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Living the Jazz Life: Conversations with Forty Musicians about Their Careers in Jazz

Living the Jazz Life: Conversations with Forty Musicians about Their Careers in Jazz

ISBN: 9780195081084
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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$18.97

No music is as individual as jazz. And no writer is as deft at bringing out what is individual in each artist as W. Royal Stokes. As a reviewer, feature writer, public radio host, and author of three books on the subject, Stokes has spent three decades covering the jazz scene. Now he draws on that rich store of knowledge and friendship to introduce us to the jazz life.
Stokes illuminates the lives of the artists and the sheer pleasure of the sounds they create. In some forty interviews with saxophonists, pianists, singers, composers, and string, brass, and rhythm players, he paints a vivid portrait of their lives and influences, including the role of their families and childhood environments. The musicians discuss how they became interested in jazz as youngsters and how they became part of the jazz scene. Nat Adderley recalls how he and his brother Cannonball grew up across from a Tabernacle Baptist Church and how as boys on Sunday they would listen to the music from the church--tambourines and trombones and a blind man playing the piano. Stokes ranges across the globe, both physically and culturally, in his interviews, introducing us to vaudeville stars, blues musicians, and a dozen women instrumentalists--such as acclaimed violinist Regina Carter--out of the many who now shine on a scene where they were once limited to vocals alone.
From legendary veterans Jackie McLean and Louie Bellson to such rising stars as Diana Krall, Cyrus Chestnut, and Ingrid Jensen, Stokes gathers together the brightest lights in the jazz firmament, capturing not only the life of the musician, but how the musician gives life to jazz.

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