A book of biographies of band leaders who have risen to the top of the jazz world -- some 35 of them. In most instances, one or two episodes of childhood, largely because of some relationship to his musical career, start off the stories. Setbacks, difficulties and the circumstances under which they became famous are followed by details of life as successful musicians to complete the biographical pattern. To many American young people these men are idols. The number of suits, ties and shoes may be a matter of passionate interest to the fans. They are familiar with the playing styles, the variations on compositions, the details of home life- or think they are. This book will feed this appetite. If the writing at times seems awkward, it is perhaps because the author has tried to avoid the cliches of publicity agents and to stick to reporting. A book for teen agers who might sidetrack other types of books.