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This is a profound and moving adult love story, of a man for his father, his city, the music of that city, and the "mens" with whom he apprenticed in order to learn it. It is a story about race relations, about the human spirit, about family, about memory. It is written with a journalist's eye for detail but with a nice sense of proportion, rhythm, and timing that bespeaks the author's extensive and sophisticated tutelage at the proverbial feet of some of the great jazz musicians of New Orleans. ...more
Oct 01, 2008 Lil Mike rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: American Culture Buffs, Jazz Fans
Tom SanctonTom Sancton narrates the Other Press book "Song for My Fathers: A New Orleans Story in Black and White". Set against the segregated backdrop of the 50's & 60's Jim Crow era, the book tells a remarkable story of a white kid in New Orleans learning life's lessons not only from his eccentric father but from the many old black jazzmen he befriends at Preservation Hall in the French Quarter. Characters like Sweet Emma and George Lewis, and places like Blandin's Funeral Home, Luthjen's ...more
As a lover of music, jazz especially, and classic jazz even more especially, this book spoke to me on many levels. Sancton, although largely either indifferent of unaware of the social conventions of the day, crossed many layers of color line in order to learn from the people who were as close as possible to the beginnings of jazz. Whether he was aware at the time or not, it was an incredibly brave thing to do. He tells the story vividly, and it is very easy to put oneself in his place. I would ...more
Not especially well-written, but this memoir captures a spectacular place at a crucial time, when the New Orleans jazz scene began evolving to adapt to tourism and the old way remained dedicated to its craft. Because of that, this memoir is part history lesson. The author as a character is merely a vehicle in which the reader gains access to a collection of bygone musicians who are worth remembering.
Nov 09, 2007 Ellanor rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in or visiting New Orleans
Tulane choice for 2006, memoir of Sancton’s childhood growing up as son of middle class liberal learning from and playing with jazz greats including George Lewis at Preservation Hall night after night throughout highschool. Wonderful period piece.