Though most words haven’t seen the light of day outside of a jazz club, quite a few have found their way into the mainstream American lexicon, and are still bandied about today. Words like, hip, cat and daddy-o have helped contribute to Jazz’s “cool” mystique.
18 Karat — All the way, full out.
The Duke is a classy guy, his heart is “18 karat.”
Air-check — A recording of a radio or television performance.
Did you hear the “air-check” of Billie Holiday with Gerry Mulligan?
The Apple — New York city. This is now common usage.
We got a gig up in “The Apple” at Minton’s with Diz and Bird.
Axe — An instrument.
Hey, Jack, bring your “axe” over tomorrow and we’ll jam.
Baby — A term of endearment.
Hey, “baby,” I got some…
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