Byron Romanowitz Book "Jazz In Lexington: A Personal View"
For fun and spending money during college, I played tenor sax for "The Bourbonaires", a five piece unit led by my father and for "The Men of Note", a swinging 16 piece big band. I met Phil Collier, the lead alto player for The Men of Note, while in the UK Jazz Ensemble in 1976. Phil was the sax section leader for both the Men of Note and for Vince DiMartino's UKJE. He brought me into the Men of Note as a regular member during my freshman year. A year or two later saxophonist/architect Byron Romanowitz joined us as a member of the group by replacing Dr. Jack Resinger.
Byron has written a memoir focusing on his perspective of the history of jazz in Lexington. He primarily writes about musicians and bands with whom he was associated. The book also includes many of his favorite photos. He writes about several of the prestigious Men of Note gigs we played. One of my personal favorites was the inauguration party for Governor Martha Layne Collins. He mentioned Dad in the book as one of the players in the Pete Conley Dixieland Band and Colonels Choice Dixieland Band. He writes that I am a successful single performer. Perhaps my favorite part of the book is where he describes in detail some of Lexington's past jazz venues. I have always been interested when Dad and other senior musicians of our community tell stories about the great old places that had good live music.
Other than internet blog entries, Byron's book is one of the few written personal accounts of jazz in Lexington. I think most local musicians, Byron's friends, and local jazz fans would find this book to be an interesting read and then enjoy the reminiscing it would conjure up. "Jazz In Lexington: A Personal View" is available now for $29.95 from the publisher, Lynn Imaging, 328 East Vine Street, Lexington, KY 40507.