The Day Jazz Died in Harlem? – New York Times book review

February 20, 2010

“Some people still scratch their heads, for example, about why jazz in Harlem went off the boil. The answer is more than 60 years old, and Fletcher tells the story well: It was the Police Department’s temporary closing of the Savoy in 1943, and the subsequent Harlem riots that year — ignited by a white cop’s shooting of a black soldier, but foreshadowed by a growing frustration with institutional racism in the wartime economy. These events ruined many businesses along 125th Street and made white customers stay away; club owners sought surer business downtown, and that was the end of a scene.”

All Hopped Up and Ready to Go; Music from the Streets of New York 1927-77 by Tony Fletcher, reviewed by Ben Ratliff, New York Times Sunday Book review


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