Historic Photos of New Orleans Jazz

Wade Luquet By

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Historic Photos of New Orleans Jazz
Thomas L. Morgan
Hardback: 216 pages
Turner Publishing

Covering over 100 years, Historic Photos of New Orleans Jazz utilizes the extensive jazz photography collection of the Louisiana State Museum Jazz Collection to produce a beautiful book of photos that tell the story of jazz in a way words alone cannot.

Jazz historian and WWOZ radio host Tom Morgan has assembled rare photographs and added text and captions that bring the photos to life as he tells the story of jazz in New Orleans in a way only a good historian and storyteller can do. The book contains some 200 pages of beautiful photographs with captions. They are arranged in time order in five chapters, each beginning with a one page description by Morgan of the era to follow.

The book contains many photographs familiar to early jazz fans—cornetist Buddy Bolden's only known photo, from 1909; Louis Armstrong holding his trumpet proud as a young boy in the Municipal Boys Home Band, and various photos of pianist Jelly Roll Morton. There are also photographs of trombnist Kid Ory, cornetists Joseph "King" Oliver and Freddie Keppard, banjoist Johnny St. Cyr and many others from the early jazz era. The book proceeds into later era where Pete Fountain, Tuba Fats, The Neville Brothers, Banu Gibson and Kermit Ruffin are featured.

All the while Morgan, whose past books include From Cakewalks to Concert Halls: An Illustrated History of African American Popular Music: From 1895 to 1930, is telling the story of jazz in New Orleans as only he can. Anyone who listens to his New Orleans Music Show and his Jazz Roots program on WWOZ knows Morgan's extensive knowledge of early jazz. Here he is able to demonstrate his knowledge through both pictures and words, leaving the reader with a thorough knowledge of jazz history in New Orleans.

Historic Photos of New Orleans Jazz is a book that will be enjoyed by both the novice and experienced jazz fan. Its beautiful collection of historic black and white photos will not only decorate a table, but will educate the reader on the history of America's first art form. And as a suggestion, this is a book best read with Louis Armstrong or Jelly Roll Morton playing in the background. It will just make the experience that much better.

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