David Foster Wallace, author of the novel Infinite Jest & numerous long essays that depicted the wide, strange breadth of modern life, has died at the age of 46
The last known installment of J.D. Salinger's Glass family saga.
Richard Twardzik, the rather haunted-looking pianist who was a mainstay of the Boston jazz scene in the early 1950s, recorded only once as a leader before dying at the age of 24 during a European tour with Chet Baker. His quirky, fluid style, influenced by Bud Powell and Art Tatum and sprinkled with touches of dissonance and classical music, has led some to compare him to fellow 1950s iconoclasts Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols. Now Bouncin’ With Bartok, a long-awaited study of pianist’s life and recordings written by Jack Chambers…
Novelist Nelson Algren and singer Billie Holiday are two iconic figures of mid-20th-century American culture, though Holiday is surely better-known than Algren.
Brian Morton, co-author of numerous editions of the Penguin Guide to Jazz, will be publishing a biography of multi-instrumentalist Eric Dolphy in June 2009.
(Note: an extended audio file version includes an interview with Ray Boomhower and clips of Robert Kennedy speaking during the 1968 campaign)
“Indiana can help choose a president.” Those words, which may have a surprising relevance this year, were used by Senator Robert Kennedy to open speeches when he launched his campaign for the presidency in Indiana. In his new book, Robert Kennedy and the 1968 Indiana Primary, Ray Boomhower provides the inside stories of how the New York senator scored an unlikely victory in the heart of the Midwest.
Around this joint we are big fans of the jazz writer Larry Kart and his book, Jazz in Search of Itself. As I’ve noted in our store section, Kart, who worked at Downbeat and was a longtime reviewer for the Chicago Tribune, “is not just a good critic–he’s a very good writer, whether he’s discussing Wynton Marsalis and the so-called ‘neocon’ musicians, Lennie Tristano…
Reading Norman Mailer while at sea--literally and existentially.
That’s my way of preparation–to not be prepared. And that takes a lot of preparation!–alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, from the new book Lee Konitz: Conversations on the Improviser’s Art. You can read an online excerpt here.
Ross Lockridge Jr.'s 1948 novel had just topped the bestseller charts when the author committed suicide.