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Number Four
Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street was located at 180 Queen Street West in Toronto. Doug Cole opened the club in 1971. He also owned George’s Spaghetti House. The club featured a selection of American musicians backed by local Toronto players. Doug sold the club in 1983. Bourbon Street continued to feature music until 1986. The building has since been demolished.

Bourbon Street, March 1982
Chet Baker with Pat LaBarbera
Not seen are Lorne Lofsky [guitar] and Dave Piltch [bass].













1957: Nineteen years old and a fully fledged hipster. Growing up in the England of Dan Dare comics, the Goons and Tony Hancock on the radio, cricket and warm beer, seems an odd beginning for the life that would unfold. I am thankful to all those who influenced me along the way, introduced me to the music that filled my youth: Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, the Gerry Mulligan – Chet Baker Quartet, Miles Davis’s Quintet with John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Jackson, Thelonious Monk… and on it goes.

Pianoless quartets, seemed at the time to be a radical departure from the accepted. From Gerry Mulligan & Chet Baker on through Kenny Dorham & Ernie Henry to Don Cherry with Ornette, Coltrane, Rollins and Gato Barbieri, Steve Lacy & Roswell Rudd, a new open language was created, a format that could almost be considered commonplace today.


Author as a young man channelling Chet Baker

[photographer unknown]





End Notes:

Chet Baker: This is Always [Steeplechase Records]

Comments and corrections can be sent to classicimprov@yahoo.ca

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