Please see my review of the paperback edition. Although no single book is the final word on jazz, this comes close with a comprehensive description of most of the pioneers of the trad.jazz revival on the west coast. Kid Ory is given his due; and emphasis is given to some of the often unsung heroes, such as Pete Daily, whose early records with Jump, Jazzmen, and Capitol paved the way for Bob Scobey,Turk Murphy,and other groups. Particularly, his coverage of Eddie Miller, Pud Brown, Muggsy Spanier, Wild Bill Davison,Rosy NcHargue, and Yank Lawson-Bobby Haggart's World Greatest Jazz Band is appreciated. This is a must for the library of any Traditional or Classic Jazz buff!
This book stands out as a historical summary of trad jazz! No book is absolutely complete history, but Levin does a superb job of highlighting the trad jazz revival. His accounts of Eddie Miller, Rosy McHargue, Pete Daily, Bob Scobey, Turk Murphy, Muggsy Spanier, and others are flavored with personal reflections and accurate facts., He gives Kid Ory his rightful due, and, although too brief on Bix Beiderbecke, Red Nichols, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band and nothing on George Brunis, he treats the west coast revival of dixieland with much needed love and respect. I thoroughly recommend the book and believe it to be the best on trad jazz in this country.
If you love New Orleans traditional jazz, you gotta read this book. Mr. Levin writes about many of the legends of jazz and recounts personal experiences with many of the the jazz musicians. I liked the depth of treatment by the author. He tells you a lot of interesting things about the musicians and their careers, but doesn't go overboard in telling you more than you really want to know. His telling of the story of how the statute of Louis Armstrong made it to Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans is especially informative. I recommend it to most anyone who has an interest in traditional jazz, but especially to those who want ot knwo just a little bit more about the major players.
As a semi-serious jazz historian with a radio show i am always looking for interesting and accurate anecdotal information. Floyd gives the reader great insight into jazz from the 1910s to 1950 through interviews and personal interaction with long lost important figures.