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The Boston Jazz Chronicles Paperback – April 1, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
I was in the greater Boston area during the last nineteen years covered by these Chronicles and I am truly impressed by the depth and accuracy of the author's knowledge. While reading the book I even learned a few new things about some of the people I'd known during that time.
Vacca is not a jazz musician but his understanding of the music and the language he uses to convey it would seem to contradict that fact. The Boston Jazz Chronicles provides a great reading experience which I highly recommend.
Storyville, Lenny's on the Turnpike, the Hi-Hat, Wally's Paradise (still active) .. these were Boston jazz night clubs - stops along the way for musicians, jazz fans, party people and kitchen help. From the late 30s to the early 60s, all combined to make a moment. This moment in time is worth archiving.
I would like to give compliments to Richard Vacca writing The Boston Jazz Chronicles - Faces, Places, and Nightlife 1937-1962. He has rigorously sought out the facts, found the witnesses, and conveyed the feel of a night club jazz era that took place in Boston. [Full disclosure: Way back I set out to write a similar book, or more likely magazine article. Talked with Jaki Bayard and Tony Cinomo. Didnt get too far past that. So was really glad to get and dig into this book by Richard Vacca.]
Got a chance to attend a lecture by Vacca at Wally's. Engaging, dedicated to understatement, his portrayal of the pivotal Boston scene of jazz painted a prescient picture. You know, "Wally" was a friend of "Red" (Malcom X) when he lived in town in the 40s - role played by Spike Lee in the Spike Lee movie - showing the link between music, history, and Saturday night.
Was there a Boston sound? Not exactly. It could be said that it was halfway between the hard bop sound and the cool school of the West Coast. It had a bit of the conservatory, and bit of the vaudeville circuit spin. It was well-written, and well-arranged.Read more ›
And he writes about it with care, accuracy, humor, and mindfulness. I've had the good fortune of having lived in the area since birth in the late 1940s; I've had the pleasure crossing paths with Rivers, Byard, Viola, McGhee, Vega, Gil, Konitz,, et. al,; I've ridden the bus down Mass Ave (past The Wigwam, Wally's, etc.) since the '50s; I shopped at Raymond's in the early '60s, and I was been raised by parents who recalled having danced to Duke's band (and others) on the Ritz roof, at the Totem Pole, at Revere Beach, and a dozen other locales. I can, therefore, attest that The Boston Jazz Chronicles is essential reading those who would have a background in Boston cultural life.
Caveat: the fact that a few of the dates of photos (judging from auto tail-lights) might be off by a couple of years doesn't, in any way, affect the value and accuracy of this treasure.
Thank you Mr. Vacca for a wonderful book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book represents a real labor of love by Mr. Vacca. It is extremely well-researched and documented. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Bruce Armstrong
This is a very interesting book about Jazz and how the culture of Jazz fit in with Boston culture. Although jazz was bigger and grander in New York and Chicago, this is quite a... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Ron Johnson
Arrived on time; is new. Wish it was hard bound. I am continuing to read. It is easy style to read.Published 10 months ago by Paul Murphy
Thoroughly enjoyed this book and have passed it on. If you are a jazz fan, love Boston and it's history this is for you. Read morePublished 14 months ago by VEZGrandma
In the mid Sixties I remember riding by the remnants of Boston's Jazz scene on Mass Ave. I worked for someone who was a big jazz fan and he recommended albums for me to listen to. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great read for all you jazz lovers. This book is about all the jazz clubs, the muscians that worked in them at a time when jazz was at it's best.Published on December 7, 2013 by patricia rodriguez
I am related to some of the musicians and singers mentioned in this great book. As far as my personal memory goes, this book is spot-on and richly detailed. Read morePublished on February 15, 2013 by Raymond A. Cavicchio