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Murder at the Powderhorn Ranch
by Donald Bain.
Taking a break from flying lessons, Jessica Fletcher heads for a holiday in Colorado to visit old friends from Cabot Cove. Also staying at the ranch are the Morrison family and the Molloys, who Jessica realizes are at odds with one another. Then Paul Molloy is found murdered.
by Ben Ratliff
New York Times jazz critic analyzes the performance style of saxophonist John Coltrane (1926-1967), from his 1946 recordings as a navy bandsman and 1950s improvisational experimentation to his 1961 breakthrough song, “My Favorite Things.” Discusses Coltrane’s openness to other cultures and influence on other musicians. Some strong language.
Music is my Mistress
by Edward Kennedy Ellington
Autobiography of bandleader, composer, and jazz musician Duke Ellington (1899-1974). Describes Ellington’s childhood in Washington, D.C., his fellow artists, his 1923 arrival in New York City, subsequent worldwide tours, and his philosophy of life.
Moondog, the Viking of 6th Avenue
by Robert Scotto
Biography of musician Moondog, Louis Thomas Hardin Jr. (1916-1999), who was blinded at age sixteen. Discusses his rise from being a Viking-garbed, homeless street musician in New York City in the 1960s to becoming a Columbia Records pop-music sensation and master composer for European orchestras.
In War Times
by Kathleen Ann Goonan
1941. Jazz-loving army soldier Sam Dance studies theoretical physics. A mysterious female instructor seduces Sam and gives him plans for a device that could change history. Sam goes on to fight a war and eventually builds the device to no apparent avail–until alternate realities converge.
The Blue Door
by David Fulmer
Philadelphia, 1962. PI Sal Giambroni hires former boxer Eddie Cero as an assistant. As Eddie launches his own investigation into the 1959 disappearance of African American rhythm-and-blues singer Johnny Pope, he falls in love with Johnny’s sister Valerie, who is also a musician. Violence and strong language.
by Ted Gioia
Depicts the history of the African American musical form known as the blues, chronicling its birth in the Mississippi Delta and migration to Chicago. Highlights the influence of Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, and other contributors.
Six Tales of the Jazz Age, and Other Stories
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Nine short stories by the author of The Great Gatsby (BR 11057). Includes “The Camel’s Back,” “Hot and Cold Blood,” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” a tale about a man who ages backwards that inspired a Hollywood movie.
W.C. Handy: the life and times of the man who made the blues by David Robertson
Biography of William Christopher Handy (1873-1958) traces his Alabama childhood during Reconstruction, his musical training, and his early career performing in ragtime and vaudeville venues. Highlights Handy’s ability to write scores and publish commercially, his relocation to Memphis and then Harlem, and the accident that blinded him.
Becoming Billie Holiday
by Carole Boston Weatherford
Jazz vocalist Billie Holiday (1915-1959) reflects on her early years in this fictional memoir written in verse. In “I Can’t Face the Music” Billie overcomes stage fright. In “Trav’lin’ Light,” her songs are her home. Some violence and some strong language. Coretta Scott King Honor.
by Cloris Leachman
Award-winning actress describes her Des Moines childhood and her career, including her role as Phyllis on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She discusses her five children, marriage to producer George Englund, famous friends, and experience performing on Dancing with the Stars at age eighty-two. Some strong language.
That Devil’s No Friend of Mine
by J. D. Mason
The death of a popular mortician exposes his manipulative and controlling nature in life and frees the people closest to him to pursue dreams of intimacy and passion.Bishop’s married friend and business partner Lamar pursues Bishop’s grown daughter. Blues singer Rayne confronts addiction. Boxer Cole struggles with his wife. But a newcomer could change everything. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex.
Moon River and me
by Andy Williams
Autobiography of singer Andy Williams, born in Iowa in 1927, who began his career performing with his brothers. Williams describes his rise to fame as a solo act on television shows and in Las Vegas. Discusses his early marriage to French dancer Claudine Longet and his friendship with the Kennedys.
Hurricane Song by Paul Volponi
Sophomore football hopeful Miles Shaw has moved from Chicago to join his father, a jazz musician in New Orleans, when Hurricane Katrina hits. Holed up in the Superdome without electricity or food, they protect each other as gangs attack. Violence and strong language.
by Jeffery Deaver
Two interconnected novellas. In The Chopin Manuscript former military intelligence officer Harold Middleton possesses a handwritten score by musician Frederic Chopin that hides a secret. In The Copper Bracelet Middleton investigates a plot that might lead to nuclear war. Violence, strong language, and some descriptions of sex.
by Robin D.G. Kelley
Chronicles the life of jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Sphere Monk (1917-1982), from his poverty-stricken childhood in North Carolina to his reclusive final years in New York City. Discusses Monk’s musical influences, unique playing style, artistic collaborations, eccentric behavior, and influential oeuvre–much of which became jazz standards.
by Nadine Cohodas
Biography of musician Nina Simone (1933-2003) chronicles her training as a classical pianist, foray into singing and jazz, and rise from Atlantic City clubs to the Newport Jazz Festival and European venues. Discusses Simone’s financial troubles, civil rights involvement, and mental illness that affected her career and personal life.
Pops: a life of Louis Armstrong
by Terry Teachout
Biography of jazz musician Louis Armstrong by a drama critic and former musician. Uses newly available material to portray the trumpeter in the contexts of his time. Traces Armstrong's impoverished childhood in turn-of-the-twentieth-century New Orleans, his ascent in the music world, and his personal life. Some strong language.
When I left home: my story
by Buddy Guy
Legendary blues guitarist Buddy Guy (born 1936) reminisces about growing up as the son of Louisiana sharecroppers, moving to Chicago in 1957 and playing in nightclubs, and working with Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Junior Wells, Eric Clapton, and the Rolling Stones. Strong language.