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Final Chorus: New Finds for the Jazz Bookshelf

More than the rest of us who write about jazz, Whitney Balliett’s words describing music often turned into music. Yet the last book he wrote before his death last year was turned down by such mainstream publishers as Oxford University Press (which had published a number of his best-known volumes) and Random House. As a result, in 2006, Whitney’s New York Voices was published by the University of Mississippi Press.

Although some valuable books on jazz survive the deciding committees at American firms, I can attest that it’s getting harder to break through. For a couple of years, I’ve

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Originally Published
Nat Hentoff

Nat Hentoff

Over more than 60 years, Nat Hentoff (1925-2017) wrote about music, politics, and many other subjects for a variety of publications, including DownBeat (which he edited from 1953 to 1957), the Village Voice (where he was a weekly columnist from 1958 to 2009), the Wall Street Journal, and JazzTimes, to which he regularly contributed the Final Chorus column from 1998 to 2012. Of the 32 books that he wrote, co-wrote, or edited, 10 focus on jazz. In 2004, Hentoff became the first recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Jazz Masters award for jazz advocacy.