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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings.
This may not be the most appropriate place for this post, but I wasn't sure where it would fit better.

I was reading a classic research article "The Use of Drugs by Jazz Musicians" by Charles Winick (Social Problems, Vol. 7, No. 3 Winter, 1959-60, pp. 240-253) where he discusses jazz musician drug use.

Winick writes, "Another [anecdote] dealt with the famous musician who is shown on the cover of a recent record album he made with the carrying case of his instrument. A number of respondents delighted in telling the interviewer it was 'well known' that the carrying case contained several pounds of marijuana" (p. 251).

To which album and musician do you think they are referring?

The interviews with NYC jazz musicians (N = 357) were conducted in 1954 and 1955. So, the album cover they mention is presumably from that same general time (i.e., early 1950s).

Do any of you know this story?

MODERATORS: I posted this same message in the Jazz and Improvisation section, but have not gotten any responses. I hope you don't mind my posting it here.

Thanks in advance.
Tim Wolfe
 

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I don't know about that one. Some people think Coltrane is smoking "something" on the cover of Blue Train.
 

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HOUSTON NONET said:
In 50's they all did more than pot (except Dizzy-- he was a real natural) Tell us please
Aw, c'mon, that's a little bit of a broad brush, isn't it?

I guess EVERYONE that played jazz in the '60s was an alcoholic and EVERYONE that played guitar in the '70s did acid too, eh? Puhleeze...
 

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Oh, those jazz musicians and their jazz cigarettes!

It's a pretty well-documented fact that Louis Armstrong loved pot, so it could have been him.

As Houston Nontet said, it seems like a good (bad, actually) number of them did hard drugs, so I would assume that just about all of them smoked pot, even Dizzy. This means it could be anybody, basically.

I would say Dex, but I think he was in jail/out of commission at the time.

This is stupid, but fun.
 

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L. Armstrong admitted in his biograpy he smoked pot everyday. Also, Mr. Young was a well known smoker. Probably someone from the 20s,30s or forties.
 

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The essay was published in 1959 I think, and calls the album cover "recent."

Here's the passage:

*


One anecdote, mentioned by six respondents, dealt with a jazz group, all the members of which smoked marijuana, and which played at a benefit for a police narcotic group. The jazz group played “Tea for Two,” “Tumbling Tumbleweed,” “Flying Home,” and a number of other tunes which had synonyms for narcotics in their titles. Another dealt with the famous musician who is shown on the cover of a recent record album he made with the carrying case of his instrument. A number of respondents delighted in telling the interviewer that it was “well known” that the carrying case contained several pounds of marijuana.

*


This could have been a lot of people, of course. I vote for Diz. A friend of mine was Diz's drummer for awhile, and traveled with the band to Cuba; Diz gave him the job of taking weed through customs in his drum case. According to him, Diz was so famous, and so well known to the authorities (esp. traveling in and out of Cuba) that they all knew exactly what was going on and didn't care. But my friend's experience would have been later than 1959, as he would only have been 7 years old then.
 

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Reedsplinter said:
This could have been a lot of people, of course. I vote for Diz. A friend of mine was Diz's drummer for awhile, and traveled with the band to Cuba; Diz gave him the job of taking weed through customs in his drum case. According to him, Diz was so famous, and so well known to the authorities (esp. traveling in and out of Cuba) that they all knew exactly what was going on and didn't care. But my friend's experience would have been later than 1959, as he would only have been 7 years old then.
I hope he got a nice bonus for that!
 

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This is from -66 but so far the only "case" cover i can think of. Except i seem to remember a Lester young cover, but that would be too early?

Question is: where is all that vintage weed now, overpriced at ebay? :D

 

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HOUSTON NONET said:
Actually the only reasonable question here is --
"What establied jazz musicain in the 50's did not do drugs"

I thought Dave Brubeck was clean, but I could be completely wrong.
 

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Sorba said:
This is from -66 but so far the only "case" cover i can think of. Except i seem to remember a Lester young cover, but that would be too early?

Question is: where is all that vintage weed now, overpriced at ebay? :D

It was $5 for a matchbox and $60 for a kilo in New Orleans in 1961. It went up to $75 a kilo and $10 for a lid in San Francisco in 1964.

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You can read a portion of Louies biography and his run in with the law in LA - and his mentioning the music related to mary jane at:

http://www.cannabisseeds.com/cannabis_louis_armstrong.htm
 

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The recent drug use shocker to me was Michael Brecker
I knew of his coke problems (everyone did coke in the early 80's) but was shocked to hear of his junk/smack use-- just don't understand that one
 

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HOUSTON NONET said:
BTW "Sax in my Axe" --great alias for this forum!!
Whoa, now there's an interesting slip of the keyboard!:shock: :D
 

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spartacus said:
It was $5 for a matchbox and $60 for a kilo in New Orleans in 1961. It went up to $75 a kilo and $10 for a lid in San Francisco in 1964.
:shock: $10 a lid?!?

That's $63.67 in 2006 dollars! And $447.26 a ki! No wonder they could stay so stoned!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks everyone for your responses.

I'm especially grateful to Reedsplitter for posting a link to the original Winick journal article and the link to the Playboy article with Diz, Cannonball and Nat Adderley, Duke, Kenton, Winick and others. Both provide interesting insights into the life of jazz musicians.

Any other guesses about the particular album cover mentioned in the Winick artilce?

Reedsplitter suspects a Diz album cover. I did a little research on Diz album covers, but didn't find a likely suspect.

The album cover business is admittedly a small matter. I'm just curious.

Other thoughts?

Thanks,
Tim Wolfe
 

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dirty said:
:shock: $10 a lid?!?

That's $63.67 in 2006 dollars! And $447.26 a ki! No wonder they could stay so stoned!
I'm told that the product today is much more powerful than back in the day, so you get more THC for the buck.
 
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