Myself Among Others: A Memoir

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9780306811142: Myself Among Others: A Memoir
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George Wein, who pioneered the idea of bringing jazz to people beyond the club circuit, looks back on his long career and unforgettably describes his relationships --sometimes smooth, sometimes tempestuous--with the great figures he's known: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Thelonious Monk, and Miles Davis, among many, many others.Beginning in 1950 with the opening of his legendary Boston club Storyville, Wein presented jazz in a setting that respected both the musicians and the audience while still earning a profit. Since its founding in 1954, the Newport Jazz Festival has always reflected Wein's vision and grit. Wein opened up a whole new venue to musicians, attracting music immortals as well as aspiring young artists to his outdoor stage. Over the years, Newport became synonymous with jazz festivals in the United States, and it has become the model for similar events worldwide.Through his work, George Wein has expanded the audience for jazz more than anyone else living today, and has received France's Legion d'Honneur and numerous other awards. Myself Among Others illuminates the personalities, legends and performances of jazz's greatest era.

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About the Author:

For the past forty years jazz impresario George Wein has been delivering music to audiences on a large scale. He has known all the major jazz figures of the last half-century. He lives in Manhattan.

Nate Chinen is a music writer for the Philadelphia City Paper. His features have also appeared in Down Beat, JazzTimes and the Philadelphia Gazette. He lives in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

Seventy-eight-year-old pianist, vocalist and jazz impresario Wein is one of the key figures responsible for polishing jazz's image, as he charted new directions and gained respect for the music by creating such vibrant venues as the Newport Jazz Festival. While doing so, Wein, who is white, also confronted and helped change the face of racist America. Wein and Chinen present the story of a 50-year career with smooth transitions, mellow flow and continuity. From his Boston beginnings as a teenage professional pianist and his WWII experiences, Wein segues into his postwar nightly gigs and college graduation. In 1950, he opened a Boston jazz club, Storyville, and soon launched a record label. But why jazz amid Newport's bygone Gilded Age architecture? It began with wealthy Elaine Lorillard's 1953 comment to Wein, "Oh, it's terribly boring in the summer. There's just nothing to do." Wein recalls, "I didn't even know what a jazz festival would consist of.... I had no rule book to go by." He juxtaposes his memories of early Newport triumphs, conflicts, disasters and riots with source material. These recollections bring the central core of the book to a crescendo, along with backward glances at other festivals, including New Orleans's JazzFest, where the "long-lost career" of Professor Longhair, a forgotten founding father of Big Easy R&B, skyrocketed after Wein brought him back from total obscurity in 1971. Wein's experiences with musicians, from Miles to Mingus, make this an important, valuable addition to the jazz history shelf. It's a fact-filled, melodic memoir, swinging with emotion and energy. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780306813528: Myself Among Others: A Life In Music

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