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The Music Came First
by Jack Smalley
"I had to leave my little band behind when I was drafted into the Army. Two things happened while I was away: Charlie Parker and marijuana." In 1948, US Army veteran Jack Smalley came to Paris, G.I. Bill money burning a hole in his pocket and the restless energy of bebop playing in his ears. He'd escaped his stifling family and returned to "where music had been invented," ...more
Paperback, 252 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by John P Smalley
(first published April 15th 2014)
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Smalley's memoir was an absolute pleasure to read. When I heard Smalley had jammed with jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt I was immediately interested in this book about a summer in post WWII Paris when Smalley had just arrived eager to learn more about music and establish himself as a jazz musician. TMCF made me realize how many assumptions I've made about jazz composition and performance (and history too). Smalley's lucid prose comes with a welcome candor and humility that charms. Jazz fans ...more