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A Jazzman's Tale.

A Jazzman's Tale

Annette Johnson


4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406

9781544648910, $24.99, PB, 178pp,

Synopsis: "A Jazzman's Tale" by Annette Johnson is a screenplay memoir of bebop trumpeter and pianist Charles Freeman Lee.

Freeman (as he was better known), was one of the jazzmen who joined the jazz revolution called bebop at Minton's Playhouse and the Paradise Club in Harlem, New York City in the 1950s.

Freeman came out of Wilberforce Collegians, an important band in jazz history formed in 1926 at Wilberforce University in Ohio, with famous alumni like Benny Carter, Frank Foster and Ben Webster. He played with Thelonious Monk, James Moody, Sonny Stitt and others in the bebop era and made two albums with bebop pianist, Elmo Hope, and ex Wilberforce Collegians bandmate, saxophonist, Frank Foster.

"A Jazzman's Tale" had its origin in an interview with Freeman in Paris in 1993 and contains verbatim excerpts from the interview and is full of jazzitude (a trademarked term meaning jazz slang and improvisational storytelling) adding another layer of texture to the narrative of this screenplay memoir.

As a bonus, "A Jazzman's Tale" includes an interview with Freeman by his sister, Professor Jane Lee Ball where he shares his ideas on bebop, jazz and musicians like Charley Parker, Thelonious Monk, Elmo Hope, Bud Powell and Billie Holiday with humor and wit.

Several beautiful vintage photographs show Freeman as a young jazzman and students at Wilberforce University between 1895 and 1965.

Critique: Uniquely informed and informative, "A Jazzman's Tale" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library American Music History and American Biography collections--and a 'must' read for all dedicated jazz fans!

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Publication:Small Press Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Nov 1, 2018
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