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Jazz Texts Reprinted by Continuum

There’s nothing quite like reading descriptions of great musicians and important events from people who heard and saw them. Recognizing this, Continuum Books has started a new series called Bayou Jazz Lives, which will bring back into print some of the most outstanding examples of firsthand testimony about the history of jazz and blues.

The series will present biographies and autobiographies, with an emphasis on the latter category. While the texts themselves are accessible to casual jazz listeners, the extensive annotations and discographies in many of the books will make them useful to scholars as well.

Continuum has already released three books in the series. The first, Teddy Wilson Talks Jazz (pictured left), combines various interviews with the preeminent swing pianist and an autobiography Wilson wrote between 1976 and 1978. He vividly describes such collaborators as Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday and Lester Young. Marshal Royal: Jazz Survivor features the saxophonist telling Claire P. Gordon of his days as lead alto with Count Basie’s band. And Danny Barker, as well-known for his storytelling as his playing, recounts a jazz life in New Orleans in the second volume of his memoirs, Buddy Bolden and the Last Days of Storyville. All of these books received praise on their first printings, and Continuum should be commended for its enterprise in returning them to print.

For more information on the Bayou Jazz Lives series, visit

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