I told Charlie Parker about the Rabbi of Ladi. I explained that during Napoleon’s siege of Moscow there was a relentless debate among the Jews on whether Napoleon’s victory would be good or bad for the Jews. Rabbi Israel of Konitz wanted Napoleon to win while the Rabbi of Ladi did not. It was decided that they both should go to the synagogue at the same time and whichever one of them was first to blow the shofar would win. The Rabbi of Konitz arrived together with the Rabbi of Ladi but was the first to start blowing the shofar and then the Rabbi of Ladi snatched the notes from the Rabbi of Konitz’s shofar and so, from a distance of nine hundred kilometers determined Napoleon’s fate at Moscow. Bird said that any jazz musician who doesn’t make a lady out of jazz like that Dave Brubeck knows how to snatch notes from a shofar. Outside everybody was playing the numbers and losing pots of money to the black professionals all dressed up to the nines in their colored suits and magnificent neckties. Bird liked to see Jimmy Slide beating Napoleon at Moscow with his tap dancing.
More (including Billie Holiday singing Mayn Yiddishe Mame) here.