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American+Musicians+II%3Cbr+%2F%3E+Seventy-one+Portraits+in+Jazz

American Musicians II
Seventy-one Portraits in Jazz

By Whitney Balliett

528 pp.

1578068347 (9781578068340)
Paper $30.00D

Paper, $30.00

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* In 2017-2018 University Press of Mississippi is closed for the holidays Thursday, December 21, and will reopen Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Orders sent by Paypal through Tuesday, December 12, will ship in time for Christmas. IF YOU ARE NOT ORDERING FOR THE HOLIDAYS, PLEASE LEAVE US A NOTE IN PAYPAL. After December 12, customers desiring shipping before Christmas should call 1.800.737.7788 and ask for rush delivery. Please be prepared to pay extra for rapid shipping. Orders that come to our website through the holidays (December 21, 2017-January 2, 2018) will begin shipping on January 2, 2018.

This is Whitney Balliett's long-awaited "big book." In it are all the jazz profiles he has written for The New Yorker during the past 24 years. These include his famous early portraits of Pee Wee Russell, Red Allen, Earl Hines, and Mary Lou Williams, done when these giants were in full flower; his recent reconstructions of the lives of such legends as Art Tatum, Coleman Hawkins, Jack Teagarden, Zoot Sims, and Dave Tough; His quick but indelible glimpses into the daily (or nocturnal) lives of Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus; and his vivid pictures of such on-the-scene masters as Red Norvo, Ornette Coleman, Buddy Rich, Elvin Jones, Art Farmer, Michael Moore, and Tommy Flanagan. Also included are such lesser known but invaluable players as Art Hodes, Jabbo Smith, Joe Wilder, Warne Marsh, Gene Bertoncini, Joe Bushkin, and Marie Marcus.

All these profiles make the reader feel, as one observer has pointed out, that he is "sitting with Balliett and his subject and listening in." The book can be taken as a kind of history of jazz, as well as a biographical encylopedia of many of its most important performers. It can also be regarded as a model of American prose. Robert Dawidoff said of Whitney Balliett"s most recent book, Jelly Roll, Jabbo and Fats, that "few people write as well about anything as Balliett writes about jazz." And the late Philip Larkin wrote in 1982 of the "transcendence of Balliett's prose."

528 pp.