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Fats Waller: His Life and Times (Jazz life & times) by Alyn Shipton

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I Feel a Song Coming On: The Life of Jimmy McHugh, Fats Waller: The Cheerful Little Earful, Out of the Long Dark: The Life of Ian Carr, Nilsson: The Life of a Singer-Songwriter, Groovin' High: The Life of Dizzy Gillespie, Hi-de-Ho: The Life of Cab Calloway, A New History of Jazz, Jazz Makers: Vanguards of Sound, Fats Waller: His Life and Times, Handful of Keys: Conversations with 30 Jazz Pianists
This first biography of Jimmy McHugh captures a lively and significant contributor to American songwriting Creator of favorite tunes such as I m in the Mood for Love and On the Sunny Side of the Street McHugh was a one man history of twentieth century popular music in his prolific composing career he wrote songs for Duke Ellington Shirley Temple Bobby Breen Carmen Miranda Deanna Durbin Frank Sinatra Ethel Waters Adelaide Hall and scores of other entertainers His last works were turned into smash hits by Pat Boone and Fats Domino making McHugh one of the few musicians to have written successfully for numerous genres from ragtime to rock n roll br br Following McHugh from humble Irish American beginnings in Boston to eventual success in New York Europe and Los Angeles Alyn Shipton deftly evokes the lively milieus of Tin Pan Alley the Cotton Club Broadway and Hollywood McHugh began his career in the classical world working alongside such superstars as Enrico Caruso but he soon became a song plugger for Irving Berlin and began writing his own popular songs during World War I He crossed the color line frequently writing revues for African American casts at the Cotton Club as well as for Gertrude Lawrence Bob Crosby and Florenz Ziegfeld He and his songwriting partner Dorothy Fields were also among the first to create Hollywood musical films br br In the s McHugh began heroic efforts at fundraising for the war effort and for the crusade against polio and as a result he became a leading member of the Beverly Hills community His involvement extended to the East Coast as well as he had political and friendly social ties in New England politics and with the Kennedy family in particular and he also wrote the official state song of Massachusetts He continued to write songs for shows movies and revues and managed up and coming singers late in his life, Alyn Shipton is on the editorial board of the new Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz to be released in late and this new edition of A New History of Jazz will be referenced throughout to tracks in this new multi CD collection of essential jazz recordings br Brand New Edition Featuring Over Entirely New Material Praise for the first edition of A New History of Jazz The most outstanding single volume history of jazz around Don Rose Jazz Institute of Chicago No jazz writer scholar teacher musician or fan should be without it on his or her desk Yes it really is that good W Royal Stokes Jazz Notes Shipton has taken on the big on here and come up trumps More trustworthy and less sentimental than many similar efforts it achieves something approaching an essential text Mojo A marvelously balanced yet passionate history of a protean cultural form Not only is the book encyclopedic in the breadth of its coverage but it has a thesis or more accurately a set of interlocking theses about how the music has developed History Today Shipton s done his homework and he knows how to tell a story Blender In this major update of the acclaimed and award winning jazz history Alyn Shipton challenges many of the assumptions that surround the birth and growth of jazz music How was it that it took off all over the United States early in the th century despite the accepted wisdom that everything began in New Orleans Shipton also re evaluates the transition from swing to be bop asking just how political this supposed modern jazz revolution actually was He makes the case for jazz as a truly international music from its earliest days charting significant developments outside the USA from the s onwards All the great names in jazz history are here from Louis Armstrong to Miles Davis and from Sidney Bechet to Charlie Parker and John Coltrane But unlike those historians who call a halt with the death of Coltrane in Shipton continues the story with the major trends in jazz over the last years free jazz jazz rock world music influences and the re emergence of the popular jazz singer This new edition brings the book completely up to date including such names as John Medeski Diana Krall Django Bates and Matthias Ruegg There are also important new sections on Latin Jazz and the repertory movement, Dizzy Gillespie was one of the most important and best loved musicians in jazz history With his horn rimmed glasses goatee jive talk and upraised trumpet bell he was the hipster who most personified bebop The musical heir to Louis Armstrong he created the modern jazz trumpet playing style and dazzled aficionados and popular audiences alike for over years br In this first full biography Alyn Shipton covers all aspects of Dizzy s remarkable life and career taking us through his days as a flashy trumpet player in the swing bands of the s his innovative bebop work in the s the worldwide fame and adoration he earned through his big band tours in the s and the many recordings and performances which defined a career that extended into the early s Along the way Shipton convincingly argues that Gillespie rather than Charlie Parker as is widely believed had the greatest role in creating bebop playing in key jazz groups teaching the music to others and helping to develop the first original bebop repertory Shipton also explores the dark side of Dizzy s mostly sunny personal life his womanizing the illegitimate daughter he fathered and supported now a respected jazz singer in her own right and his sometimes needless cruelty to others br For anyone interested in jazz and one of its most innovative and appealing figures em Groovin High em is essential reading, Paul McCartney and John Lennon described him as the Beatles favorite group he won Grammy awards wrote and recorded hit songs and yet no figure in popular music is as much of a paradox or as underrated as Harry Nilsson br br In this first ever full length biography Alyn Shipton traces Nilsson s life from his Brooklyn childhood to his Los Angeles adolescence and his gradual emergence as a uniquely talented singer songwriter With interviews from friends family and associates and material drawn from an unfinished autobiography Shipton probes beneath the enigma to discover the real Harry Nilsson A major celebrity at a time when huge concerts and festivals were becoming the norm Nilsson shunned live performance His venue was the studio his stage the dubbing booth his greatest triumphs masterful examples of studio craft He was a gifted composer of songs for a wide variety of performers including the Ronettes the Yardbirds and the Monkees yet Nilsson s own biggest hits were almost all written by other songwriters He won two Grammy awards in for Everybody s Talkin the theme song for Midnight Cowboy and in for Without You had two top ten singles numerous album successes and wrote a number of songs Coconut and Jump into the Fire to name just two that still sound remarkably fresh and original today He was once described by his producer Richard Perry as the finest white male singer on the planet but near the end of his life Nilsson s career was marked by voice damaging substance abuse and the infamous deaths of both Keith Moon and Mama Cass in his London flat br br Drawing on exclusive access to Nilsson s papers Alyn Shipton s biography offers readers an intimate portrait of a man who has seemed both famous and unknowable until now br