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Unfinished Blues--: Memories of a New Orleans Music Man Hardcover – 1 Apr 2014

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Amazon.com: 7 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful memoir 31 May 2010
By Trying to get healthy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Wonderful job of bringing us into Harold Battiste's inner world which includes unique perspectives on many accomplished musicians and performers including Sonny and Cher. In addition to those glimpses, we see the workings of one man's mind and heart as he takes us from his New Orleans childhood to life after Katrina via a couple of decades in Los Angeles. Battiste reveals deep thoughts, insecurities, and feelings, the kind of priveleged information divulged only to a best friend.

If you love music or music history (this happens to be jazz, but insights into the music/record business in general are amazing), you will appreciate this book. A sure hand produces every word with candor, artistic craftsmanship and organizational prowess. This is the perfect read for anyone who loves jazz, New Orleans, the music business, American history, African-American history, or reading a fine memoir. The pictures rock, too. I loved it and highly recommend it!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful autobiography (with LOTS of photos) by this music industry legend. 12 Jun. 2010
By Steve Ramm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The name Harold Battiste Jr. probably isn't easily recognizable to most folks because he was always in the background and you won't find his name on the front cover of an LP or CD. But for "those in the know" his name not only symbolizes New Orleans rock and roll and jazz but much more.

Let me run some names by you: Joe Jones (and his hit "You Talk Too Much"), Barbara George (#1 single with "I Know"), Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Defayo Marsalis, Sonny and Cher, Dr. John ("The Night Tripper", Ornette Coleman. Recognize them? Well Battiste was a major part of all their careers!

He played in Joe Jones band in New Orleans and later produced Jones's huge vocal hit. Sonny Bono worked for him before he got hooked up with Cher and later Battiste was their musical director, produced their albums and wrote the score for their motion picture. Dr. John was just a kid when he hooked up with Battiste who gave him the "Night Tripper" image and first LP. Battiste founded the first African-American owned record label (APO) and recorded with the elder Marsalis and later worked with all the Marsalis kids. He moved to California with his fellow musicians and played with Coleman before working for Art Rupe's Specialty Records label. He composed over 75 songs!

And he had an interesting life too, saving many of the documents such as contracts, photos and the love letters he wrote to his wife. HE has donated all the papers to the Historic New Orleans Collection, and in return they have chosen his autobiography (written with the help of journalist Karen Celestan) to be the first they are publishing in a Musical Pioneer series.

I had the opportunity last month to meet and hear Battiste and he's got even more stories to tell. This book is a joy to read through and the breadth of artists covered is extensive.

Anyone into early rock and roll or New Orleans music will want to read this volume. (Oh, and did I mention the great photos??????)

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful 18 Oct. 2010
By Larry Weinberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful, from the heart book. A work of love. A wonderfully enjoyable story that teaches as it entertains. Photos on almost every page!
Dr. Harold Holds Forth 21 April 2014
By Steve Wheless - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good stories from a storied New Orleans musician. As far as Crescent City modern jazz and rock and roll in the 50's - 60's and beyond is concerned, Harold Battiste Jr. was There When It Happened. He cut his teeth in places like the Dew Drop Inn and Cosimo Matassa's famous studio. He obtained a college degree in music education and has perhaps a little more more "legit", less "street" experience to relate than the likes of Dr. John. But after moving to L.A., he provided crucial collaboration/adult supervision that resulted in "Gris Gris" and other early Night Tripper albums - these were as much or more his creations as the Good Doctor's. In addition he helped birth the careers of Sonny and Cher, among others. He has also been at the forefront of modern jazz in his hometown and to an extent in his adopted Los Angeles. Some of the personal stuff was less engaging to me, but it's all part of his (warts and all) story. Add some priceless photos and you have another essential volume for fans of New Orleans and popular music.
Five Stars 30 July 2015
By Brian C Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent Book -- bs
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