salt peanuts
synopsis Salt Peanuts is a new play by Peter Rogers, set in Laguardia Airport, May 15, 1953.
Billed by jazz critics as "the greatest jazz concert ever," the May 15th, 1953 concert at Massey Hall in Toronto almost never happened. The quintet of Jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie "Bird" Parker, Max Roach, Bud Powell and Charles Mingus had never rehearsed or even had a sound check when they made history that night.

Just getting to Toronto proves difficult for Gillespie, and Parker, who miss their plane and must wait several hours at LaGuardia for the next flight. The two men, who share a troubled and storied friendship, test both themselves and each other during their fitful wait.

Parker, struggling with his heroin addiction, and worried over his daughter's health has neglected to bring a saxophone. Gillespie meanwhile, starts to wonder if the Bebop music he helped create has perhaps reached its zenith and if the dream of keeping a band together is slipping away.

For Bird, who would die less than a year later, this was the beginning of the end yet for Dizzy, who would contribute to jazz for almost another 40 years, it was only the end of the beginning.



© Copyright 2006 Peter Rogers