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In Search Of Buddy Bolden: First Man Of Jazz Paperback – August 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Louisiana State Univ Pr; Revised edition (August 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807130931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807130933
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Donald M. Marquis, jazz curator emeritus of the Louisiana State Museum, lives in New Orleans. He is also the author of Finding Buddy Bolden and A Nifty Place to Grow Up.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By D.C.Meyer on March 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
When the first jazz writers in the late 1930s started asking older musicians about the origins of the music, the name "Buddy Bolden" kept comming up. Bolden was a New Orleans trumpeter and bandleader active in the 1890s and first decade of the 1900s who some contemporary and later musicians credit as having started jazz.
Bolden became a figure of legend, with 4th hand stories about him being passed around, and his name has been used for fictional characters (most notably in writer Michael Ondaatje's well written but historically inaccurate novel "Coming Through Slaughter").
Legends aside, Buddy Bolden was a real person. Writer and researcher Don Marquis find the real story of Bolden. This book is the result of long research, both in archives and interviewing and cross-checking accounts of surviving people who had know Bolden first hand. The book may be a bit dry in parts compared to a novel, but here you get the truth about Bolden, his life, his associates, and his music. Unlike his fictional counterpart, the real Bolden wasn't a barber and never heard the music he was helping form called "jazz" during his active life, but he did play an original loud and driving style of cornet that made New Orleans take notice, until he was hauled away to an insane asylum in 1907.
If anyone wants to find out about Buddy Bolden, this is THE book.
-- DCM "Froggy"
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Carlos R Canas on March 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Donald M. Marquis not only brings us the real Buddy Bolden, the first "Jazzman", but also turn of the century New Orleans, a hotbed of musical innovation. Marquis' succesfully describes all the different cultural influences that all of the sudden converged into what we now call jazz. How New Orleans' multicultural make up made it possible for jazz to come of age, and finally how Buddy Bolden unknowingly began jazz, the first true american music. As a person living in New Orleans, and working just a few blocks from where Buddy Bolden was born and lived, it was specially refreshing to get acquainted with his story. I have been able to corroborate first hand with marquis' descriptions, as I frequently walk through First Street and in front of Buddy's home. This is a must read book for all those interested in early jazz.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By bukhtan on July 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm astonished and heartened that this extraordinary book has been re-published. I would suppose that everyone who has heard Oliver, Armstrong, Bechet, Morton et al. has heard of Buddy Bolden, "the most powerful cornet player that ever was hoid, or ever was known" (Morton in his Library of Congress recordings). Unfortunately, he never was recorded, except, maybe, some say, for a paper disc, back around 1902 or 1905, right before they put him in the insane asylum. The big bang of jazz.

What makes this book remarkable, though, aside from its subject, is how painstakingly the author has documented his search. And, I rush to add, entertainingly. I don't know of another book in which we hear every detail of archival and courthouse searching and enjoy every paragraph, as we do here. It all adds, in fact, to the fascination and pathos associated with this first figure of jazz music, and indeed with the passage of time and the loss of most things and most of us in it.
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