Frank R. Hayde Stan Levey: Jazz Heavyweight

ISBN 13: 9781595800862

Stan Levey: Jazz Heavyweight

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Stan Levey is one of the most influential drummers in the history of modern jazz. During his extraordinary career, the self-taught Levey played alongside a who’s who of twentieth century jazz artists: Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, Art Tatum, Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon, Lester Young, Thelonius Monk, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Ella Fitzgerald . . . the remarkable list goes on and on, and includes dozens of the most distinguished names in the annals of jazz and popular music.

Jazz Heavyweight follows Levey's prolific and colorful life, from his childhood days in rough-and-tumble North Philadelphia, to his first gig as a drummer for Dizzy Gillespie at the tender age of sixteen, to his meteoric rise as one of the most sought after sidemen in the world of bebop, to his membership in the Lighthouse All-Stars.

Jazz aficionados will relish Jazz Heavyweight for its new, never-before-published information about such hugely influential musicians as Parker, Gillespie, and Davis, while jazz neophytes will find a fast-paced, colorful encapsulation of the entire history of modern jazz. This book is essential reading for anyone seeking an up-close-and-personal look at jazz in the latter half of the twentieth century.

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About the Author:

Frank R. Hayde is the author of The Mafia and the Machine: The Story of the Kansas City Mob, and Zion National Park: The Story Behind the Scenery. He lives in Grand Junction, CO.

Charlie Watts is the legendary drummer for the Rolling Stones.

Review:

Stan Levey is without a doubt one of the greatest drummers ever and one of the founding fathers of modern music. Along with Klook, Max and Art, there was Stan Levey, who learned directly from Dizzy when they were both living in Philadelphia. As a result, Stan contributed to this beautiful art form and played on some pivotal recordings. Jazz Heavyweight is fascinating!”
Wallace Roney, Grammy Award-winning jazz trumpeter

I think Jazz Heavyweight is a piece of jazz history that’s very important to document. Stan is a link. His life is an amazing story and he was a lovely man. I was totally in awe of meeting him and the legacy that he carries.”
Charlie Watts, Rolling Stones drummer

Stan Levey was the drummer every be-bopper wanted in his rhythm section. And with good reason. Jazz Heavyweight illuminates his role as an ultimate insider and important player musically and otherwise during one of jazz history's most vital eras.”
Don Heckman, International Review of Music

Jazz Heavyweight embraces the life and times of a renaissance man in a topsy turvy world, rich with personalities and celebrities. Having lived through some of this crazy world with Stan and my Dad, this biography really hit home. A must read.”
Frank Marshall, motion picture director and producer

It has been my privilege to have known and worked with Stan Levey. Stan was one of the greatest drummers of our time. While reading this book I was reminded of the many facets of Stan and it invoked several memories of our years working together in the early 1960s with Dizzy Gillespie. He truly had a strong sense of musicality and most importantly soul, which was evident in each and every performance.”
Lalo Schifrin, Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer

Stan Levey was a superb, yet underrated drummer on both the New York bebop scene and the West Coast milieu. Frank Hayde’s engaging biography shines a welcome light on this remarkable percussionist and delivers choice stories, a great many in Levey’s own voice, lending a deep credibility to this book.”
Zan Stewart, ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award recipient

"In a straightforward style, Hayde tells the story of Stan Levey, a self-taught bebop drummer whose life is truly the stuff of legend. The tale, which opens a striking foreword by Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, concerns a scrappy Jewish kid of North Philadelphia, the child a mobbed-up boxing-manager father and a musically inclined mother who encouraged her son in his interests. His early years seem propelled by a desire to play the drums like nobody ever had, and his driving style provided a rhythmic backdrop for stars such as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Coleman Hawkins, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Barbra Streisand. Levey boxed professionally for a time before Parker introduced him to drugs; the latter eventually led to a two-year stint in prison, which Hayde handles without sensationalism. Levey was a fixture among the Big Apple beboppers and a prime mover on the West Coast scene and Hollywood sessions, and Hayde’s account of his exploits takes readers beyond jazz icons and celebrities into fascinating anecdotes, personal struggles, and a truly charmed life.
Publishers Weekly

