West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Volume 77, Number 9 | August 01 - 07, 2007


David Solomon, jazz critic, drug guru, 81

David Solomon, editor, jazz critic, psychedelic sage and longtime Village resident, died at his home on W. 10th St. on April 26 at the age of 81.

Born in California in 1925, he came to New York after serving in the Army during World War II. Because his two older brothers were lost on bombing runs over Germany, Solomon was reassigned as a sole-surviving son from a combat-ready unit to intelligence work. After his discharge in 1946, he went to the Washington Square College of New York University and earned a B.A. degree.

Living in the Village with his wife and two daughters, he became an editor at Esquire in the mid-1950s and worked with literary luminaries, including Aldous Huxley, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.

He became managing editor of Metronome in the early 1960s and was a friend of Dizzy Gillespie, jazz writer Nat Hentoff, song writer and singer Earl Robinson and his son, Perry Robinson, the jazz clarinetist. In the 1960s, Solomon became literary editor of Playboy and published Timothy Leary, Ram Das (Richard Alpert), Alan Watts and Humphry Osmond, who coined the word “psychedelic.”

He also edited two books, “LSD - the Consciousness Expanding Drug,” in 1964 and “The Marijuana Papers” in 1966. After that, he moved with his wife and daughters to England where he co-edited “Drugs and Sexuality” in 1973 and “The Coca Leaf and Cocaine Papers” in 1975.

He came back to the U.S. and the Village in 1983 and continued writing and editing counterculture works. He became a fixture at Sweet Basil, the jazz club on Seventh Ave. S., now gone. He is survived by his daughters, Lin and Kim, and three grandsons.

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