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Bix: The Definitive Biography of a Jazz Legend
"You can tell the whole world: there ll never be another Bix Beiderbecke. Take that from Satchmo! He was a born genius " Louis Armstrong Bix Beiderbecke is one of jazz music s most enigmatic figures, and he has captivated listeners since his career began in the 1920s. He died at just 28, leaving many loose ends and inspiring much speculation. This book aims to clarify many ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 24th 2005 by Continuum
(first published 2004)
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Bix is the go-to biography for anyone wanting to dig into the short and tragic life of the Davenport native. Leon uses the words of Bix's contemporaries and friends to show Bix at his greatest: on the stage with a cornet in his hands. His worst: drowning his insecurities in endless bottles of gin. The jazz band's nomatic lifestyle in the 1920s coupled with the instability of employment and the illegal, but free flowing liquor only compounded Bix's problems. By the book's conclusion, I understood ...more
The definitive biography of Bix Beiderbecke has been out of print for 30 years, and finally, FINALLY, there is a worthy replacement. Lion has condensed and clarified much of the scholarship on the early jazz cornetist, adding some of his own, and published it in a beautifully laid out edition. This is a must for Beiderbecke fans.
Beautiful and heartbreaking. Lion writes brilliantly about Bix's recordings, and unflinchingly details his sad decline. The Jazz Age as it was experienced at street level by working musicians, not the romantic Gatsby picture. Maybe the best music bio I've read.