Buddy Bolden and his fellow musicians, credited as being the pioneers who shaped a musical form from the chants, hollers and working songs of the deep south in the United States of America — that would later be termed “jazz” — would have found it hard to believe that their music would touch distant shores. And find a home there. Just as the Mississippi carried the music all across New Orleans and beyond, the oceans brought jazz to Bombay. Aided by other factors, of course. Leon Abbey and his group, which arrived in 1935 with their brand of “solid swing” to entertain guests at the Taj, were the first all-black band to do so. Among those who were captivated by the music was the young Dosoo Karaka, who would go on to become a journalist and whose writings the author quotes extensively. So enchanted was Karaka by the new sound that he joined in with the musicians and was pulled up for it later! He would, nonetheless, go on to support the art form.
The book covers a little more than three decades of a particular slice of Bombay’s history — from the introduction of jazz when it “was the world’s pop”, till about the time four men from Liverpool were changing the landscape
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