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Quintet of the Year

Haydon, Geoffrey

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ISBN 10: 1854109642 / ISBN 13: 9781854109644
Published by Aurum, London, 2004
Condition: Near fine(+) Soft cover
From Owl & Company Bookshop (Calvello Books) (Oakland, CA, U.S.A.)

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Octavo in yellow, blue and black pictorial wrappers; b&w illus.; 320 p., 20 cm. In English. || Massey Hall 1953 : the greatest jazz quintet of all time; "On a May night at Massey Hall in 1953, the lives of five great jazzmen came together." - cover. Very scarce in 12 libraries worldwide (World Cat). Near fine(+) copy save for two inch crease on cover at lower hinge and some barely noticeable signs of handling; else excellent, clean copy; clean wrappers; pages are clean and crisp and free of foxing, creases and marks; tight binding; no creases along spine; from the feel and look of it, a possibly unread copy. First edition, first printing (full number line). Bookseller Inventory # 84746

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Quintet of the Year

Publisher: Aurum, London

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Near fine(+)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Geoffrey Haydon explores the legendary "Massey Hall concert" - the night in Toronto in May 1953 when five of the most creative and influential jazz musicians of all time took the stage together, for the only time in their lives: Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus and Max Roach. Though the evening began inauspiciously, with no real rehearsal, the hall less than half full, and Charlie Parker turning up with a white plastic saxophone, nearly 50 years later the CD of the concert is still selling - entitled, with little exaggeration, "The Greatest Jazz Concert Ever". "Quintet of the Year" is in the same tradition as Ashley Kahn's books on the making of "Kind of Blue" and "A Love Supreme". Geoffrey Haydon traces the lives of the five jazzmen from their beginnings in music to when they boarded the plane for Canada, and then afterwards, whether to civil rights activism or tragically early death, to show how their stories dramatised for the world the condition of black artists in America. He recreates the never-to-be-repeated occasion of that remarkable concert itself, from the backstage rows to the embarrassment of box-office receipts insufficient to pay the illustrious musicians - but above all the wonder of pieces like "Perdido", "Salt Peanuts" and "A Night in Tunisia" perfomed by five of the finest American musicians of the century, for one night only.

From the Inside Flap:

The story of the greatest jazz concert ever

It has entered musical legend as simply ?the Massey Hall concert,? the night in Toronto in May 1953 when five of the most creative and influential jazz musicians of all time took the stage together, for the only time in their lives: Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach.

The event did not have auspicious beginnings. There was no rehearsal not even a sound check. A world heavyweight title fight on the same night meant the hall was less than half full. Charlie Parker turned up with a white plastic saxophone. But a tape machine was running, and the recordings of the concert became an album that has been reissued over and over again for nearly fifty years ? sometimes entitled, with little exaggeration, The Greatest Jazz Concert Ever.

Quintet of the Year is the tale of that historic concert - but to fix its co-ordinates in history this groundbreaking book navigates decades of musical innovation and social change. Geoffrey Haydon traces the lives of these five jazzmen from their beginnings in music to the point where they boarded the plane to fly to Canada: the reckless excess of the world-famous Parker; the fragile and mercurial pianist Bud Powell; Gillespie, the high priest of bop; Mingus, the bassist from the West Coast; and Roach, the modern drummer supreme. And it follows their lives afterwards, whether to civil rights activism or tragically early death, to show how their stories dramatized for the world the condition of black artists in America.

At its centre, Quintet of the Year recreates the never-to-be-repeated occasion of that remarkable concert itself, from the backstage rows to the embarrassment of box-office receipts insufficient to pay the illustrious performers ? and most importantly, the wonder of pieces like ?Hot House,? ?Salt Peanuts,? and ?A Night in Tunisia? treated to the prodigious artistry of five of the finest American musicians of the twentieth century, for one night only.

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