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Heaven on the Side

A Jazz Life
  • Published: April 2001
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 322
  • Size: 5.5x8.5
  • ISBN: 9780738856025

A survey of a lifetime’s passionate involvement with jazz, this unique book traces the experiences of one man as enthusiast, listener, player and, on a modest scale, commentator on America’s chief contribution to the world’s music. It renders in a fresh and original way the actual experience—including the mechanics—of listening to jazz and of playing it, with special emphasis on various lifestyles in the minor leagues, where the majority of jazz is actually played. Though essentially a book of personalities and anecdotes, Heaven On the Side also traces the development of the writer’s tastes from narrowly partisan to broadly inclusive. Its concluding chapters take a close but deeply affectionate look at the state of jazz after a century of existence, and offer constructive suggestions about its future

“Jazz takes all kinds,” writes James Leigh. “Going on sixty years ago it took me, and never let go, and it was mutual.” Earning his living variously as a journalist, a teacher, a writer of novels or—for several years—as a musician, Leigh has known, heard, and played with many scores of players, a few of them famous, but mostly unknown. His close acquaintances among jazz musicians have ranged in style from Turk Murphy to Bill Evans. As listener and player he was immersed in the San Francisco Bay area jazz scene through the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. The ‘80s saw him in Europe, writing, teaching and playing music, in the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and Sweden. He lives now in Southern California, where he plays with five bands. He writes reviews, articles, and a monthly column, for the Mississippi Rag™.

Buy This Book

Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
Price: $22.99

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