"[A] fast-paced biography of the late great jazz drummer Stan Levey . . . This book takes the reader bouncing through Levey's life and times with a lively narrative by author Frank Hayde interspersed with quotes by Levey, his wife Angela, his family, and many luminaries of jazz such as Goodman, Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Lalo Schifrin, Jay McShann and many others. Levy's recollections, taken from various tapes, notes, and letters, push the book forward with their percussive style . . . Levey roomed with Bird for a while and takes verbal snapshots that are among the most vivid descriptions in print or film of the tragedy that was Bird. . . . This is a book about one of the most exciting times in the history of jazz when everyone in the country was trying to find his or her own way. A time of guts, glory, and turmoil of which Stan Levey was a prime representative. Hayde is a good writer and weaves all the stories into an exciting single narrative."
All About Jazz

"a colorful and meticulously researched work . . . a welcome addition to jazz literature and scholarship”
Broad Street Review

"one of the finest jazz biographies in recent years”
All About Jazz

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Book Description Santa Monica Press, United States, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The first biography ever written of Stan Levey - widely considered to be one of the most influential drummers in the history of modern jazz. Levey played alongside a who s who of twentieth century jazz artists: Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and so many more. This colourful volume follows Levey from his childhood in North Philadelphia as the son of a boxing promoter with ties to the mob, through his meteoric rise in the international jazz scene right up to his role in forming the genre, West Coast Jazz . Seller Inventory # AAB9781595800862

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Book Description Santa Monica Press, United States, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The first biography ever written of Stan Levey - widely considered to be one of the most influential drummers in the history of modern jazz. Levey played alongside a who s who of twentieth century jazz artists: Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and so many more. This colourful volume follows Levey from his childhood in North Philadelphia as the son of a boxing promoter with ties to the mob, through his meteoric rise in the international jazz scene right up to his role in forming the genre, West Coast Jazz . Seller Inventory # AAB9781595800862

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Book Description Santa Monica Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 288 pages. Stan Levey is widely considered to be one of the most influential drummers in the history of modern jazz. During his extraordinary career, the self-taught Levey played alongside a whos who of twentieth century jazz artists: Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, Art Tatum, Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon, Lester Young, Thelonius Monk, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Ella Fitzgeraldthe remarkable list goes on and on, and includes dozens of the most distinguished names in the annals of jazz and popular music. Jazz Heavyweight follows the prolific and colorful life of Levey, from his childhood days in rough-and-tumble North Philadelphia as the son of a boxing promoter and manager with ties to the mob, to his first gig as a drummer for Dizzy Gillespie at the tender age of 16, through his meteoric rise as one of the most sought after sidemen in the world of bebop, to his membership in the Lighthouse All-Stars and his prominent role in the creation of West Coast Jazz. In between, author Frank R. Hayde, using Leveys own words in what is part-oral history, part-biography, offers the reader a multitude of colorful stories, including: Leveys experiences in the world of Mafia-controlled boxing (he fought at Madison Square Garden, was once one of the preliminary bouts at the Polo Grounds when Joe Louis was the headliner, and, in the face of threats from the mob, even had to take the proverbial dive); his close friendship with his roommate Charlie Parker (Levey was the only person who owed Bird money when he passed away at the tragically young age of 34); his relationship with another friend, Miles Davis (Levey taught Davis how to box, and Miles became a life-long fight fan); his heroin bust, imprisonment, and subsequent redemption; and his international tours with such superstars as Stan Kenton, Ella Fitzgerald, and Peggy Lee. Jazz Heavyweight is one of the few books to offer a true insiders view of some of the most pivotal events in the history of jazz. First-hand accounts of Leveys tenure as the backbone of what jazz critic Leonard Feather called the first genuine all-bebop group to play on 52nd Street provide fresh insights into that ground-breaking band. Leveys legendary trip to California with Gillespie and Parker to introduce bebop to jazz fans in Los Angeles has passed into the realm of the mythic: Bird ended up staying behind, set fire to his hotel room, and was subsequently institutionalized in Camarillo State Mental Hospital. Coinciding with his years anchoring the Lighthouse All-Stars, Levey recorded over two thousand tracks while doing session work with such vocalists as Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, and Barbra Streisand. Levey ended his music career as a prolific player on literally thousands of motion picture and television show soundtracks under the direction of such legendary composers as Lalo Schifrin, Henry Mancini, Nelson Riddle, and Andre Previn. Jazz aficionados will relish Jazz Heavyweight for its new, never-before-published information about such hugely influential musicians as Parker, Gillespie, and Davis, while jazz neophytes will find a fast-paced, colorful encapsulation of the entire history of modern jazz. Indeed, Jazz Heavyweight is essential reading for anyone seeking an up-close-and-personal look at jazz in the latter half of the twentieth century. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Seller Inventory # 9781595800862

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