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Listen to the Stories : Nat Hentoff on Jazz and Country Music - Nat Hentoff

Listen to the Stories

Nat Hentoff on Jazz and Country Music

Paperback

Published: 1st October 2000
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Here is Nat Hentoff's deeply felt exploration of jazz, blues, country, and gospel--and the musicians who bring the music to life. Hentoff has not only loved music all his life, he has lived it by being friends with many of the musicians he writes about in this collection. Hentoff poignantly describes the early days of Roy Eldridge and the last years of Billie Holiday and Bird. He tells amazing stories of the Count, Duke, and Dizzy. "Full of insightful behind-the-scenes encounters" ("San Francisco Chronicle"), "Listen to the Stories" covers new recordings and old legends, remarkable lives and unforgettable music.

Hentoff covers the big-band and bebop eras with style and grace, providing insights into the lives and work of such greats as Duke Ellington, Billie Holliday, Louis Armstrong, and Charlie Parker. Anyone with even a passing interest in jazz music will appreciate this collection of essays (most previously published in the Wall Street Journal) on its luminaries. Aficionados, especially, will value the discographic information included. A "less is more" thread runs throughout the book: Dizzy Gillespie, for instance, says, "It's taken me most of my life to figure out which notes not to play." Hentoff (Free Speech for Me But Not for Thee, 1992, etc.) takes his cue from these efficient, economical musicians. Most essays run two to three pages, but Hentoff finds a key phrase, his own or another's, to nail down an elusive personality. John Coltrane comments, after a set with Thelonious Monk, "I lost my place...and it was like falling down an open elevator shaft." And the author himself writes that alto and soprano saxophonist Johnny Hodges "looked on the bandstand as if he were figuring out his tax returns." Most readers will be surprised to learn that there was a swinging big band composed entirely of women, the Sweethearts of Rhythm, active from 1937 to 1948. And that Bing Crosby - surprisingly hailed by Hentoff as a great jazz singer - opposed the war in Vietnam. Politics figures in other ways as well: There are a few accounts of playing the south during the Jim Crow era. Throughout, Hentoff treats his subjects with great respect. But his outright disdain for "free jazz" and most of its young, living practitioners limits the scope of these essays. The country music section is too brief to do that genre justice. Hentoff combines a fan's passion, a scholar's mind, and a poet's sensibility to illuminate one of the most elusive and distinctly American phenomena-jazz musicians and their music. (Kirkus Reviews)

Introduction
Duke Ellington, 1899-1974p. 3
The Duke, in Privatep. 9
Dancing with the Duke, Ip. 13
Dancing with the Duke, IIp. 16
The Sensualistp. 19
The Duke's Menp. 22
The Sweethearts of Rhythmp. 25
Kansas City: Walking in Timep. 31
Mr. Jonathan David Samuel Jonesp. 34
"I Wasn't Born No Child. I Was Born a Man"p. 40
The Chief Would Be Proudp. 46
What Makes a Jazz Singer?p. 51
The Last Years of Lady Dayp. 54
Down to Steamboat Tennesseep. 56
Bing Crosby: Jazz Singerp. 58
A Jazz Band Composed Only of Singers: Lambert, Hendricks and Rossp. 61
Carmen McRae Meets Thelonious Monkp. 64
The Limitless Mingusp. 69
Memories of Thelonious Monkp. 72
The Onliest Birdp. 75
Dizzy in the Sunlight, Ip. 79
Dizzy in the Sunlight, IIp. 84
"Every Night, I Begin Again"p. 89
The Solitary Floating Jazzmanp. 92
The Fall of a Jazz Trumpeterp. 96
The Impresario Who Brought Civil Rights to Jazzp. 99
Red Allen: "Whamp! Whamp!"p. 105
A Gentleman of Jazzp. 108
A Legend Who Won't Admit He Is Onep. 111
Stars and Nonstarsp. 114
The Clarity of Buck Claytonp. 117
"I've Got to Feed My Face"p. 120
The Eddie Condon Repertory Companyp. 123
"A Fresh, Happy Looseness"p. 126
"I Can Never Say All I Want to Say"p. 129
The Legendary Big Nickp. 132
The Man Who Became His Hornp. 136
Is There a Charlie Parker Among the New Generation of Jazz Players?p. 141
Can Wynton Marsalis Learn to Laugh?p. 144
My Life in Country Musicp. 149
White Line Feverp. 153
Bob Wills: The Timeless Fiddlerp. 165
At Home in Honky-tonksp. 168
Hot Country Swing from Texasp. 173
"There'll Be No Dying Over There"p. 179
"There's Fire on the Mountain and There's Fire in the Fiddle"p. 183
A Ride on the Gospel Trainp. 186
The Legend Who Refused to Become Just a Memoryp. 189
Danny Barker: A Very Long Life in Jazzp. 195
Last Chorusp. 201
Indexp. 207
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780306809828
ISBN-10: 0306809826
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 1st October 2000
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.3  x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.32
Edition Number: 1