|Lorraine Gordon, at her desk in the kitchen at the Village Vanguard|
An uncredited photo from Alive At The Village Vanguard
The words “an era has ended” are thoroughly appropriate. Lorraine Gordon, owner of the Village Vanguard, was a comforting constant in the ever-changing world of jazz, her presence at the club a near nightly one from when she took it over from her late husband, Max, in 1989 until 2013 when ill-health overcame her. She died of a stroke in Manhattan on Saturday. Here she is in 2013:
As Barry Singer wrote in the introduction to her 2006 memoir, Alive At The Village Vanguard (Hal Leonard): “Lorraine Gordon has lived more than a few lives: downtown bohemian, uptown grande dame, record business pioneer, wife, mother, and finally – at a point when most women her age were just settling into grandmotherhood – owner of the most famous jazz club in the world…”
Bill Frisell reflected: “Lorraine Gordon is why the Village Vanguard is what it is, and why it is.”
LINK: Tim Weiner’s obituary for The New York Times, detailing a fascinating life, is here.