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(ARMSTRONG, Louis.) RAMSEY, Frederic, & Charles Edward Smith.


Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York , 1939 Stock Code: 80062
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First edition, this copy inscribed on the half-title, in characteristic green ink, by Louis Armstrong, "Best wishes to Louise from Louis Armstrong", and with a gift inscription to this recipient to the front free endpaper, dated in the year of publication. A classic jazz history, Jazzmen was one of the earliest books published in the US to treat jazz as worthy of serious cultural, historical and critical appreciation. A pioneering study which featured, in jazz critic John Gennari's words, "intelligent musical analysis of lasting value" written by some of the best jazz writers of the era, the book had a broad appeal beyond the world of jazz specialists which hinged "on its qualities as an adventure story", written in an "American vernacular prose style set in notably picturesque urban neighbourhoods". The innovative use of extensive oral interviews with most of the musicians discussed only added to the book's sense of authenticity. There could be no more appropriate signer of this book than the great trumpeter Louis Armstrong, whose photograph graces the dust jacket, and who is the central figure in this "adventure story" of early jazz; chapter five of Jazzmen, is devoted entirely to Armstrong, a lengthy appreciation of his work by early jazz scholar William Russell.

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Octavo. Original tan cloth, lettered in blue. With the dust jacket.


32 plates from photographs.


Cloth a little stained, spine tanned, endpapers browned towards the gutter, light toning else, jacket clipped on the front flap, but showing the price of $2.75 on the lower, wearing on the folds and chipping head and tail of the spine, a very good copy.


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