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Book: Benny Green

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Benny Green, The Reluctant Art (Da Capo). Dave Frishberg's recent message to Rifftides in which he recommended this book sent me scrambling in haste and embarrassment to obtain a copy. I had never read Green's book, subtitled “Five Studies in the Growth of Jazz" and should have. There are actually six studies. I am being rewarded by Green's insights into Bix Beiderbecke, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Art Tatum and Charlie Parker. One provocative thought from Green: “Improvisation is more than a virtue. It is a responsibility demanding a degree of creative fertility which a high percentage of respected jazz musicians simply do not possess."

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This story appears courtesy of Rifftides by Doug Ramsey.
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