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Jazz and the Net

Stanley the Grouch?

By Published: December 13, 2004

He's talked my ear off a number of times in the Jazz department of Tower Records, but for me, I remember the excitement he created with his programming at the Tin Palace.

Stanley Crouch is back in the news.

I've always enjoyed Stanley, personally, and sometimes, his writing. The man loves jazz, no doubt about that, but I can't say I always agree with him. He does have an opinion, a loud one that he will gladly explain, in detail, anywhere he has an audience. As for his persona, and the occasional aura of controversy that envelopes him, that I like. Alot. In an era of conformity where true individuality has become scarce, Stanley Crouch can be a rather annoying iconoclast. Bravo!

Hey, he doesn't work in the Pentagon. He isn't one of the brown shirts currently running our country. He's only a writer.

What's even better is that he's not afraid to throw a punch when he feels he's been misjudged. And that's why he's in the news again. Actually, the incident happened some time ago, but found its way into the gossip columns, Page Six of the NY Post:

NOVELIST HAPPY FOR SLAPPING

"THE most delicious dialogue on Sunday night's Topic A with Tina Brown came just as the end credits were rolling. 'Stanley,'Brown said to novelist and cultural critic Stanley Crouch at the close of her CNBC chatfest, 'you have something to confess this week. What did you do, you naughty man?'

'I slapped Dale Peck,' Crouch replied matter-of-factly. 'You bitch-slapped Dale Peck?' Brown squealed. 'That is true,' Crouch replied. 'He deserved it.'

'I was asked a question,' Crouch later told PAGE SIX's Lisa Marsh. 'I had no idea the sound was going out.'"

Thankfully, It doesn't happen often, perhaps once every ten years, but still, not many writers these days like to assert their perspective like this. People shy from controvery, afraid of offending someone. But not Stanley. He reminds me of Hemingway, or those other heavy drinkers from the 20s. Can't say if he likes a taste now and then, although alcohol has a way of fueling such outbursts.



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