Living the Jazz Life: Conversations with Forty Musicians about Their Careers in Jazz
Publish Date: 2002-05-16
Author: W. Royal Stokes
No music is as individual as jazz. And no writer is as deft at bringing out what is individual in each jazz artist as W. Royal Stokes. As a reviewer, feature writer, public radio host, and author, Stokes has spent three decades covering the jazz scene. Now he draws on that rich store of knowledge and friendship to introduce us to the jazz life.
In some forty interviews with saxophonists, pianists, singers, composers, and string, brass, and rhythm players, Stokes illuminates the lives of the artists and the sheer pleasure of the sounds they create. Stokes paints a vivid portrait of jazz musicians--bringing to life their influences, their careers, and their art. We hear firsthand how they became interested in jazz and how they emerged onto the jazz scene. Stokes ranges across the globe in his interviews, introducing us to vaudeville stars, blues musicians, and a dozen women instrumentalists--like the acclaimed violinist Regina Carter--from the many who now shine on a stage where they were once limited to vocals alone. From legendary veterans Jackie McLean and Louie Bellson to such rising stars as Diana Krall, Cyrus Chestnut, and Ingrid Jensen, Stokes gathers together the brightest lights in the jazz firmament, capturing not only the life of the musician, but how the musician gives life to jazz.