Narrating this deeply researched account of early-twentieth-century musicians and organized crime, JD Jackson's engagement gives his performance a "you-are-there" quality that is absolutely infectious. The swagger in his masculine voice sounds at home in the nightclubs and vice districts the author describes, but it's an understated swagger that doesn't seek attention as much as it respects the author's excellent work. Jackson empathizes with early jazz musicians like Fats Waller and many others who suffered bellicose club owners and violent crime bosses to express their art. These musicians feared mobsters like Al Capone, who the author says acted like plantation owners. It's a story not widely told but worth knowing about pop music culture, mobsters, and the resilience of Black artists. T.W. © AudioFile 2022, Portland, Maine [Published: SEPTEMBER 2022]
Trade Ed. Harper Audio 2022
DD ISBN 9780063031449 $31.99
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