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