Who was your childhood hero?

April 14th, 2013

Childhood Heroes —  We all had them

Excerpted from exclusive Jerry Jazz Musician interviews, our guests talk of theirs.

______________________________________________

Heroes Page 1  2  3

Reverend Ralph David Abernathy’s daughter Donzaleigh Abernathy

Low Down: junk, jazz, and other fairy tales from childhood author Amy Albany

Bessie Smith biographer Chris Albertson

Jack Kerouac collaborator David Amram

Jazz Modernism author Alfred Appel

Joshua Berrett, author of Louis Armstrong and Paul Whiteman: Two Kings of Jazz

New Yorker writer Whitney Balliett

Anthony Bianco, author of Ghosts of 42nd Street: A History of America’s Most Infamous Block

Arc of Justice author Kevin Boyle

New York Times writer, Stork Club author Ralph Blumenthal

Lost Sounds:  Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890 – 1919 author Tim Brooks

Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans author Thomas Brothers

Madam C.J. Walker biographer A’Lelia Bundles

Ralph Ellison ‘s literary executor John Callahan

New York Mayor John Lindsay historian Vincent Cannato

Free Speech Movement historian Robert Cohen

World War II historian David Colley

Gil Evans biographer Stephanie Stein Crease

Cultural critic Stanley Crouch

Writer, critic Francis Davis

Bayrd Rustin biographer John D’Emilio

Chet Baker biographer Jeroen de Valk

Django Reinhardt biographer Michael Dregni

Cultural critic Gerald Early

Bobby Darin biographer David Evanier

Jazz poet Sascha Feinstein

Stardust Melodies writer Will Friedwald

Chet Baker biographer James Gavin

Blowin’ Hot and Cool: Jazz and Its Critics author John Gennari

Bing Crosby biographer Gary Giddins

Ken Burns advisor Matt Glaser

Beat poet Gary Glazner

Harlem Globetrotters biographer Ben Green

Sam Cooke biographer Peter Guralnick

Billie Holiday historian Farah Griffin

Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop — A History author Chuck Haddix

Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth editor Sam Hamill

Journalist Nat Hentoff

Ralph Ellison biographer Lawrence Jackson

Making of Kind of Blue author Ashley Kahn

Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Leters editor Carla Kaplan

Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original author Robin D. G. Kelley

Boogaloo: The Quintessance of American Popular Music author Arthur Kempton

Jazz on the River author William Howland Kenney

Ralph Ellison documentarian Avon Kirkland

Rahsaan Roland Kirk biographer John Kruth

Negro League Baseball: The Rise and Ruin of a Black Institution author Neil Lanctot

Critic and writer, Gene Lees

Tony Award winning playwright Warren Leight

Hip: The History author John Leland

Nelson Riddle biographer Peter Levinson

The Burning author Tim Madigan

Fletcher Henderson biographer Jeffrey Magee

They Marched Into Sunlight author David Maraniss

Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink author David Margolick

Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War author Karl Marlantes

Pulitzer Prize winning author Diane McWhorter

Billy Tipton biographer Diane Wood Middlebrook

Musician, writer Max Morath

Jazz historian, Living With Jazz author Dan Morgenstern

Author, critic Albert Murray

Seriously Funny author Gerald Nachman

Sonny Rollins biographer Eric Nisenson

Paul Bowles biographer Cherie Nutting

Writer Robert O’Meally

Jelly Roll Morton biographer Phil Pastras

Robert Johnson: Lost and Found author Barry Lee Pearson

The Producer: John Hammond and the Soul of American Music author Dunstan Prial

Chasin’ The Bird : The Life and Legacy of Charlie Parker author Brian Priestley

Ralph Ellison in America author Horace Porter

Paul Desmond biographer Doug Ramsey

New York Times jazz critic Ben Ratliff

Saxophonist Joshua Redman

Writer Ishmael Reed

W.C. Handy biographer David Robertson

Richard Wright biographer Hazel Rowley

Reverend C.L. Franklin biographer Nick Salvatore

Bill Evans biographer Keith Shadwick

no

picture

Cab Calloway biographer Alyn Shipton

Jackie Robinson biographer, NPR journalist Scott Simon

Lenny Bruce biographer David Skover

Comedian Tom Smothers

Hoagy Carmichael biographer Richard Sudhalter

Miles Davis biographer John Szwed

Jazz photographer Lee Tanner

Journalist Terry Teachout

Can’t Find My Way Home: America in the Great Stoned Age, 1945 – 2000 author Martin Torgoff

