Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

1929

Posted on

1929

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Frederick Turner
genre:
Fiction

We gave it a B+

The brief and brilliant career of cornetist Bix Beiderbecke — who drank himself to death at 28, in 1931 –is jazz legend. Here, Turner fills in the tale with mostly fictional details that bear not just the grip of good drama but the rhythm and spirit of the ”hot jazz” Beiderbecke played. Drawn in by the memories of a former road manager as he sits on Bix’s grave, we’re transported to Depression-era Chicago run by nicknamed gangsters: ”With Capone hiding out, Greasy Thumb holds the fort at the Metropole while Decent Dever thunders from the mayor’s office…” Then on to Hollywood, in tumult over ”talkies.” Marvelous cameos by Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Maurice Ravel dot a story that darts from scene to scene with the combustible energy of the ’20s.

Comments