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5.0 out of 5 stars Fitting testament to a Jazz Legend, 22 Jan 2009
Kevin James (UK) - See all my reviews
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Morton's art, his wonderful recordings of the 1920s and 30s, stand as his testament, a perfect balance of syncopated verve and finely-articulated structure. This book is the perfect complement to those recordings, enriching our enjoyment of them, while taking us on a strange and moving journey. Morton's words bubble forth in an irrepressible fountain, full of wild living, and creative joy. Lomax has edited these oral memoirs with great skill and devotion, buttressing them with interviews (conducted after Morton's death in 1941,) with his sister, his first companion Anita, his widow Mabel, and many contemporary New Orleans musicians. The resulting portrait is the finest book on early jazz I have read. Morton's life was a tireless endeavour of musical creation and dissemination. Sadly for him, it turned into an obsessive battle for respect, and for overdue recognition of his contribution. He didn't live long enough to receive what he felt he deserved. Yet the music still moves us, broadcasting his genius. This book is surely the most important accompaniment to his marvellous musical legacy.
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