Pianist McCoy Tyner

Jack Johnson biographer Geoffrey Ward

Flying over 96th Street: Memoir of an East Harlem White Boy author Thomas Webber

Newport Jazz Festival founder George Wein

Satchmo Blows Up the World author Penny Von Eschen

Fire in a Canebrake author Laura Wexler

Our Mothers’ War: American Women at Home and at the Front During World War II author Emily Yellin

Mitchell and Ruff biographer William Zinsser

Dixie Hummingbirds biographer Jerry Zolten

Heroes Page 1  2  3

Share this:

Comment on this article:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In this Issue

photo courtesy John Bolger Collection
Philip Clark, author of Dave Brubeck: A Life in Time, discusses the enigmatic and extraordinary pianist, composer, and band leader, whose most notable achievements came during a time of major societal and cultural change, and often in the face of critics who at times found his music too technical and bombastic.

Spring Poetry Collection

A Collection of Jazz Poetry – Spring, 2020 Edition There are many good and often powerful poems within this collection, one that has the potential for changing the shape of a reader’s universe during an impossibly trying time, particularly if the reader has a love of music. 33 poets from all over the globe contribute 47 poems. Expect to read of love, loss, memoir, worship, freedom, heartbreak and hope – all collected here, in the heart of this unsettling spring. (Featuring the art of Martel Chapman)

Interview

Ornette Coleman 1966/photo courtesy Mosaic Images
In a Jerry Jazz Musician interview, Ornette Coleman: The Territory And The Adventure author Maria Golia discusses her compelling and rewarding book about the artist whose philosophy and the astounding, adventurous music he created served to continually challenge the skeptical status quo, and made him a guiding light of the artistic avant-garde throughout a career spanning seven decades.

Poetry

Mood Indigo by Matthew Hinds
An invitation was extended recently for poets to submit work that reflects this time of COVID, Black Lives Matter, and a heated political season. The first volume of this poetry is now published.

Features

Red Meditation by James Brewer
Creative artists and citizens of note respond to the question, "During this time of social distancing and isolation at home, what are examples of the music you are listening to, the books you are reading, and/or the television or films you are viewing?”

Interview

A now timely 2002 interview with Tim Madigan, author of The Burning: Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. My hope when I produced this interview was that it would shed some light on this little-known brutal massacre, and help understand the pain and anger so entrenched in the American story. Eighteen years later, that remains my hope. .

Poetry

"Sister" by Warren Goodson
"Shit's About To Go Down" -- a poem by Aurora M. Lewis

Book Excerpt

In the introduction to Dave Brubeck: A Life in Time – the author Philip Clark writes about the origins of the book, and his interest in shining a light on how Brubeck, “thoughtful and sensitive as he was, had been changed as a musician and as a man by the troubled times through which he lived and during which he produced such optimistic, life-enhancing art.”

Interview

NBC Radio-photo by Ray Lee Jackson / Public domain
In a Jerry Jazz Musician interview, acclaimed biographer James Kaplan (Frank: The Voice and Sinatra: The Chairman) talks about his book, Irving Berlin: New York Genius, and Berlin's unparalleled musical career and business success, his intense sense of family and patriotism during a complex and evolving time, and the artist's permanent cultural significance.

Book Excerpt

In the introduction to Maria Golia’s Ornette Coleman: The Territory and the Adventure – excerpted here in its entirety – the author takes the reader through the four phases of the brilliant musician’s career her book focuses on.

