The Rake


In 1932, a nine-year-old boy from a devout Muslim family living in London — his father was a diplomat and legal adviser to Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Turkish republic — was taken by his elder brother, Nesuhi, to see the Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway orchestras at the Palladium theatre. “I’d never really seen black people except pictures of great artists like Josephine Baker,” the boy in question, Ahmet Ertegün, later said. “And I’d never heard anything as glorious as those beautiful musicians, wearing great white tails playing these incredibly gleaming horns with drums and rhythm sections unlike you ever heard on records.” The childhood epiphany sparked by this cultural ménage à trois would go on to change the course of popular music.

As teenagers, the family having moved to Washington, D.C., the brothers would comb black neighbourhoods for rare old recordings, and amassed a collection of some 25,000 jazz and blues records.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Rake

The Rake8 min read
Watch And Learn: Hublot Aerofusion Chronograph Special Edition “The Rake”
If The Rake were to create a Hublot watch, it would have to embrace two eras simultaneously — that of the ancient world and that of the modern world. It started on a clear, unseasonably warm and hospitable evening in Milan in February last year. Litt
The Rake3 min read
General Ignorance
by nick scott The pages in this issue, until now, have been filled with stirring yarns of selfless valour and poignant accounts of the horrors of war, all peppered with liberal quivering of usually stiff upper lips. So shifting the mood to comedy her
The Rake6 min read
An Act Of Love
by benedict browne photography justin hast The Outer Hebrides, a chain of islands off the northwest coast of mainland Scotland, is a remote and barren stretch of land. It’s devoid of many of the fripperies of modern civilisation, and the result is a