AirTalk for August 4, 2010

Gonzo jazz critic chronicles rich jazz scene

Mercer 9400

University of California Press

Nat Hentoff explains his love for jazz in At the Jazz Band Ball

Nat Hentoff was only 11 years old when he became transfixed by jazz. Hentoff walked past a record store in 1936 and heard Artie Shaw’s song “Nightmare” playing. That transformative moment was the beginning of a lifetime chronicling jazz and his relationships with its makers – from giants like Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald to unsung side players. In his new book, At the Jazz Band Ball, Hentoff draws from personal accounts, interweaving music with civil rights, education and family.


Nat Hentoff, author of At the Jazz Band Ball: Sixty Years on the Jazz Scene (University of California Press). He is an internationally-known jazz critic, and the first to be designated a Jazz Master by the NEA. He is a regular contributor to Jazz Times, the Wall Street Journal, and is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

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