April 24, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

Blue Bossa

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Bart Schneider
genre
Fiction
We gave it a B+

It’s 1974, and a washed-up San Francisco musician named Ronnie Reboulet has exchanged his trumpet and his heroin habit for golf clubs and a numb relationship with an understanding nurse. At his daughter’s request, Ronnie picks up a trumpet again (then a bottle, a few joints, and, inevitably, a needle). In his uneven but lively first novel, Blue Bossa, Schneider makes us feel the mesmerizing power of Ronnie’s rehabilitated talent and the thrill of his rejuvenated fame. The final hypnotic chapters are too brief, as the musician and the women who love him are beautifully seduced — and in some cases, destroyed — by the jazz life. B+

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