Dameronia

The Life and Music of Tadd Dameron

By Paul Combs; Benny Golson (Foreword by)
(University of Michigan Press, Hardcover, 9780472114139, 264pp.)

Publication Date: November 2012

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Description

"Dameronia" is the first authoritative biography of Tadd Dameron, an important and widely influential figure in jazz history as one of the most significant composers and arrangers of jazz, swing, bebop, and big band. He arranged for names like Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Jimmie Lunceford, and Dizzy Gillespie and played with Bull Moose Jackson and Benny Golson. This book sets out to clarify Dameron's place in the development of jazz in the post World War II era. It also attempts to shed light on the tragedy of his retreat from the center of jazz activity in the 1950s. By tracing Dameron's career, one finds that until 1958, when he was incarcerated for drug related offenses, he was at the forefront of developments in jazz, sometimes anticipating trends that would not develop fully for several years. Dameron was also an important influence on several high-profile musicians, including Miles Davis, Benny Golson, and Frank Foster. Dameron was a very private man, and while in some aspects of his life he will probably remain an enigma, this book manages to give an intimate portrait of his life at a couple of key stages: the height of his career in 1949 and the brief but productive period between his release from prison and his death.




About the Author
Paul Combs was born in Texas on the same day as Stonewall Jackson and Jack Nicklaus. Though not as famous (yet) as those two American giants, he can putt better than Stonewall and lead an infantry charge better than Nicklaus. His ultimate goal (besides being a roadie for the E Street Band) is to make reading, writing, and books in general as popular in Texas as high school football. It may take a while. "The Last Word" is his first novel.

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