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Jazz embarrassment

I remember Roy Eldridge's birthday (January 30) but only because it's the same as a friend's who's also a musician. I only ever heard of Eldridge because I knew his girlfriend or secretary, & his name was mentioned in that "he's someone" way. I once was in an elevator with Dizzy Gillespie. Only after he got out did people start breathing heavy about it so I even knew what had just happened. He was wearing sandals. I found out today (from Eldridge's birthday twin) that he influenced Gillespie & not the other way round. It wasn't my idea to go, but I went to a lot of jazz concerts with a boyfriend enough older that it was his music, with whom I heard—& liked!—Max Roach. It was the only time I was ever able to hear all the threads that were going on & how they combined with each other: the only time I "got" jazz, I think. I'm a hick from the sticks when it comes to music. I've always been sorry my ear is so limited. Would it help if I wore a beret?
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