Book: Nat Hentoff


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Nat Hentoff, At The Jazz Band Ball: Sixty Years On The Jazz Scene (U of California Press). Hentoff is our leading avatar of the proposition that jazz is a living expression of the principles embedded in the US constitution, of which he is also a scholar. He does not deal in technical analysis of music. He gives strong, informed opinions and tells stories about those he knew or knows intimately, among them Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and Clark Terry. But he also writes about less famous figures whose blazing individuality “puts their lives, memories and expectations into the penetrating immediacy of their music." Hentoff may wear his love for jazz on his sleeve, but he balances it with insight, knowledge and long experience.

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This story appears courtesy of Rifftides by Doug Ramsey.
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