William Palmer

International Herald Trombone

The Parisian Jazz Chronicles

By

Yale University Press 256pp £15.95 order from our bookshop
 

Mike Zwerin’s new book is dedicated to, among others, ‘point men everywhere’. A point man is the soldier sent ahead of a patrol to spy out the land, and, by extension, a metaphor for pioneers and risk-takers in any field. Zwerin’s field is jazz and his lament is that there are no point men any more: Armstrong and Young, Parker and Ellington are long gone, and only a fool would say that they have been in any way replaced. The music itself is largely ignored by the general population. Robert Crumb moaned to Zwerin that when he founded a traditional jazz band in San Francisco, ‘people just walked by us like we were shrubbery’.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter