RE : RARA-AVIS: David Goodis and jazz influence

From: E. Borgers (
Date: 22 Jul 2007

Back to the original question : Goodis, jazz and his work.
  You certainly remember the fascination Goodis had for the low end of the entertainment places (bars, clubs…) and his attraction for places run by Blacks.
  Knowing this we can say that at least he was tolerant to jazz and r&b (the real stuff, not this pale tasteless soup they serve under the r&b label nowadays).
  You will remember also that in quite a number of his novels music plays a role, direct or indirect (the pianist of Down There, a singer in street of No Return). Besides, in another novel he gave a realistic and frightening description of a poor and violent Black neighbourhood (Street of the Lost) wherein music is present in a kind of low class bar.
  There must be other references to jazz in his novels, but I cannot remember details.
  By the way, he also liked to use classical music performers as characters (Down There…)
  As I remembered that Philippe Garnier in his Goodis' biography described some of Goodis music tastes, as confirmed by friends and witnesses, I quickly searched the book and it appears:
  -Goodis learned the violin when he was a kid
  -he always owned jazz records, and classical
  -he liked Count Basie, Lionel Hampton (under others)
  -he often played kazoo to support the records he was listening
  -he liked to go to jazz clubs in Philadelphia West (he met Duke Ellington)
  -his favourite song: "How High the Moon" -he played it himself
  And of course, a lot of confirmations that he liked to spend nights in Black neighbourhood, looking for women, music and depravation (but he was not a heavy drinker)

e_lynskey <> a 飲it : I've been reading David Goodis' DARK PASSAGE and noticed his frequent references to jazz (Count Basie, especially). Is this a theme running through his noir books?


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