Hipped to a couple books

(Brick’s Picks, LA Weekly, 2006)

And we’ve been hipped to a couple books that’d make some cool xmas gifts ideas. Bari blowing/beatnik looking/mystery writing Skoot Larson’s The No News is Bad News Blues is a fun read; his trumpet playing, hard drinking, weed smoking, record collecting accidental detective Lars Lyndstrom stumbling into a terrorist plot. Fans of Bill Moody’s Evan Horn books will dig it. Moody’s tighter and leaner, but Larson’s storytelling is like a free ranging live jazz session. And if you know San Pedro (or Oslo) at all you will love the settings. Peter Levinson’s Tommy Dorsey: Livin’ in a Great Big Way is a terrific read. The Big Band Era was a whole ‘nother universe, and don’t fall for the “innocent times” stuff our parents/grandparents dropped on us. These guys lived hard, played hard, worked hard, fought hard and (in Dorsey’s case) died hard. The book bear up the legend: T.D. was not an easy man to know, let alone play for (or worse yet, be married to.) But he sure could play some pretty trombone. Those were amazing times, with the music, the arrangers, the tours, the War, the movie stars, the kids, the dancing, the partying, and the segregation and desperate poverty that so many players, white and black, Irish and Jew, rose from. Levinson’s energetic prose brings the era vividly back to life.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s