The Schmooze

Jazz Jews in Excelsis

Those eager to hear the Latin jazz maestro Larry Harlow, whose Yiddishkeit was explored in the Forward last year, at his much-anticipated August 14 Lincoln Center concert, can stave off their impatience for “El Judio Maravilloso” with an exuberant new compendium from Five Leaves Publications, “Jazz Jews.”

In the book, British journalist and indefatigable researcher Mike Gerber discusses superstars like Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Lee Konitz and Stan Getz, as well as many under-celebrated talents.

“Jazz Jews” scotches rumors of Goodman’s “exploiting” African American musicians and arrangers, for example, pointing out that Goodman did much to integrate jazz. Gerber also gets ultra-specific in this roomy tome, pointing to a particular 1928 Goodman recording of “That’s A-Plenty” as being influenced by the klezmer aesthetic of Naftule Brandwein.

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Jazz Jews in Excelsis

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