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Book Reviews

Sam Stephenson’s The Jazz Loft Project: A Review

Jun 11th, 2010 | By

The Jazz Loft Project: Photographs and Tapes of W. Eugene Smith from 821 Sixth Avenue, 1957 – 1965
By Sam Stephenson
Alfred A. Knopf, and Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University, 2009;
288 pp.; $40 hardcover

When W. Eugene Smith (1918-1978) moved into his storied loft in New York, he was already a superstar of the photographic world somewhat trapped by … [read more]



Historic Photos of New Orleans Jazz

Jun 4th, 2010 | By

Historic Photos of New Orleans Jazz
By Thomas L. Morgan
Turner Publishing, Nashville, TN, 2009;
206 pp., $39.95 hardcover

This attractive volume contains more than 200 images, many of which are quite rare, illustrating the history of jazz in New Orleans from the earliest times through the end of the 20th century. The vast majority (85-90 percent) of the photographs are … [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]



Jazz Notes: Interviews Across the Generations

May 17th, 2010 | By

Jazz Notes: Interviews across the Generations
By Sanford Josephson
Praeger, Santa Barbara, CA, 2009;
207 pp.; $49.95 hardcover

This is a collection of profiles unlike any I have encountered in that it both updates interviews done three decades ago and presents interviewees from the perspectives of musical associates or admirers. The profiles originally appeared between 1978 and 1983 in such … [read more]



Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original

Apr 29th, 2010 | By

Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original
By Robin D.G. Kelley
The Free Press, New York, 2009;
608 pp.; $30 hardcover

Early on in the pages of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, Robin D. G. Kelley explains where the name “Thelonious” may have originated. Saint Tillo was a Benedictine monk who … [read more]