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In Search of Buddy Bolden: First Man of Jazz by Donald Marquis

This is a new edition of a book that set a sort of standard for early jazz research when it first appeared in 1978. Before then, far too much New Orleans jazz history was a matter of restating the conclusions of earlier writers and spinning out a few colorful Storyville stories. Marquis took a very different tack, starting with every reference to the legendary creator of jazz and tracking down all the hard evidence relating to his brief, tumultuous life that could be accessed.

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