"Really The Blues" is the story of a white kid who fell in love with black culture, learning to blow clarinet in the reform schools, brothels and honky-tonks of his youth. Drawn by the revelation of the blues, he followed the music along the jazz avenues of Chicago, New Orleans, and New York, and into the heart of America's soul. Told in the jive lingo of the underground's inner circle, this classic is an unforgettable chronicle of street life, smoky clubs, roadhouse dances, and reefer culture.
First published in 1946, Really the Blues was a rousing wake-up call to alienated young whites to explore black culture and the world of jazz, the first music America could call its own. Their spiritual godfather was Mezzrow, jazz cat, bootlegger, and peddler of the finest gauge in Harlem. Above all, Mezz championed the abandon available to those willing to lose their blues.
Citadel Underground's edition of Really the Blues features a new introduction by Barry Gifford, author of the novel Wild at Heart and co-author of Jack's Book: An Oral Biography of Jack's Kerouac.
"Really the Blues, read at the counter of the counter of the Columbia U Bookstore in mid-forties, was for me the first signal into white culture of the underground black, hip culture that preexisted before ny own generation". -- Allen Ginsberg
"Milton Mezzrow was, is and shall always be the single most important figure in the history of marijuana in America. Like Leary, the Mezz turned on a new generation to a new drug...Mezzrow was 1) the first white Negro, 2) the Johnny Apleseed of weed, 3) the author of a great American autobiography, Really the Blues, the finest eyewitness account of American counterculture everpublished. The book is, likewise, the master-piece of the counterculture's most characteristics literary medium: the slang-laced, jazz-enrhythmed, long-breathed and rhapsodic street rap and rave-up". -- Albert Goldman
"Really the Blues appeared at a fundamental moment in American history, wh
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Mezz Mezzrow (1899–1972) was born Milton Mesirow in Chicago to a Jewish family “as respectable as Sunday morning.” As a teenager, however, he was sent to Pontiac Reformatory for stealing a car; there he learned to play the saxophone and decided to devote his life to the blues. Beginning in the 1920s, he had an intermittent career as a sideman in jazz groups, and struck up friendships with many of the greats of the day, including Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke. Enamored of African American culture, he helped channel it to whiter and wider audiences, backing and producing significant recordings by Frankie Newton, Teddy Wilson, Sidney Bechet, and Tommy Ladnier, among others, and helping to spark the New Orleans revival of the late 1930s. In the 1940s, Mezzrow started his own record label, King Jazz Records. He spent the last years of his life in Paris.
Bernard Wolfe (1915–1985) was born in New Haven and attended Yale University, where he studied psychology. An active member of the labor movement, he moved to Mexico for eight months in 1937 to work as personal secretary and assistant to Leon Trotsky. In subsequent years, Wolfe held disparate jobs—from serving in the Merchant Marines to working as a pornographic novelist to editing Mechanix Illustrated—while writing fiction and science fiction. His best-known work is the 1959 novel The Great Prince Died, a fictional account of Trotsky’s assassination. Among his other books are The Late Risers, In Deep, Limbo, and Logan’s Gone.
Ben Ratliff has been a jazz and pop critic for The New York Times since 1996 and has written four books including The Jazz Ear: Conversations over Music and Coltrane: The Story of a Sound. His latest book is Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty.
“American counter-culture classic Really the Blues [is] a stylized oral history that anticipates the Beat novel...Really the Blues is part quixotic adventure novel, part inside-scoop...Mezzrow’s voice is funny, impulsive, full of itself and often spectacularly scatological....Listening to “Mezz” is tremendous fun...the book’s true literary inheritance is its style...one of the great, flawed, jubilant, jive-talking characters of American literature.” —Martin Riker, The Wall Street Journal
“The mighty Mezz was at once the greatest digger, the greatest chronicler, the greatest celebrator of [jazz] culture, as well as being a principal actor on its main stage and contributor of its most characteristic fragrance—the pungent aroma of burning bush.” —Albert Goldman, High Times
“Mezz Mezzrow’s rambunctious enthusiasm for jazz and the world it shaped and defined keeps the pages turning...The lost world of the Jazz Age comes alive in these pages, replete with all the Chi-town bounce and streetwise braggadocio that came with the risqué territory...Mezzrow’s love of the music and the ‘bandid’ lifestyle is palpable and infectious, giving his story a novelistic verve. In many ways, Mezz is the Augie March of jazz.” —Matt Hanson, The Arts Fuse
“As to the books of Bernard Wolfe, his extraordinary imagination, his range of styles and genres, should alone qualify him for a conspicuous role in 20th-century American literature.” —Thomas Berger
“Really the Blues returns us...to the roots of rock, to the roots certainly of beat and hence to the beginnings of the sixties counterculture through an extended look into the life of a Jewish boy...who turned his back on the middle class and all it had to offer to blow jazz in ‘more creep joints and speakeasies and dancehalls than the law allows.’ ”—Brooke Horvath, Review of Contemporary Fiction
“An intense, sincere and honest book. It makes all the novels with jazz backgrounds seem as phony as an Eddie Condon concert.”—Bucklin Moon, The New Republic
“An autobiography such as was never seen before beneath the moon.”—Ben Ray Redman, The American Mercury
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Descripción Citadel Underground, 2001. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reissue. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0806512059
Descripción Citadel Underground, 2001. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0806512059
Descripción Citadel Underground, 2001. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110806512059
Descripción Citadel Underground. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 0806512059 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.0385653