scott Gutterman

  • the Jazz Hero

    Clint Eastwood, that steely-jawed, laconic American icon, revealed another side of himself to the public recently through his involvement in two jazz bio-pics: Bird, 1988, a fictionalized account of the life of saxophonist Charlie Parker, which he directed; and Straight, No Chaser, 1988, a documentary on pianist Thelonious Monk, which he produced. It seems Eastwood is a lifelong jazz lover, and that he idolizes the great jazz heroes of his youth. He’s even gone on record making an oft-heard observation: that the Western and jazz are the only two wholly original art forms to have come from America.

  • Rhythm and Rage

    THE FIRST TIME I SAW Sister Carol perform, it was at a place on 125th Street in New York called the Celebrity Club. The show was part of a series billed as “Reggae Comes to Harlem”—a concept that seemed to hold a great deal of promise, suggesting the essential and underlying unity of two great musical traditions, split unnaturally by the barbarism of slavery. Although the producers’ intentions were noble, the outcome looked dire: the enormous ballroom, which once blazed with Lindy hoppers and jitterbug queens, now held tables and chairs that looked as though they’d been salvaged from the street,