PIANO IN THE BAND by Dale Curran
Kirkus Star


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Your Young Man with a Horn market will want to see this, though the emphasis is on the band this time, rather than the player. Granting that jazz musicians can be as articulate as this would have you believe, salting the Hemingway-ish musical descriptions, this ranks as a novel about a band. Jeff Walters, bandleader, has established himself after 15 years climb from nothing to audience' favorite and is against the new music his best players are urging upon him. They try to make him see what they are trying to do, when further discord arrives in the shape of a singer who has come far under Walters' coaching, but who, also arouses his fury by having a feeling for swing. There's a triangle situation -- there are jam sessions with topflight Negro musicians -- and the strange hold Walters has over them all is only broken by his death, which leaves them free -- and insecure. This might be termed a ""prelude to swing"" -- the date is 1933 --and for the initiates, there are portraits of well known musicians worked into the story. For a clearly defined market.

Pub Date: July 19th, 1940
Publisher: Reynal & Hitchcock