Classic Jazz A Personal View Of The Music And The Musicians
University of California Press, 2000
Hardback. 361pp. b&w illustrations
Floyd Levin, an award-winning jazz writer, has personally known many of the jazz greats who contributed to the music's colourful history. In this collection of his articles, published mostly in jazz magazines over a fifty-year period, Levin takes us into the nightclubs, the recording studios, the record companies, and, most compellingly, into the lives of the musicians who made the great moments of the traditional jazz and swing eras. Classic Jazz: A Personal View of the Music and the Musicians is a treasury of information on a rich segment of American popular music.
Conveying the passion and the soul of the musicians and the music, this collection of articles begins with Levin's first published piece and includes several new articles that were inspired by his work on this compilation. The articles are organized thematically, beginning with a piece on Kid Ory's early recordings and ending with a newly written article about the campaign to put up a monument to Louis Armstrong in New Orleans. Along the way, Levin gives in-depth profiles of may well-known jazz legends, such as Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington and Louis Amstrong, and of many lesser-known figures who contributed greatly to the development of jazz.
Among the fascinating anecdotes described here are Levin's personal account of the famous Palomar Ballroom fire, his description of Eubie Blake's favourite meal (a half-dozen donuts and bottle of 7-Up). The touching story of James P. Johnson performing at the anniversary party of Levin's grandparents, and much more.
Extensively illustrated with previously unpublished photographs from Levin's personal collection, this wonderfully readable and extremely personal book is full of information that is not available elsewhere. Classic Jazz: A Personal View of the Music and Musicians will be celebrated by jazz scholars and fans everywhere for the overview it provides of the music's evolution and for the love of jazz it inspires on every page.CONTENTS:
Foreword by Benny Carter; Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction.
KID ORY AND THE REVIVAL ERA:
Kid Ory; Kid Ory's Legendary 1921 Nordskog/Sunshine recordings; Papa Mutt Carey; Buster Wilson; Andrew Blakeney; Ram Hall; Dink Johnson; Bud scott; Joe Darensbourg; Ed "Montudie" Garland; Teddy Buckner;
A PERSONAL VIEW OF THE MUSIC:
Lieutenant Jim Europe's Hellfighters -The 369th Infantry Jazz band; "I wish I could shimmy like my sister Kate"-The first Recorded hit of the Jazz age; The World Premiere of "Rhapsody in Blue"; Relaxin' at the Touro-Memories of Muggsy Spanier; Spud Murphy; A Memorable Jack Teagarden Record Date; The Duke Ellington Sacred Music Concert-New Orleans, 1970; Dick Hyman's Historic Direct-to-CD Recording Session;
A PERSONAL VIEW OF THE MUSICIANS:
Benny Carter; James P Johnson; Brun Campbell and Scott Joplin; Rex Stewart's Memories of Jelly Roll Morton; Anny Gonzales and the Untold Story of Jelly Roll Morton's Last Year's; Johny Guarnieri; I'm Just Wild about Eubie-Memories or Eubie Blake; Jess Stacey; Milt Hilton; Spiegle Willcox; Eddie Miller; Morty Corb; Barny Bigard; Wild Bill Davison; Rosy McHargue; Artie Shaw; Andy Razaf; Cool Grant and Sox Milson; The World's Greatest Jazz Band
THE INFLUENCE OF NEW ORLEANS MUSICIANS ON CLASSIC JAZZ:
The Jazz Journey-From Lulu White's Mahogany Hall to Carnegie Hall; Papa Celestin and the Voodoo Queen; Danny Barker-The jazz Troubadour; LorenzoTio Jr., and the Clarinettists of the Crescent City; Willie James Humphrey, Jr; George Lewis; Alton Purnell; Bill Russell
THE GREAT LEWIS ARMSTRONG:
Louis Armstrong's Underrated Recordings during the Big-Band Era; "Ambassador Satch" on the World Stage; A Sentimental Journey-Louis Funeral
JAZZ ON THE WEST COAST:
Los Angeles in the Swing Era; The Palomar Ballroom Fire; The Firehouse five and the Good Time Jazz Record Company; The Yerba Buena Jazz Band and the Jazz Man Label; Benny Strickler; Turk Murphy's Final Triumph; I Remember Bob Scobey; Dave Dexter Jr.; The Poor Angel Hot Jazz Society; Dick Cary's Tuesday Night Band
Pete Daily; Stew Pletcher; Sammy Lee; Pud Brown; BobMcCracheken; Pat Gogerty; Rick Fay
THE SEVEN-YEAR CHALLENGE TO COMPLETE THE LOUIS ARMSTRONG STATUE:
A Fund is Created in Old New Orleans; "For the Love of Louis," bye Ned Brundage; Bing Crosby to the Rescue; July 4. 1976.
FLOYD LEVIN has been published in many magazines, including Down Beat, Jazz Journal International, and American Rag. He has received several awards for his work, most recently the Leonard Feather Communicator Award, given annually by the Los Angeles Jazz Society, and he was voted Number One Jazz Journalist in a recent reader's poll in the Mississippi Rag.
PAPERBACK EDITION available