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Inhaltsangabe: This is the only jazz history written by a musician that is not strictly autobiographical. Rex Stewart, who played trumpet and cornet with Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington, knew personally all the giants of jazz in the 1930s and thus his judgments on their achievements come with unique authority and understanding. As a good friend, he never minimizes their foibles; yet he writes of them with affection and generosity. Chapters on Fletcher Henderson, Coleman Hawkins, Red Norvo, Art Tatum, Big Sid Catlett, Benny Carter, and Louis Armstrong mix personal anecdotes with critical comments that only a fellow jazz musician could relate. A section on Ellington and the Ellington orchestra profiles Ben Webster, Harry Carney, Tricky Sam Nanton, Barney Bigard, and Duke himself, with whom Rex Stewart was a barber, chef, poker opponent, and third trumpet. Finally, he recounts the stories of legendary jam sessions between Jelly Roll Morton, Willie the Lion Smith, and James P. Johnson, all vying for the unofficial title of king of Harlem stride piano. It was the decade of swing and no one saw it, heard it, or wrote about it better than Rex Stewart.
Rezension: Although he cut his teeth playing trumpet with Fletcher Henderson's orchestra, Rex Stewart was best known for his tenure with Duke Ellington--particularly for the sort of delicious half-valving he applied to showpieces like "Boy Meets Horn." But Stewart was a gifted writer, too. He brought an insider's authority to his considerations of Art Tatum, Red Norvo, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, and Ellington himself (for whom Stewart also functioned as barber and poker companion). And his essays on other musicians often contain flashes of appealing autobiography. Here, for example, he uses his own hero-worshipping impulses as a measure of Louis Armstrong's early impact: "I tried to walk like him, talk like him. I bought shoes and a suit like the Great One wore. I remember a time that a few of us ... thought it would be a good idea to stand under Louis's window and serenade him. This occurred to us in the wee hours after we had emerged from a bar. We had just got started when the cop on the beat discouraged us by saying, 'Get the hell off the streets before I run ya in.'"
Buchbeschreibung Collier Macmillan Ltd, 1973. Hardcover. Buchzustand: New. book. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 0026146908