A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 06, 2016
“Close enough for jazz” (music adage)

Jazz often involves a lot of improvisation. The term “close enough for jazz” has been cited in print since at least 1937 and reflects the sometimes wild and improvisational nature of jazz music. “Braff doesn’t have Berigan;s exact style, but it’s close enough for jazz, as the saying goes,” a 1957 music review stated.

“CLose enough for government work” is a similar saying.


27 November 1937, The Billboard, “All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm--Swingin’ in Sally’s Army” By M. H. Grodenker, pg. 26, col. 2:
But among the standard bearers of the APM Joe Musician is always sure to evoke a belly laugh after the saxophone tunes up and he half-wittingly smart-alecks, “That’s fine, girls, just about close enough for jazz.”

29 December 1957, Arkansas Democrat (Little Rock, AR), “‘Sayonara’ Soundtrack Released by Victor” by Roderick Powers, pg. 14B, col. 6:
Braff doesn’t have Berigan;s exact style, but it’s close enough for jazz, as the saying goes, warm, full and with a wide range.

1 March 1958, Disc, pg. 9, col. 1:
Close Enough for Jazz
DON HARPER QUINTET (A review.—ed.)

Wikipedia: Close Enough for Jazz
Close Enough for Jazz is an album by vibraphonist Johnny Lytle recorded in 1969 and originally issued on the Solid State label.

OCLC WorldCat record
Close enough for jazz : an autobiography of Jaren L. “Jerry” Jones
Author: Jaren L Jones
Publisher: Salt Lake City : Jaren L. Jones, 1982.
Edition/Format: Print book : Biography : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Close enough for jazz
Author: Michael Zwerin
Publisher: London ; New York : Quartet Books, 1983.
Edition/Format: Print book : Biography : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Close enough for jazz : a drummer’s recovery
Author: Jeffrey Hammond
Publisher: [St. Louis, Missouri] : [River Styx], [2009]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

YouTube
Close Enough For Jazz
Ben Winterberg
Published on Mar 5, 2013
Van Morrsion Live at the East Belfast Arts Festival. 2012-09-08.

Twitter
Donna Lowe
‏@reloweeda
It’s nice to know that “close enough for jazz” still means you can be five minutes late for a concert and it hasn’t started yet.
8:06 PM - 26 Nov 2013

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • Wednesday, July 06, 2016 • Permalink