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Death of a Bebop Wife [Paperback]

Grange Rutan , Michael Coyle


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Product details

  • Paperback: 534 pages
  • Publisher: North Country Distributors (30 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1881993426
  • ISBN-13: 978-1881993421
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15 x 3.3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,802,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am a non-fiction junkie and I LOVED this book. 23 Sep 2007
By Lady Whisper - Published on Amazon.com
I LOVED THIS BOOK! I am so glad the other reviews pointed out the amount of work (interviews) that went into this book. I am a non-fiction JUNKIE and this was the first biography I have ever read that had a heartbeat. All thanks to the words and flow of its wonderful author. Biographies usually reads like a typewriter.... this one read like a gin filled jazz song. It was like the book spoke to me I didn't have to read it.... wonderfully effortless.

The book allowed me to feel like a fly on the wall in one of the greatest times in music history as it was filled with first-hand accounts of the time from the musicians themselves. And all the while I found myself immersed in the gripping story of the troubled musician and his beautiful wife who left this world far too early, under questionable circumstances. After standing trial for her murder and being found innocent by a jury of his peers the author leaves it for you to decide on his guilt or innocence. It has history, music, mystery and a wonderful flow and vibe I think all will enjoy. I have read it twice and will absolutely pull it off the shelf to read again.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating reinforcement of my experience with Al Haig 2 Nov 2007
By John B. Edmondson - Published on Amazon.com
I first met Al Haig in Sarasota, Florida, in the early 50s. My drummer friend, the late Jess Gruel, and I were very young "beboppers" just out of high school, and when we found out Al Haig was in town, it was like the arrival of royalty. The three of us ended up playing a few gigs together around the Sarasota-Venice area at that time. I was a trumpet player who knew most of the bebop riffs and enough standard tunes to get through a job. He was always gracious about our lack of expereinece and always, always professional. I ran into him again at Birdland on a trip to NYC with the Gator Band from UF a year or two later, and again a couple of years after that when I lived in NYC one summer. I spent some time talking with him several times at Birdland. Years later in the late 70s, I looked him up when he was playing at Gregory's in NY, and we chatted on one of his breaks. He was working as a single. When I reminded him of our earlier work together in Sarasota in the 50s, he could not recall any of that period of his life. So, when a friend told me of Grange Rutan's book, I ordered it immediately and devoured it. It filled in a lot of the personal info on Al that he had kept to himself when I knew him. I guess I never really knew him, expect for his obvious skill. It turns out that the period of his time in Sarasota was not a happy time for him, as the book explains. The book is very well written, and it reflects a daunting amount of research. I was put off slightly at first by the Helvetica typeface and the tight layout, but the content and story quickly make you forget such editorial shortcomings. It made me relive the whole era - a turbulent time for those of us who lived through it. I recommend it highly, and have to many, for insight into a marvelous musician who had apparent emotional problems, but who was a pro right to the end. I won't tell you from whence the title comes - you wiill have to buy the book and read it for yourself. But, it is a shocker.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost All You'll Ever Want To Know About Al Haig 24 Aug 2007
By Michael L. Slavin - Published on Amazon.com
This book is really a fascinating journey. The author, a former wife, of the great jazz pianist has compiled interviews and quotes from about as many sources as one might imagine could be collected. For example, and certainly not in order of importance, these are just some of the people who have been quoted about Al Haig: Gil Fuller, Ross Russell,Stan Levey, Miles Davis,
Ray Brown, Tommy Potter, Charlie Parker,Walter Bishop,Jr.,Bill Triglia, Chuck Wayne, Harry Belafonte,Eddie Bert,Ozzie Cadena, Candido, John Carisi,Kenny Clarke, Bill DeArango,Blossom Dearie,Buddy DeFranco, Gene DiNovi, Lou Donaldson, Billy Eckstine, Leonard Feather,Leonard Gaskin, Dizzy Gillespie,Al Grey, Tiny Grimes,Jon Hendricks,Nat Hentoff, Al Hibbler,Milt Hinton,Dick Hyman,Milt Jackson, Hank Jones,Duke Jordan,Morgana King,Don Lamond, Don Lanphere,Gene Lees,Lou Levy, Junior Mance,Dodo Marmarosa,Marty Napoleon,Jackie Paris,Chan Parker,Max Roach,Betty Roche,Red Rodney, John Russell, Little Jimmy Scott,Lucky Thompson,Toshiko, David Amram,John Bunch,Bill Crow,Russ Freeman,Stan Getz,Roy Haynes,Lin Halliday,Major Holley,Mike Longo, Dave McKenna, Anita O'Day, Bud Powell,Annie Ross, Horace Silver,Phil Urso, Phil Woods,Ahmad Jamal, Walter Norris,Jimmy Wormworth,Jaki Byard, George Coleman,Harold Mabern, Dick Meldonian,Helen Merrill,Billy Mitchell, Jamil Nasser,Henri Renaud,Sarah Vaughan,Stanley Crouch,Richard Cook,Peter King, Mark Morganelli,Phil Schaap. The list was almost endless. Also, many anecdotes about other players of the time such as Allen Eager,Chet Baker,Jon Eardley,Bill Evans. The book probably could have been improved with better editing. But really provides valuable insight into the atmosphere of jazz in the 1940's-60's.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kudos to Lady Haig 29 Oct 2007
By Samantha Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Reading this book not only educated me on the whole "Bebop Era", it left a warm place in my heart. This woman Grange (Lady Haig) Rutan spent over a decade of her life interviewing and collecting quotes from all the "who's who" in jazz, to share a story with the world that was so desperately needed. I know there have been so many books written about this era, but it was great to read it from a woman's perspective. Besides this being a must read to anyone who loves jazz, I must comment on the author's writing style....she has a way of keeping you hooked, not wanting to put the book down for one second....like you are putting the pieces of a puzzle together. People put these artists up on a pedestal, but when you dig deeper into their lives you see that they are only human. Trying to do the best that they can. She truly loved this man, and wanted to tell his story (the truth).

It is truly a great read....
samantha scott
miami beach florida
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important Missing Link in Jazz History 27 Oct 2007
By M. A. Kleman - Published on Amazon.com
Al Haig was one of the pioneers of the bebop era and while the story focuses on a very serious subject/event, this book also serves as a magnificent collection of oral histories from those who knew Al Haig, including many of the jazz greats/legends. Since we have lost so many of the greatest of our jazz heroes, Lady Haig's book provides the jazz fan with an inside look at Haig from all the right places - those who worked with him, were around him, etc. I'd also recommend this book as a serious addition to anyone studying jazz history or wanting to learn more about those involved in making the bebop era one of the most magical of musical times.

Highly recommended.
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