Szatmary, David

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PREMIUM

The Search for John Lennon: The Life, Loves, and Death of a Rock Star

Though conducting many interviews, Jones offers few new insights; relies on generalizations, unfounded suppositions, and speculation; and writes in a cliché-ridden, offhand style. Readers would be better served by Ray Connolly’s Being John Lennon: A Restless Life.
PREMIUM

The Seekers: Meetings With Remarkable Musicians (and Other Artists)

Though some chapters (musician Bob Marley, poet Robert Bly) are more convincing than others (actor Jerry Lee Lewis), this intriguing work stands well alongside the author’s other memoirs, such as Riders on the Storm and The Doors Unhinged. General readers and rock aficionados will find it fascinating.
PREMIUM

The Beatles 101: A Pocket Guide in 101 Moments, Songs, People and Places

Though not writing for aficionados who undoubtedly have pored over the hundreds of detailed books and firsthand accounts about the Beatles, Reilly offers a breezy, heavily illustrated romp through Beatles history for listeners who might not know much about the iconic group.
PREMIUM

Woody Guthrie: An Intimate Life

Though sometimes unable to explain the chasm between Guthrie’s words and actions, the author offers a well-researched addition to the Guthrie bibliography for general readers that complements Joe Klein’s standard biography, Woody Guthrie: A Life.

LJ Talks to Ricky Riccardi, Author of "Heart Full of Rhythm: The Big Band Years of Louis Armstrong"

PREMIUM

I Don’t Like the Blues: Race, Place, and the Backbeat of Black Life

Foster’s thoughtful and well-researched look at race and the blues via an exploration of a distressed and declining Southern rural town will be useful to music and sociology academics.
PREMIUM

Whose Blues? Facing Up to Race and the Future of the Music

Extremely knowledgeable but a bit overly academic, Gussow ably details the African American core of the blues and the shifting racial dynamics that have made the music so compelling to white Americans and blues fans in other cultures. Blues scholars will find the book illuminating.
PREMIUM

Heart Full of Rhythm: The Big Band Years of Louis Armstrong

Though sometimes overly enthusiastic about Armstrong and presenting more detail than most general readers need, Riccardi produces a meticulously researched but readable account that jazz fans will embrace as a standard work about the iconic trumpeter. [See Q&A, p. 69.]
PREMIUM

Jazz: Race and Social Change (1870–2019)

Great for readers who have a basic knowledge of American history and seek to deepen that knowledge through the incorporation of jazz history.
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