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Where The Stray Kats Played: Birdland: The Jazz Corner Of The World Book Review

We all, and certainly every real New Yorker, should know about Studio 54, but what about Birdland?  Quintessentially the jazz world's less chaotic, just as iconic Studio 54.  What can one say about an establishment, institution and shrine that burned names like Parker, Blakey, Gillespie and Davis Jr. into our minds as the musical paramounts they are today?  

Well, musician, composer and now author Leo T. Sullivan has a lot to say, recap, present and showcase in Birdland: The Jazz Corner Of The World An Illustrated Tribute, 1949-1965 (Schiffer Publishing).  Back when jazz was delivering its unapologetic bounce, angst and cry to the American people, Birdland was the nightclub hub of sorts for the jazz world's elite, the up & coming and what would become the honored and revered.  Vocal phenoms like Ella Fitzgerald & Sarah Vaughn, explosive ensembles head by Count Basie & Stan Kenton and the smooth strolls of kats like Duke Ellington & Coleman Hawkins and others that graced the Birdland stage are captured in this book through insightful text and rare photos. John Coltrane, Tito Rodriguez, Dave Brubeck, Bud Powell, Dexter Gordon and others come back to life and make you want to dig up old 45's with the delicious window into jazz and New York history that Sullivan has chronicled in this book shelf worthy and coffee table collectible.

Though the window of time for Birdland's renaissance days weren't long, it was indispensably an important slice of jazz history that serves and a game-changing era for the importance and dynamic synergistic power of art, collaborations, live music and talent.  

Birdland: The Jazz Corner Of The World An Illustrated Tribute, 1949-1965 (Schiffer Publishing) is available now at

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