by Howard S. Becker
Howard S. Becker, now a prominent sociologist, was a pianist in Chicago in the late 1940s. He studied with Lennie Tristano and succeeded Lou Levy with Harold Fox's band. He wrote early books about drug abuse among be-bop musicians.
What follows was first given as a talk at the Université Mendes-France in Grenoble, France. It was followed by a 45 minute "recital," in which I was accompanied by Benoit Cancoin, a really excellent bass player from Lyon. A good time was had by all.