Song for My Fathers: A New Orleans Story in Black and

Tom SanctonTom Sancton narrates the Other Press book Song for My Fathers A New Orleans Story in Black and White Set against the segregated backdrop of the 50 s 60 s Jim Crow era, the book tells a remarkable story of a white kid in New Orleans learning life s lessons not only from his eccentric father but from the many old black jazzmen he befriends at Preservation Hall in the French Quarter Characters like Sweet Emma and George Lewis, and places like Blandin s Funeral Home, Luthjen s and Tom SanctonTom Sancton narrates the Other Press book Song for My Fathers A New Orleans Story in Black and White Set against the segregated backdrop of the 50 s 60 s Jim Crow era, the book tells a remarkable story of a white kid in New Orleans learning life s lessons not only from his eccentric father but from the many old black jazzmen he befriends at Preservation Hall in the French Quarter Characters like Sweet Emma and George Lewis, and places like Blandin s Funeral Home, Luthjen s and Central Lockup come to life as a young clarinetist comes of age Like a jazz funeral, the tale is poignant and celebratory, capturing the music and characters of an era and a Crescent City that has long been buried and passed into legend Sancton wrote the book after leaving town reluctantly to attend both Harvard Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, becoming Time s Paris Bureau Chief for over two decades and abandoning the mens and the traditional jazz he loved as a teen He has since returned to New Orleans as of 2008, holding the title Andrew W Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Tulane As a lover of music, jazz especially, and classic jazz evenespecially, this book spoke to me on many levels Sancton, although largely either indifferent of unaware of the social conventions of the day, crossed many layers of color line in order to learn from the people who were as close as possible to the beginnings of jazz Whether he was aware at the time or not, it was an incredibly brave thing to do He tells the story vividly, and it is very easy to put oneself in his place I would As a lover of music, jazz especially, and classic jazz evenespecially, this book spoke to me on many levels Sancton, although largely either indifferent of unaware of the social conventions of the day, crossed many layers of color line in order to learn from the people who were as close as possible to the beginnings of jazz Whether he was aware at the time or not, it was an incredibly brave thing to do He tells the story vividly, and it is very easy to put oneself in his place I would recommend this book certainly to anyone with an interest in New Orleans jazz, but also to historians of the civil rights movement.The narrative involving his father would ordinarily distract from the rest, but Sancton weaves it in seamlessly, and indeed show his father s importance in both the music arc and the civil rights arc For the sake of mentioning it, the Copy that I read is an advance uncorrected proof I noted several printing glitches, but only one editing error quite near the end No matter Sancton skirts around what could have been a fascinating story about race in the civil rights era in New Orleans an already racially fascinating city but never quite delves in. Memoir of a white musician and his apprenticeship with black musicians while growing up in New Orleans If you are interested in the city or its music, I would recommend it. There are numerous photos included Not especially well written, but this memoir captures a spectacular place at a crucial time, when the New Orleans jazz scene began evolving to adapt to tourism and the old way remained dedicated to its craft Because of that, this memoir is part history lesson The author as a character is merely a vehicle in which the reader gains access to a collection of bygone musicians who are worth remembering. Tulane choice for 2006, memoir of Sancton s childhood growing up as son of middle class liberal learning from and playing with jazz greats including George Lewis at Preservation Hall night after night throughout highschool Wonderful period piece. Got a little chocked up reading the last line Great book If good ol New Orleans jazz don t do nothin for you, don t read this book. Song for My Fathers: A New Orleans Story in Black and White


About the Author: Tom Sancton

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