Re: [RedHotJazz] Jelly's Blues
- Regarding the Reich and Gaines Morton bio: The American writer and guitarist
Duck Baker really ripped the book in a review and author exchange published,
I believe, in Jazz Times (possibly Coda?). Listed many factual errors,
errors of interpretation, as well as seeming ignorance of existing
scholarship on Morton.
Still, I have the book and consult it from time to time. Bob Mielke, the
venerable trombonist, told me he greatly appreciated the chapter on Chicago
and the Melrose scene in the teens and twenties.
The world awaits a book that could weave together recent Morton scholarship
(Gushee, Meddings, etc.), archival research (Russell, Hogan archives, etc.),
vaudville/show business history, a nuanced account of shifting American
racial identities, an balanced evaluation of Lomax, and - too much to hope
for? - a great ear for the MUSIC.
Morton is THE great story. The story has a shitty ending, true, and Morton
was often a pretty unlikable guy - read those anti-Semitic letters to Carew,
circa 1939! - do Reich and Gaines even mention these? - but the span of his
life, and the great visionary music, are "beyond comparison."