Music: Fresh Air on 52nd Street

Never had Manhattan's tawdry 52nd Street, "Swing Alley," been so loud with such brassy bad taste. Eager visitors to the former Main Line of American jazz stood uncertainly before the cellar joints housed in lugubrious brownstones, read the screaming poster promises of the "terrific" stuff inside, but usually hurried on when they heard the noise coming out the door. There were a few familiar names—"Hot Lips" Page, Maxine Sullivan, Georg Brunis—but few fresh performances. The street was full of has-beens and never-wases. It took a tin-eared hepcat to stand it. But last week,...

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