London-based musician and journalist Gordon Jack's method is to let the musicians tell their own stories with minimum intervention, in the manner of Ira Gitler's classic Swing to Bop. Famous or obscure, these more than 30 musicians who came to prominence in the 1950s each has a story to tell, and Jack captures the style and tone of his interviewees in this oral retrospective of what may have been jazz's last golden age. The musicians are: Gene Allen, Mose Allison, Dave Bailey, Chuck Berghofer, Eddie Bert, Bob Brookmeyer, Pete Christlieb, Bill Crow, Joe Dodge, Bob Enevoldsen, Don Ferrara, Herb Geller, Corky Hale, Peter Ind, Frank Isola, Lee Konitz, Stan Levey, Jack Montrose, Gerry Mulligan, the Gerry Mulligan Quartet (with Larry Bunker, Chico Hamilton, Carson Smith, Bob Whitlock), Lennie Niehaus, Jack Nimitz, Hod O'Brien, Bill Perkins, Bud Shank, Phil Urso, and Phil Woods. Jack's introductions and notes unobtrusively sketch out the life and achievements of each musician, and there are photographs of each one, many of them taken by Jack himself.
Gordon Jack is one of the jazz world's most skillful interviewers. He asks all the right questions and then gets out of the way, letting his subjects reveal themselves. What a pleasure to have all this material collected in one book!--Bill Crow, author of From Birdland to Broadway(1992, Oxford University Press)