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Stan Levey : Jazz Heavyweight, The Authorized Biography (Hardcover) (Frank R. Hayde)

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Stan Levey is widely considered to be one of the most influential drummers in the history of modern jazz. During his extraordinary career, the self-taught Levey played alongside a who’s who of twentieth century jazz artists: Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, Art Tatum, Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon, Lester Young, Thelonius Monk, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Ella Fitzgeraldthe remarkable list goes on and on, and includes dozens of the most distinguished names in the annals of jazz and popular music.Jazz Heavyweight follows the prolific and colorful life of Levey, from his childhood days in rough-and-tumble North Philadelphia as the son of a boxing promoter and manager with ties to the mob, to his first gig as a drummer for Dizzy Gillespie at the tender age of 16, through his meteoric rise as one of the most sought after sidemen in the world of bebop, to his membership in the Lighthouse All-Stars and his prominent role in the creation of West Coast Jazz.In between, author Frank R. Hayde, using Levey’s own words in what is part-oral history, part-biography, offers the reader a multitude of colorful stories, including: Levey’s experiences in the world of Mafia-controlled boxing (he fought at Madison Square Garden, was once one of the preliminary bouts at the Polo Grounds when Joe Louis was the headliner, and, in the face of threats from the mob, even had to take the proverbial dive”); his close friendship with his roommate Charlie Parker (Levey was the only person who owed Bird money when he passed away at the tragically young age of 34); his relationship with another friend, Miles Davis (Levey taught Davis how to box, and Miles became a life-long fight fan); his ****** bust, imprisonment, and subsequent redemption; and his international tours with such superstars as Stan Kenton, Ella Fitzgerald, and Peggy Lee.Jazz Heavyweight is one of the few books to offer a true insider’s view of some of the most pivotal events in the history of jazz. First-hand accounts of Levey’s tenure as the backbone of what jazz critic Leonard Feather called the first genuine all-bebop group to play on 52nd Street” provide fresh insights into that ground-breaking band. Levey’s legendary trip to California with Gillespie and Parker to introduce bebop to jazz fans in Los Angeles has passed into the realm of the mythic: Bird ended up staying behind, set fire to his hotel room, and was subsequently institutionalized in Camarillo State Mental Hospital.Coinciding with his years anchoring the Lighthouse All-Stars, Levey recorded over two thousand tracks while doing session work with such vocalists as Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, and Barbra Streisand. Levey ended his music career as a prolific player on literally thousands of motion picture and television show soundtracks under the direction of such legendary composers as Lalo Schifrin, Henry Mancini
Number of Pages: 224.0
Genre: Music
Sub-Genre: Genres + Styles / Jazz
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Pgw
Author: Frank R. Hayde
Language: English
Street Date: March 15, 2016
TCIN: 50606369
UPC: 9781595800862
Item Number (DPCI): 248-08-9434

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