Jazz Institute of Chicago

Reviews

LOUIS ARMSTRONG IN HIS OWN WORDS

LOUIS ARMSTRONG
IN HIS OWN WORDS
By Louis Armstrong
Edited by Thomas Brothers
Oxford, 288 pages, $25
Reviewed by David Simpson

From the 1920’s until his death in 1971 Louis Armstrong expended almost as much energy pecking away on his portable typewriter as he did improvising blues solos or scatting through song lyrics on stage. More than any other jazz figure of comparable status, Armstrong developed a genuine passion for writing—taking it up zestfully as a kind of hobby or handicraft, the way some people take up golf or gardening.

Looking for Chet Baker (An Evan Horne Mystery)

Looking for Chet Baker:
An Evan Horne Mystery
by Bill Moody
Walker & Co., 253 pages, $24.95
Reviewed by Don Rose

LIVING THE JAZZ LIFE: Conversations with Forty Musicians about Their Careers in Jazz

LIVING THE JAZZ LIFE:
Conversations with Forty Musicians
about Their Careers in Jazz
W. Royal Stokes
Oxford, 278 pages, $27.50
reviewed by Don Rose

Ever wonder how Slam Stewart began humming along with his bass-fiddle bowing?

Little Labels - Big Sound

by Rick Kennedy and Randy McNutt
Indiana University Press 1999
198 pages, $24.95
reviewed by Jim Linduff

Jazz in Black and White: Race Culture, and Identity in the Jazz Community

Jazz in Black and White:
Race Culture, and Identity
in the Jazz Community
by Charley Gerard
Praeger Publishers, 224 pages, $39.95
Reviewed by Jim Linduff

JAZZ FOR DUMMIES: A Reference for the Rest of Us

JAZZ FOR DUMMIES:
A Reference for the Rest of Us
By Dirk Sutro
IDG Worldwide, 358 pages (paper), $24.99
Reviewed by Don Rose

It was inevitable, I suppose, that the remarkably successful and widely imitated "... for Dummies" series—which began with computers and quickly got to sex—would eventually get around to jazz. A good thing it is, because I'm for anything that helps promote understanding of the music—as long as it doesn't prostitute in the guise of simplifying.

Jazz By Mail

Jazz By Mail
Record Clubs and Record Labels, 1936–1958
by Geoffrey Wheeler
Hillbrook Press, 512 pages
$60.00, soft cover
Reviewed by Jim Linduff

Advertised as a book for the serious jazz collector, historian, musician and educator, Geoff Wheeler has written a thorough and interesting collection of information about the recording business.

JAZZ: The First Century

JAZZ: The First Century
Edited by John Edward Hasse
Morrow, 246 pages, $40
reviewed by Don Rose

GROOVIN' HIGH: The Life of Dizzy Gillespie

GROOVIN' HIGH:
The Life of Dizzy Gillespie
By Alyn Shipton
Oxford University Press,
422 pages, $30
reviewed by David Simpson

Black beret, horn-rimmed glasses, tidy goatee, gigantically out-puffed cheeks, muted trumpet with upswept bell: surely there is no image more immediately or widely recognized as an icon of jazz—and especially of the jazz style known as bebop—than that of John Birks Gillespie, the virtuoso horn player better known as Dizzy.

Future Jazz

Future Jazz
By Howard Mandel
Oxford University Press,
235 pages, $26
reviewed by Don Rose

The revolutionary era of modern jazz began during the early years of World War II. A startling, complex new music called bebop heralded the age and remains a central force in jazz today—even though it was followed by a quarter century of innovation and radical change.

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