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A Thousand Honey Creeks Later: My Life from Basie to Motown by Preston Love

This is the latest and, I believe, the best of the books written by jazz musicians. Most of them, particularly those by Bill Coleman, Drew Page, and Harry Dial, are rewarding in one way or another. All of these men, including Preston Love, came up in the years before World War II and gained experience working in local bands, then territory outfits, and finally on the national stage as members of some of the greatest bands of that era. Except for this memoir by Preston Love, all of these books have an as-told-to aura, which is not necessarily bad considering the almost total recall for news, dates and places that prove so valuable to the historian trying to assemble events years later.

In Mr. Love’s case – perhaps because he is a decade or more younger than the other men – are drawn in by his incisive portraits of the players and leaders with whom he came in contact. His book is more useful than the others if, for no other reason than he continued to have a high profile career long after the big band era was over and therefore brings the narrative to recent time.

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