Wednesday, January 11, 2017 6:00 PM
This week, author, political columnist, jazz critic and – to quote his
wife – “social mischief maker” Nat Hentoff passed away at his apartment
in Greenwich Village “surrounded by family listening to Billie Holiday,”
according to his son, Nick Hentoff, on Twitter.
Holiday was not
merely music to live for and die to; Hentoff knew her. Over the years
covering the jazz scene in America from the 1950s onward he got to know
many of the greats (including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy
Gillespie, John Coltrane) and the music was a passion of his life. His
contributions to the music industry – magazines, books and productions –
alone deserve recognition at his passing. But many, including myself,
know him for his political commentary as well.