“Lynn Darroch begins his new book, “Rhythm in the Rain: Jazz in the Pacific Northwest,” in a moment of triumph.
The year was 2013, and the Portland bassist Esperanza Spalding had won a Grammy (one of her eventual four) with her mentor Thara Memory, a fixture for decades in Portland as a jazz trumpeter, composer and educator.
She was 28, he 65 at the time. She grew up in Portland, a music prodigy, later a scholar, receiving her formal training at Portland State and Berklee. He grew up in the Deep South, and learned by listening, playing and teaching, eventually receiving an honorary doctorate from Berklee.
Their disparate paths to popular acclaim, and the moment of their winning collaboration, a Grammy for best Instrumental arrangement accompanying vocalist(s), stands in as the premise for Darroch’s book, an affectionate, aspirational history of jazz in the Northwest.“