Where most people go to forget their cares, the troubles of the jazz man begin... This is established by poet and radio...

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FOUR LIVES IN THE BEBOP BUSINESS

Where most people go to forget their cares, the troubles of the jazz man begin... This is established by poet and radio announcer Spellman in this arrangement of taped biographical material and commentary on the lives, hang-ups, musical achievements and (mis)fortunes of Cecil Taylor and Herbie Nichols (now deceased) on piano, Ornette Coleman, alto saxophone, and Jackie McLean, alto. The Negro player is victimized by venal club owners and record companies, bartenders, waiters and customers. The struggle of these working artists to perform, in an America supposedly attuned to creative achievement, is reminiscent of the back streets of 19th century Vienna. Whether jazz is a major art or a minor entertainment is not the question here. The point that Spellman makes is that America is neglecting if not abusing a truly talented area, and the fact that these men are being subsidized to play the blues becomes a genuine paradox.

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 1966

ISBN: 0879100427

Page Count: -

Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1966