Let the Good Times Roll: The Story of Louis Jordan and His Music
by John Chilton
Chilton's thorough biography covers all Jordan's personae, even though
Chilton considers Jordan's music to be of primary importance. Thus, Chilton
extensively details just about everyone Jordan played with, how his style
evolved, and who influenced his playing, and he provides knowing analysis
and criticism of Jordan's recordings.
Although Chilton uses the testimony
of Jordan's friends and relatives to limn his personality, deeper investigation
of his psyche is largely absent. Even so, Chilton tells fascinating
stories of the swinging "battles" between big bands and the struggles of touring
in the South, still very segregated during Jordan's heyday. Here, as in
his biographies of Coleman Hawkins and Sidney Bechet, Chilton demonstrates
that he may be the most meticulous of jazz biographers.
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