Roswell Rudd? 80th birthday? You’ve got to be kidding. Take a look at the man. Better, take a listen. It’s all there, the whole trombone. When he showed up in the NY clubs in the 60s—a Yale man who’d led a trad-jazz band there, and made his recording debut as Rozwell Ruddinski with the hoax Lithuanian Jazz Quintet—you were supposed to play that horn like J.J. Johnson, or try to, all fluent bebop; but with his roots in early jazz, and swing players like Sam Nanton and Vic Dickenson, Rudd overleapt the decades to land in the avant-garde with a Steve Lacy quartet that played Monk compositions only. Following Billy Higgins into a club that would let me in underage, I first heard him there, and I really didn’t get what he was up to. But one learns, and by now I can put together two hours of programming—on this week’s Updoc, Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, Bleecker St. Upstairs time—to feature him in a number of his roles and voices—outside, inside, several shouty shades of blue, even singing—and in a bunch of his partnerships: with Lacy, Carla Bley, Archie Shepp, with musicians from Mali and Mongolia, and one track with Cecil Taylor and Clark Terry—you know that one? He definitely has a gift for friendship, and the key to all kinds of music. During the years when he was supposedly off the scene, I heard him opening a Woodstock restaurant with a terrific ‘Dixieland’ band he played a lot of hotel gigs with. Our show takes an intermission, with a superb French performance of Fauré’s Requiem, some Tibetan music and the third of Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs, in memoriam of my friend Maryam Steffen, now presumably enjoying a tour of the Bardos, with some sounds she especially liked. Meanwhile the Wizard of Roz plays on, and we love it.