Set in Indianapolis in 1948 in the jazz clubs along Indiana Avenue (the scene that spawned such greats as Wes Montgomery, Freddie Hubbard and J.J. Johnson), this novel tells of the triumphant love of a young trumpeter and singer and the colorful world in which they pursue their musical vision. It is a world of neon lights, shady booking agents, close-knit community, humor and loyalty.
High C at the Sunset Terrace
A buzz went through the crowd when Joe announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, to sing 'Stormy Weather,' here is a fine young lady from right here in the community who has been studying voice for many years and is sure to delight you, Miss Cheryl Johnson."
I've seen her somewhere, thought Marvin. I think we had some class together in high school. Did I used to see her at the Saturday matinee at the Walker? I remember that face.
Applause filled the room as she walked to center stage. She was radiant yet demure in her form-fitting peach gown dress with gathered sleeves. Her hair was knotted into a modified bun. She had a long neck, thin shoulders and tapered fingers, which she wrapped around the mike stand as she leaned into it.
I do believe this is what God had in mind when he came up with womanhood, thought Marvin.
I began to envision how a thoroughfare like the Avenue would have impacted the senses - the food aromas, the neon lights, the gossip and the sports and music talk, and all that incredible music pouring out of door after door. . . . When I would conjure the Avenue vision described above - the scene that begins the saga of Marvin and Cheryl - I'd say to myself with increasing frequency, "There's a timeless human story that ought to take place here." So I told it.