THE NATURAL – Screen legend Robert Montgomery was a damn good actor, who possessed a natural chicness, when it came to his dressing. The man was one of a handful of the most debonair men, on and off-screen, who dressed as elegantly, as diversely, as richly, and with such self-confidence-as anyone I have every seen, and will probably ever see. Yet, for some reason, he never seems to make many of the best dressed lists, of icons!
The New York native’s suaveness in the way he savvily introduces patterns into his ensemble, simply creates a whole new level of sophistication. I-mean, look at this top photograph and how he’s using this navy or black cravat (with white pattern) to give depth to his tennis whites-striking an immediate visual chord between admirer and his face. Or even the last photograph with him and Joan Crawford, and the way he anchors this flashy off-white 6 X 2 DB, with busy argyle socks, a most dandy pair of eye-catching spectators and that lovely hand-woven, silk/linen blend neck-tie. Meanwhile in all the visual splendor, our man isn’t even showing one iota of sleeve cuff! Some nerve!!!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DIZZ – Along with Charlie “Byrd” Parker, he was one of the original professors of Bebop (a new style of Jazz music, that came out of the world war 2 years) who spoke its language quite eloquently. His influence on generations of musicians, stretched beyond the shores of America, and across Europe. He was one of the most important trumpeters of his era and of all time-a flamboyant figure of fun-whose signature puffed-up cheeks, horn-rimmed glasses, and slightly skewed beret, became a hit with the Bebop populace. His contagious smile, his dapper ensembles, his witty sense of humor, were always in complete harmony, with his soulful sound and his amiable personality. On stage, he had a natural charismatic presences, along with a unique hop, that was uniquely him. Though his friendly spirit, followed him everywhere he went, he wasn’t without his share of controversy. His name will forever be synonymous with the greatest musicians, to ever grace the earth. And his music, will forever narrate America’s tempestuous, social legacy! His name is John Birks aka “Dizzy Gillespie” and today, we celebrate his 96th Birthday.
Dear Dizzy, we can’t thank you enough, for making beautiful, expressive, thought-provoking, unforgettable music. Here is “Salt Peanuts” 1947
It’s taken me all my life to learn what not to play.
NOTE: I took the photograph just above this text, on a cruise ship to Bermuda, in July. The entire ship’s decor, is dedicated to the personal work of actors, musicians and photographers. Here is Dizzy erected in the Dizzy Lounge.