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Alyn Shipton’s Cab Calloway, reviewed

Jan 6th, 2011 | By

Hi-De-Ho: The Life of Cab Calloway
By Alyn Shipton
Oxford University Press, New York, 2010; 304 pp.; $29.95 hardcover

Review by arnold jay smith

What do we know about Cab Calloway? Zoot-suited. White tails. Hepcat scat-singing entertainer. Conducted with a long baton. And that hair. Called bebop “Chinese music.” What with all his famous sidemen, Cab’s stage persona and cavorting, … [read more]

Tom Nolan’s Artie Shaw, Reviewed

Jul 18th, 2010 | By

Three Chords for Beauty’s Sake: The Life of Artie Shaw
By Tom Nolan
W. W. Norton, New York, 2010; 430 pp.; $29.95 hardcover

I was wrong about Artie Shaw. I thought, since I heard that he stormed off the stage at the peak of his career over a fan’s umpteenth request for (fill in the blank) “Begin the Beguine,” “Star … [read more]

Jazz Awards Postgame: Must We Always Be Conflicted?

Jun 17th, 2010 | By

The JJA Jazz Awards were held on the same day and time as ASCAP’s 2010 Jazz Wall of Fame event. Whose announcement came first is of little significance. What matters is that jazz is too small a market for this to continue to happen. The Jazz Awards is a great hang; we get to greet people we haven’t seen in … [read more]

Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong

May 26th, 2010 | By

Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong
By Terry Teachout
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston/New York, 2009;
496 pp.; $30 hardcover

If we subscribe to the theory that there should be at least one book on Armstrong every decade, then this thoroughly researched tome is the one for the 2010’s. And it should be a bestseller as well. Pops is as carefully … [read more]

Highlights In Jazz: 38 Years of Jazz History, Closing Up Shop

May 14th, 2010 | By
For the past 38 years, Jack Kleinsinger was impresario and host of “Highlights In Jazz,” a moveable fete of jazz luminaries presented in not-really-jam-sessions. And now, in light of financial considerations, it ends. “I’m not giving up on jazz, it’s just this deepening recession,” Kleinsinger says. The final Highlights In Jazz concert took place last night, Thursday, May 13.