Art

Art by Charles Ingham
"Charles Ingham's Jazz Narratives" connect time, place, and subject in a way that ultimately allows the viewer a unique way of experiencing jazz history. This edition's narratives are "Nat King Cole: The Shadow of the Word," "Slain in Cold Blood" and "Local 767: The Black Musicians’ Union"

Interview

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection
Richard Crawford’s Summertime: George Gershwin’s Life in Music is a rich, detailed and rewarding musical biography that describes Gershwin's work throughout every stage of his career. In a Jerry Jazz Musician interview, Crawford discusses his book and the man he has described as a “fresh voice of the Jazz Age” who “challenged Americans to rethink their assumptions about composition and performance, nationalism, cultural hierarchy, and the racial divide.”

Jazz History Quiz #139

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
This bassist played with (among others) Charlie Parker, Erroll Garner, Art Tatum, Nat “King” Cole (pictured), Dexter Gordon, James Taylor and Rickie Lee Jones, and was one of the earliest modern jazz tuba soloists. He also turned down offers to join both Duke Ellington’s Orchestra and the Louis Armstrong All-Stars. Who is he?

Interview

photo unattributed/ Public domain
In a Jerry Jazz Musician interview with The Letters of Cole Porter co-author Dominic McHugh, he explains that “several of the big biographical tropes that we associate with Porter are either modified or contested by the letters,” and that “when you put together these letters, and add our quite extensive commentary between the letters, it creates a different picture of him.” Mr. McHugh discusses his book, and what the letters reveal about the life – in-and-out of music – of Cole Porter.

Short Fiction

photo Creative Commons CC0
Short Fiction Contest-winning story #53 — “Market & Fifth, San Francisco, 1986,” by Paul Perilli

Photography

photo by Veryl Oakland
In this edition of photographs and stories from Veryl Oakland’s book Jazz in Available Light, Frank Morgan, Michel Petrucciani/Charles Lloyd, and Emily Remler are featured

Interview

photo by Fred Price
Bob Hecht and Grover Sales host a previously unpublished 1985 interview with the late, great jazz saxophonist Lee Konitz, who talks about Miles, Kenton, Ornette, Tristano, and the art of improvisation...

Interview

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
Con Chapman, author of Rabbit's Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges discusses the great Ellington saxophonist

Humor

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
"Louis Armstrong on the Moon," by Dig Wayne

Pressed for All Time

A&M Records/photo by Carol Friedman
In this edition, producer John Snyder recalls Sun Ra, and his 1990 Purple Night recording session

Interview

photo by Bouna Ndaiye
Interview with Gerald Horne, author of Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music

Great Encounters

photo of Sidney Bechet by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
In this edition of "Great Encounters," Con Chapman, author of Rabbit’s Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges, writes about Hodges’ early musical training, and the first meeting he had with Sidney Bechet, the influential and legendary reed player who Hodges called “tops in my book.”

Poetry

The winter collection of poetry offers readers a look at the culture of jazz music through the imaginative writings of its 32 contributors. Within these 41 poems, writers express their deep connection to the music – and those who play it – in their own inventive and often philosophical language that communicates much, but especially love, sentiment, struggle, loss, and joy.

“What are 4 or 5 of your all-time favorite Blue Note albums?”

"What are 4 or 5 of your all-time favorite Blue Note albums?"
Dianne Reeves, Nate Chinen, Gary Giddins, Michael Cuscuna, Eliane Elias and Ashley Kahn are among the 12 writers, musicians, and music executives who list and write about their favorite Blue Note albums

In the Previous Issue

Interviews with three outstanding, acclaimed writers and scholars who discuss their books on Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and Cole Porter, and their subjects’ lives in and out of music. These interviews – which each include photos and several full-length songs – provide readers easy access to an entertaining and enlightening learning experience about these three giants of American popular music.

In an Earlier Issue

photo by Carol Friedman
“The Jazz Photography Issue” features an interview with today’s most eminent jazz portrait photographer Carol Friedman, news from Michael Cuscuna about newly released Francis Wolff photos, as well as archived interviews with William Gottlieb, Herman Leonard, Lee Tanner, a piece on Milt Hinton, a new edition of photos from Veryl Oakland, and much more…

Contributing writers

Site Archive