Nat Hentoff’s son, Nick, sadly announced the death of his father on January 7. I have followed Nat Hentoff’s work since 1959, and am saddened by his passing. Hentoff was a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and an ardent defender of civil liberties. He also had, as I have, a lifelong passion for jazz music. NPR writes below about Hentoff’s introduction to jazz and his career covering the genre as a journalist.
He also was a lover and frequent writer on jazz music. From age 11, he was hooked on the genre after hearing the song “Nightmare” by Artie Shaw coming through an open door at a record store.
Over the six decades he spent covering jazz, he attended plenty of performances and met many musicians.
He “got to be very good friends” with jazz great Dizzy Gillespie. At one point, he sat in on a recording session featuring Abbey Lincoln, Coleman Hawkins and Max Roach. “The music just became part of you as you heard it,” Hentoff said of the experience.
His most memorable show he attended was Duke Ellington “with his full orchestra” at Symphony Hall in Boston, playing the jazz work “Black, Brown and Beige.” …
Hentoff started writing for the Village Voice in 1958 until he was “excessed” in 2008 by new managers. A few days after his firing, he told NPR that condolences he received from readers afterward were “like reading one’s obituary while you’re still alive.” But he vowed to keep writing.
Read more here.
— Nick Hentoff (@Nick_Hentoff) January 8, 2017