by Alwyn Dow



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 1/23/2020

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 222
ISBN : 9781490799414
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 222
ISBN : 9781490799421

About the Book

I suppose it is inevitable that a jazz musician would want to ‘blow his own trumpet,’ but I truly believe that this novel contains such a detailed insight into the drama that unfolds, that it could not have possibly been written by someone else. The story is about social politics in America and beyond during the twentieth century, as seen through the lives of a family of jazz musicians. Their work takes them into areas where racism and bigotry abound not only in the States but abroad too, but, ‘The music goes round and around,’ despite their misgivings. Their recordings provide the ‘pictures’ on an otherwise blank canvas, for without them there would be only hear say. Their story is taken up by two reporters who finally get to the bottom of a racist conspiracy on the other side of the world. It follows that a knowledge and empathy with the past is all important in a story such as this. I’m an historian and retired teacher of politics as well as being a part-time jazz musician, and I have just concluded a radio show called ‘Jazz Dreams.’ I’ve come across racism in many different guises and in many corners of the Globe during my lifetime, and I know how insidious it can be. In this story I have tried to explain how important it is that individuals take personal responsibility and confront it. That takes courage and the book is about this also. A recent visit to New Zealand including Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound gave me the idea for a perfect hiding place. (Bond meets Lord of the Rings perhaps?) ‘It was good to read your book. Your thoughts on the pitfalls and perils of jazz are very well made. I will be depositing a copy in the UK national jazz archive.’ Digby Fairweather (trumpeter, writer and broadcaster.) ‘My uncle Lou would have been really pleased to see his band amongst all the other great British outfits such as Jack Hylton and Roy Fox mentioned in the book.’ Paul Preager Director Colston Hall Bristol. ‘I am pleased to offer my support for this book that tells a story of jazz as only a jazz musician would tell it.’ Acker Bilk MBE and International ‘Stranger on the Shore,’ clarinettist. ‘This book evokes the majesty and the mystery of Otago’s Doubtful Sound Fiord’ Paul Anthony, New Zealand Arts Council. ‘You have reminded us all that the long struggle against racism is far from over. It re-invents itself every generation just like the Hydra.’ David Oakensen, Deputy Mayor of Frome Somerset.

About the Author

Hi. My name’s Alwyn Dow and I’ve been pleased to be known as a jazzman’s ‘Jazzer.’ Here in the UK that is some compliment as it probably refers to that innate sense of timing and the blues that all good jazz players have. In other words technique serves the idea rather than vice versa and that’s just as well as my skills aren’t that great. Highlights of my ‘semi-pro’ life as reedman have included the 100 Club in Oxford Street London but I wasn’t good enough to be asked to Ronnie Scott’s. Now why is he telling us all this I hear you asking. Well it’s because I’ve written a novel entitled A DOUBTFUL SOUND (details attached) that traces the story of jazz in America from 1900-1970 through the eyes of two reporters and a family of jazz musicians as they confront prejudice, racism and crime at all levels. Present are Louis, Miles, Muddy and many more as two generations of the ‘Solidar’ family travel from New Orleans through the Big Band era and onto the temptations of Hollywood starlets, as Bebop and West Coast jazz take hold. The reporters Jed and Gina are trying to expose a virulent racist group that seems to operate freely across continents only to be finally cornered in New Zealand’s Doubtful Sound.