In this enthralling volume of essays drawn from his renowned Jazzletter
, Gene Lees presents an entertaining and informative account of jazz and its artists, both celebrated and neglected.
Lyricist, essayist and music historian, Lees draws on his encyclopedic knowledge and a lifetime of experience - and in many cases friendships - to bring fresh insights to the lives and work of a magnificent group of artists. The collection ranges from Bix Beiderbecke to Dizzy Gillespie, from swing to bebop, from the 1920s to the 1990s.
Lees provides a gallery of vivid portraits, including seminal arranger Bill Challis, trombonist Spiegle Willcox, also saxophonist Bud Shank, and the gifted and tragic guitarist Emily Remler, one of jazz's few female musicians.
The book's final essay is its pinnacle - a day spent in the recording studio with Dizzy Gillespie, surrounded by his musical progeny, among them Art Farmer and Phil Woods.