David Griffiths interviewed over 30 jazz artists in compiling Hot Jazz. The majority of those interviewed are the important, and oft-overlooked, side-men of the Big Bands of the Thirties and Forties, including Greely Walton, Bill Dillard, Lester Boone, Barclay Draper, Harvey Davis. There are also interviews with band leader Earle Howard and composer Walter Bishop Sr. They all vividly describe the atmosphere and ambience of the Swing Era. Accounts from artists outside the Harlem jazz scene, such as Chicago blues-man Curtis Jones, vocalist Blanche Finlay, and blues singer Lizzie Miles, are also included. Interviewed by Griffiths, these artists describe their background and musical training. They describe the pleasures and sufferings of jazz life, and share memories of Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, and Duke Ellington. These voices from the past and the present merge into a colorful account of one of America's brightest points in musical history. Hot Jazz also contains 18 photographs.
About the Author
David Griffiths has been contributing, for the past fifteen years, a weekly jazz column to the South Wales Evening Post. His articles have also appeared in Storyville, The Mississippi Rag, and Jazz Journal.