Many years ago I walked into a recording session at Clinton Studios and the guys were discussing the Mets game from the night before. Had I listened? No, but the umpires were fighting over some decision, and Jane Jarvis, the Mets’ organist at Shea Stadium, was playing Charlie Parker's bebop composition, Scrapple from the Apple. She was a jazz musician, and as a result most of the musicians were Mets fans. I became one too.
During the 1970’s, when a lot of jazz musicians were living in Europe and there were very few clubs open, Jane was a vice president of the Muzak Corporation. While there, she used all the local jazz musicians to record the equivalent of 300 albums a year. She kept everyone working, recorded the entire catalogs of tunes written by jazz musicians and also helped them set up publishing companies in their own names. We were grateful for the work, and thankful for the business information and help.
A piano prodigy at age five, she was from Gary, Indiana. By age 10, she was a working musician, playing on radio and in department stores. At 13, both her parents were killed in a train-auto wreck. By 17, she had already studied music at the Chicago Conservatory of Music, the Bush Conservatory of Music, Loyola University Chicago and DePauw University. As a result, her repertoire was thousands of tunes.
Part native American, her stories were both funny and sad. She was an amazing musician—all packed into a five-foot frame. But as she played, she somehow became much taller.