In the December 2005 issue of Jazz Times, esteemed jazz critic Nat Hentoff presented a challenge to writers: “There should be a book about those jazz clubs that have been a vital part of the evolution of the music…with reminiscences by the musicians who played and hung out there.” Keystone Korner: Portrait of a Jazz Club answers this summons.
During the 1970s, when jazz clubs all over America were folding under the onslaught of rock and roll and disco, San Francisco’s Keystone Korner was an oasis for jazz musicians and patrons. Tucked next to a police station in the city’s North Beach area, the Keystone became known as one of the most important jazz spots in the United States. It was so beloved by musicians that superstars McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Ron Carter, and Elvin Jones played a benefit concert just so the club could buy a liquor license.
In this book, 109 black and white photographs, a collage of oral histories, and a marvelous CD of club recordings brilliant enough for a stand-alone purchase chronicle the Keystone experience.