August 17th, 2007

Chris Keeley

During Prohibition it was said there were more speakeasies than children in the Irish Catholic area.

During Prohibition it was said there were more speakeasies than children in the Irish Catholic area. On Restaurant Row (West 46th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues) the long-popular Barbetta is one of the establishments in former speakeasy locations. (Danny’s Grand Sea Palace, now, sadly, closed, was another.) The speakeasies were run by gangsters like the dapper Owney (the Killer) Madden, who held the controlling interest in the Cotton Club in Harlem and consorted with the notorious Mafia boss Lucky Luciano.

Turf of Gangs and Gangsters

Weekend Explorer is a new feature that will appear occasionally in the Weekend section. It begins with a series of walking tours through areas of New York, in which a reporter, guided by a longtime resident of a neighborhood, seeks out still-visible traces of the city’s layers of history.

NEW YORK is a walking city. People walk everywhere: to work, to school, to shop, to worship. And usually we’re in such a hurry, with the whole city rushing headlong around us, that we can miss what we’re walking past.

It’s the past itself — fragments and layers of New York’s history unceremoniously preserved in its streetscapes, in stories told on park benches and bar stools, in ghosts glimpsed in shadowed doorways. Hell’s Kitchen is one such neighborhood. Walking it with a longtime denizen offers a chance to bring alive some of that history.

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Chris Keeley

Max Roach, Jazz Master, Dies at 83

Audio recordings of Max Roach (from Blue Note Records)

“Un Poco Loco” from "The Amazing Bud Powell: Volume 1," by Bud Powell

"Budo" from "Birth of the Cool," by Miles Davis

"Carolina Moon" from "Genius of Modern Music: Volume 2," by Thelonious Monk

Max Roach, Jazz Master, Dies at 83


Max Roach, Master of Modern Jazz, Dies at 83

Max Roach, a founder of modern jazz who rewrote the rules of drumming in the 1940s and spent the rest of his career breaking musical barriers and defying listeners’ expectations, died early yesterday in Manhattan. He was 83.

His death, at an undisclosed hospital, was announced by a spokesman for Blue Note Records, Mr. Roach’s last label. No cause was given. Mr. Roach, who had lived on the Upper West Side for many years, had been known to be in poor health for some time.

Mr. Roach’s death closes a chapter in American musical history. He was the last surviving member of a small circle of adventurous musicians — among them Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and a handful of others — whose innovations brought about wholesale changes in jazz during World War II and immediately afterward.

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