Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington

Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington
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A major new biography of Duke Ellington from the acclaimed author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was the greatest jazz composer of the twentieth century—and an impenetrably enigmatic personality whom no one, not even his closest friends, claimed to understand. The grandson of a slave, he dropped out of high school to become one of the world’s most famous musicians, a showman of incomparable suavity who was as comfortable in Carnegie Hall as in the nightclubs where he honed his style. He wrote some fifteen hundred compositions, many of which, like “Mood Indigo” and “Sophisticated….

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Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong

Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong
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A great artist who was also a good man. A genius born in poverty who became known in every corner of the world. An entertainer who knocked the Beatles off the top of the charts four decades after he cut his first record. Terry Teachout has drawn on a cache of important new sources unavailable to previous biographers to craft a sweeping new narrative biography of Louis Armstrong, the twentieth century’s most influential jazz musician.

Louis Prima (Music in American Life)

Louis Prima (Music in American Life)
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This is the first paperback edition of the only biography of Louis Prima, one of the most underrated jazz musicians and entertainers of the twentieth century.   In a career that spanned four decades, Prima infused the grit and grace of Dixieland jazz with swing and big band sounds, the first whiffs of rock ‘n’ roll, and a vaudevillian-like stage presence. A native of New Orleans, the Guy Lombardo protégé known as “The Italian Satchmo” was the country’s smashing new jazz sensation at New York’s Famous Door in the 1930s. He went on to be a successful big band leader….

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Straight Life: The Story Of Art Pepper

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Art Pepper (1925-1982) was called the greatest alto saxophonist of the post-Charlie Parker generation. But his autobiography, Straight Life, is much more than a jazz book–it is one of the most explosive, yet one of the most lyrical, of all autobiographies. This edition is updated with an extensive afterword by Laurie Pepper covering Art Pepper’s last years, and a complete and up-to-date discography by Todd Selbert.

Charlie Parker: His Music and Life (The Michigan American Music Series)

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“Whatever background you bring to it, the book willl likely enrich your understanding of Parker’s music. . . .” –CadenceAs one of the architects of modern jazz (often called “bebop”), Charlie Parker (1920-55) had a profound effect on American music that continues to this day.This book opens with a chapter of biography and then progresses to four chapters focusing on Charlie Parker’s music by tracing his artistic evolution and major achievements as a jazz improviser. Much like a guided tour through an artist’s retrospective, the book introduces readers to a sampling of Charlie Parker’s most illustrative works. The musical discussions….

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Yardbird Suite: A Compendium of the Music and Life of Charlie Parker

Yardbird Suite: A Compendium of the Music and Life of Charlie Parker
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Bebop saxophonist Charlie “Yardbird” Parker (1920-1955), a man of extremes in his personal life, was a disciplined musical genius who expanded and transformed the boundaries of jazz.Richly illustrated with extensive musical notations, this in-depth study of hundreds of works in the Parker discography takes into account newly discovered recordings and CD reissues. Koch meticulously documents each recording session and provides an array of musical details on theme structure, key, chords, distinguishing phrases, and performance format. Comprehensive biographical material — including the “Bird stories” of Parker’s eccentric behavior, sexual appetite, drug addiction, and compulsive drinking — is interwoven with the musical….

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Beyond Category: The Life And Genius Of Duke Ellington

Beyond Category: The Life And Genius Of Duke Ellington
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“The analyses of both Ellington’s music and his enigmatic personality are delineated with rare insight.”–Leonard Feather, author of The Encyclopedia of JazzOne of the twentieth century’s greatest composers, Duke Ellington (1899-1974) led a fascinating life. Beyond Category, the first biography to draw on the vast Duke Ellington archives at the Smithsonian Institution, recounts his remarkable career: his childhood in Washington, D.C., and his musical apprenticeship in Harlem; his long engagement at the Cotton Club; the challenging years of the depression; his tours to Europe and into America’s deep South, where he helped lower racial barriers; the postwar years when television….

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Tito Puente and the Making of Latin Music (Music in American Life)

Tito Puente and the Making of Latin Music (Music in American Life)
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A multifaceted portrait of “El Rey”, the king of Latin music, this is the first in-depth historical, musical, and cultural study to trace the career and influence of Tito Puente. 57 photos.

Swing, Swing, Swing: The Life & Times of Benny Goodman

Swing, Swing, Swing: The Life & Times of Benny Goodman
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“A first-rate biography. . . . The narrative flows like a swinging jazz solo.” ―Dan Morgenstern, director, Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies Before Elvis Presley and rock-‘n’-roll, another King ruled the roost of American popular music. His name was Benny Goodman and his domain, the gilded age of Swing. Benny’s concerts, records, and radio shows catapulted the hot and controversial sounds of jazz into the hearts and homes of a hungry public. Swing, Swing, Swing at once illustrates Goodman’s enormous impact on American music and culture, reflects the rich textures of the times in which he lived, and evokes the….

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Lester Leaps In: The Life and Times of Lester Pres Young

Lester Leaps In: The Life and Times of Lester Pres Young
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He was jazz’s first hipster. He performed in sunglasses and coined and popularized phrases like “that’s cool” and “you dig?” He always wore a suit and his trademark porkpie hat. He influenced everyone from B. B. King to Stan Getz to Allen Ginsberg, creating a lyrical style of playing that forever changed the sound of the tenor saxophone.In this groundbreaking biography of Lester Young (1909-1959), historian Douglas Daniels brings to life the man and his world, and corrects a number of misconceptions. Even though others have identified Young as a Kansas City musician, Daniels traces his roots to the blues….

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