cover image Waiting for Dizzy

Waiting for Dizzy

Graham Lees, Gene Lees. Oxford University Press, USA, $25 (272pp) ISBN 978-0-19-505670-9

In the first of these slight, upbeat essays, Lees discusses jazz recordings of the 1920s, which can now be heard with the sound cleaned up on compact discs. In the subsequent chapters he interviews jazz musicians whose work spans the 20th century--Joe Venuti, Spiegleper MS/ Wilcox, Benny Carter, Hank Jones, Bill Challis, Herb Ellis, Emily Rmeler, Bud Shank, Al Grey, Ed Thigpen, Spike Robinson and Dizzy Gillespie. For the most part, Lees, editor of Jazzletter , where these pieces first appeared, lets the musicians themselves tell of starting out on their careers, the other musicians who influenced them, the people they played with, and their working methods. There are some insights into the music here, but more striking are glimpses of the everyday lives of these legendary figures. (Apr.)