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From Birdland to Broadway: Scenes from a Jazz Life Kindle Edition

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 281 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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`Oxford University Press is to be congratulated on recognising the historical value of these memories of a man who has been there'Jazz Times, April 1993

`Crow's lively style perfectly illuminates his insider's view of the jazz scene of the '50s and '60s' Russ Neff, The Patriot-News

`From Birdland to Broadway is a book that is difficult to put down, in both senses of the term.'Macon Telegraph

`From Birdland to Broadway is autobiographical, and the writing flows smoothly.'Times Literary Supplement

`there are some interesting yarns and insights ... Bogside fare at best.'Brian Glasser, Q

`The book bristles with insider's tales about musicians he has met in 40 years of gigging around. Bill Crow's book keeps you smiling from the first page to the last ... eminently readable book ... Here is a fine bassist dipping into a deep well of reminiscence and showing that he can write as well as he can play.'Reginald Brace, Yorkshire Post

`the best and possibly the only book I have read about the life of a jobbing jazz musician ... one feels that if he had been a star he could never have written a book as fascinating as this one, which digs deep into the jazz life'Peter Hepple, Stage & Television Today

"In From Birdland to Broadway, Crow shares insightful anecdotes from his long career and writes in a style that's as relaxed, friendly, and straight ahead as a Mulligan baritone sax solo....He never skimps on the humorous asides and telling details. What's more, he renders most of the technical stuff, such as flugelhornist Clark Terry's method of rotary breathing, understandable to even the most unrhythmic or tonedeaf reader. Bop lives in Crow's colorful account."―Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Providing some fascinating social history, [Crow] has written a book of intimate and entertaining vignettes about some modern jazz masters."―Library Journal

'he has plenty to tell and his book sparkles with humour ... It is often deeply moving too.'Chris Searle, Morning Star

'Whether as bystander or musician, Crow was often in the right place at the right time and recalls many priceless incidents. His book is entertaining and readable - don't miss it.'Peter Vacher, Jazz Magazine

About the Author

Bill Crow is an accomplished jazz musician and writer. He is the author of Jazz Anecdotes, which was voted Best Jazz Book of 1991 in a Jazz Times readers' poll.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1167 KB
  • Print Length: 281 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks (11 Dec. 1992)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0052XUFXC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #441,559 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've loved Jazz for 70years. Bill Crow writes about Jazz, He has the know-how, I've read this book three times---I'm sure I'll read it
again, also His other books.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9ef07468) out of 5 stars 15 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e948510) out of 5 stars A glimpse at the time when jazz came of age 9 Nov. 2014
By Eric Sedensky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bill Crow is one of those rare musicians who spent the better part of forty years skating through the background of the jazz music industry. A workman like musician who played everything from a Jew’s harp to a valve trombone to a double bass to a Fender bass to a tuba, he also played with luminaries ranging from Charlie Parker and Thelonius Monk to Marian McPartland, Zoot Sims, Benny Goodman, Terry Gibbs and a small army of other famous jazz musicians. He approached his music the way he approached life: with his eyes open for opportunity, excitement, and the thrill of something new at any chance he could get. And the best part of it is, he took notes so that he could write up some of the stories and produce a wonderful book like this.

I’d never heard of Bill Crow until my wife told me about him after she read a Haruki Murakami book that mentioned Bill Crow’s book. I love reading about jazz and although I’d never heard of Bill Crow, Murakami’s mention is a helluva recommendation. So, I bought this book. Crow’s writing is straightforward and conversational. He doesn't have to set up the scenes other than to explain what he observed, what happened and what he thought, because the characters and situations he writes about are all actual people and highly entertaining situations. (They were, after all, working in the entertainment industry.) Crow’s sense of humor is also impeccable and if you know anything about jazz musicians from the 1940’s to 1980’s, you know that there were more than a few unique characters with more than a few unique outlooks on music in particular and life in general. And to his credit, Crow does not flinch away from some of the seedier and less mass-appealing aspects of the jazz business (like manipulative club owners and rampant drug abuse), but he keeps everything in context so that the reader can really see and feel what making jazz was like once upon a time.

I learned a lot reading this book, including that my CD collection includes quite a few works that Mr. Crow played on. (Maybe it’s time I read all my CD liner notes and lineups again.) More to the point, I really enjoyed this book and often would lose track of time as I moved from one story to another. This book was light but informative reading, entertaining, and illuminating. It didn't romanticize those years that are gone and will never come again, but Crow puts enough in this book to allow the reader to romanticize if they want. It’s a great book that is well worth five stars.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ec36138) out of 5 stars Fascinating account of jazz life in the 50s 26 Dec. 2008
By A. Panemangalore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was never gripped by Bill Crow as a bass player. As an author and story writer however, his books are one of the most engaging I have come across amongst the plethora of writings that exist on the development of this great art form.Bill Crow has a natural gift for narration.He tells you all straight from the heart, of the lives and travails of musicians who one has heard so much but never got close to.His anecdotes brings them closer; as if they were living and breathing right next to you.And all, with a constant undercurrent of humour. He seeks no sympathy and there is no deprecation.Yet, one is saddened, sometimes angered, at the circumstances of the time. I ended up loving even more, all those musicians whose names are now etched in memory. I bought more copies of the book for my friends once I was done.
HASH(0x9eae8090) out of 5 stars Best second hand book i've ever purchased 25 Jan. 2015
By Cyril Wu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Best second hand book i've ever purchased, it just exactly like new book except for the previous owner's name in the front page even though it is written by pencil, which could be wiped out. I am amazed that this book is published in 1992 and still in nice condition. I haven't started to read the book yet but honestly i bought this book because Haruki Murakami in one of his books mentioned it, as you know, Haruki is a real Jazz fan and great Japanese writer. And i expect it to be a great book as Bill Crow is just born in that Jazz Era, I hope this kind of real Jazz heritage will be read by more people in the world
HASH(0x9e99475c) out of 5 stars There is simply no better jazz autobiography or biography out there 5 Sept. 2014
By FRADLEY GARNER - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There is simply no better jazz autobiography or biography out there. I'm on my second reading and lapping up every line of it.
Also marking passages that speak to the young scootering (with instrument aboard) amateur bass player I was, over a half-century ago in my beloved West Greenwich Village.
Fradley Garner
International Editor,
Jersey Jazz
Journal of the New Jersey Jazz Society
HASH(0x9ec05654) out of 5 stars A wonderful read! 29 Jun. 2014
By Objectivity - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great reading - fun + informative + joy-filled and knowledgeable from a great
musician who has lived and is still living it all---recommend it HIGHLY!!!
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