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  • BAGS’ GROOVE

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    As a kid I lived for a time in my grandparent’s house, an old Victorian, across the street from the Blue Moon Bar, smack in the middle of the city’s largest African American neighborhood. In those days music was either played on a juke box or live. On hot summer Saturday nights it was always live. From my second floor bedroom window, I could look into the barroom, where high heels were kicked off and guys swung the gals around like dolls. If I stayed awake long into the early morning, I’d hear the music change over, from a ruckus jump jitterbug or milder swing, to bebop, and a melodic softer blues, not the raunchy grinding kind I’d someday hear along the Delta, but what I later learned was cool blues. It went something like my version of Bags’ Groove, a composition by Milt Jackson, recorded by the Milt Jackson Quintet on April 7, 1952 for Blue Note Records.

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