[Dixielandjazz] Re:Greenspan & Woody - Redux

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Dec 5 18:02:59 PST 2003

Fred Spencer wrote:

> You are correct in suggesting that the article may be inaccurate - it is in
> one instance. Leonard Garment wrote in his autobiogaphy,"I went to law
> school in 1946", so he wasn't there in 1944 when he was with the Jerome
> band. Couldn't Greenspan have done what Garment did-"college by day, and
> music by night"? I assume that his intelligence would have made him more
> successful than his former bandmate.Cheers.
> Fred

Hi Fred:

Well, maybe. I did the same sort of thing myself in from 1956 to 1962. Went to
Hofstra University from 1956 to 1959 and played 4 nights a week locally. And
then to law school at NYU from 1959 to 1962, also playing 4 nights a week.

However, I did not, like Dr. Greenspan, graduate Summa Cum Laude from NYU. And
I was playing small group Dixieland. That was not in as demanding a band
asWoody Herman's, or  Henry Jerome's. To graduate Summa Cum Laude and work
steadily with Herman, or Jerome would have indeed been an accomplishment. By a
man with rather unfocused intelligence, unable to choose between music and
economics. That is not Dr. Greenspan. He was then, and still is, VERY focused,
on Economics.

Most Greenspan biographies claim that he quit playing music in 1945 and
enrolled full time at NYU

I don't think Garment went to college while he was with Jerome. Or otherwise
gigging as a jazz musician. I believe he "bluffed" his way into Brooklyn Law
School after leaving Jerome's Band. "Bluffed" in the sense that he did not
have an undergraduate degree.

Be that as it may, it is all conjecture. Did Greenspan play with Herman? I
doubt it unless there was a one time sit-in. Did Greenspan play steadily in a
band while going to NYU from 1945 to 1950. No, not according to his

Not even a mention of gigging and college studies simultaneously after 1945 by
either of them. So, IMO yes, it's possible but until someone can point to a
confirming fact, not probable at all.


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