Lorraine Gordon: Inadvertently, I booked Monk into the Vanguard because I met Max at the Fire Island summer place. I happened to be there, he was there. I knew who Max was, although I didn’t know him. And he was sitting in a little coffee house there, and I was in there, and I said, “You know, there’s a great artist. You ought to hear him.” I just went up to him cold. Well, that was easy to do in the summer because I had a cute little yellow bathing suit on. And I’m [CHUCKLES] you know, I’m 28 and he’s nice and I’m nice [LAUGHS] and he says, “Sit down, tell me all about it.” He said, “I just happen to have some room in September.” Great! I booked him. I didn’t even know I was a booking agent now. And he did come with a great band: Art Blakey on drums, Sahib Shahab. It was there. And nobody came because nobody knew him, and we never had time to promote him or whatever. Max didn’t even know who he was, frankly. Max just did it for me. He’d never heard of Thelonious in his life and knew nothing about him.
Jo Reed: How did Max respond to Thelonious’s gig?
Lorraine Gordon: Well, not well, not well. Well, not well. [LAUGHS] Thelonious plays and then he gets up from the piano and dances his little dance, a little jig around the piano. Then sits down and right on the beat. And then that song is over and then he gets up and says, “And now human beings, I’m going to play”… Max called me over, he says, “Listen, what kind of an announcement is that?” I said, “Mr. Gordon, you don’t understand. The man is a genius. Why don’t you listen?”
In this excerpt from the podcast, Lorraine remembers that encounter with Max. [2:12]