[JPL] Boxing and Jazz

Eric Jackson eric-jackson at comcast.net
Wed Sep 24 08:32:58 EDT 2008

Jae Sinnett wrote:

> This coming Saturday evening the Sporting and Entertainment Group Inc. is having the "Boxing and Jazz Awards" presentation. They want to honor me with an award. Great boxers like Ken Norton, Leon Spinks, Hector Camacho, George Chuvalo and many, many more will be there along with MC Bert Sugar. Najee will also be honored. Literally...about two hours ago they called and ask me if I could give a speech on a great jazz moment. I was thinking talking about how fusion came into play (thinking this would be something they could relate to with artists like Miles and such) then started thinking...about tying jazz in with boxing somehow. 
> I know Red Garland was a great boxer as was Miles. Can anyone offer up some info on a boxing/jazz connection? I think that would go over great with this crowd. Any help for this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, 
> Jae Sinnett 

Congratulations on your award Jae! That's great!

The heavyweight champion Jack Johnson was a club owner, I think in both 
Chicago and NY. He may have owned the club that became the Cotton Club.

Dick LaPalm told me a great story about boxing. I hope he doesn't mind 
me passing it on. He said that he was in Philly with Nat and Nat asked 
him to drive to NY with him. Nat said that he had invested in a boxer at 
someone's recommendation and the boxer was going to be at a gym at a 
certain time. They drove to NY and got to the gym. Nat went to talk with 
the fighter and Dick started fooling around with some of the equipment. 
He looked up as Miles said hello to him and asked him what he was doing. 
He told him about Nat's investment and he asked Miles' opinion of the 
fighter. Miles said that he could beat the fighter right at that moment. 
Dick said that as far as he knew that was the end of Nat's involvement 
with the fighter.

I was on a panel earlier this year and I thought it was funny when one 
of Red Garland's wives said she was beating him up at some club. I 
remembered that Red was a boxer so I assume he was just being nice. It 
reminds me of another story that I heard involving boxing (not jazz) One 
of Muhammad Ali's wives had a black belt in karate. She was asked once 
if she ever tried using it on the champ. Her reply was, "Are you crazy?"

Eric Jackson
Mon - Thurs 8 pm - mid.
89.7 FM WGBH Boston

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