TOMMY DORSEY is a memorable reading experience, a fine biography that reveals the grit, shine, and polish of one of the greatest of the Big Band era leaders. There are some things that will shock you, other items to delight you, but one thing is certain...there is never a dull moment in this well-researched biography.
The people come alive in the book, and each one has a story and a place in time unique to him or her. The photographs are excellent and add further dimension to the people involved with Tommy Dorsey.
That Tommy Dorsey was a jazz giant in the swing mode is a definitive fact! Tommy Dorsey had a style with his soaring trombone that influenced a generation. Life starts for Tommy Dorsey with his unusual childhood in the coal mining towns of Pennsylvania. He was truly a product of the jazz age. He and his brother Jimmy created one of the most popular bands of their time, and played with such jazz giants as Bing Crosby and Glenn Miller. They helped launched the singing career of Frank Sinatra. Eventually, the brothers split and went out on their own, each becoming famous in his own special way.
Levinson is a fine writer, and he reveals the eccentric lifestyle of Tommy Dorsey. Dorsey had three things which interested him most: Drink, women, and perfection.
Following the acknowledgments, there are nine chapters with notes and index. Each chapter looks at a different time in Tommy Dorseys life and what was happening to and around him. Chapter nine the Epilogue is insightful in its summing up. The centennial of Tommy Dorsey's birth is November 19 2005.
One appealing aspect of many in this book is the story of Tommy Dorsey's childhood and his determination to succeed in music. This is without doubt one of the finest biographies around.
This would be a great book to have your local librarian order for your public library a great gift for a friend and an excellent reference biography to have in your home library. Everything about this book is first rate and top notch. You will not be disappointed!
Without spoiling the reader's surprise no comment will be made on how Tommy Dorsey actually died. It will shock sadden and amaze you to learn the true facts behind his death. For one of the best biography reading experiences in 2005 read Peter J. Levinson's TOMMY DORSEY. The book will come alive for you and you will feel as if you lived it from beginning to end. Congratulations to Levinson for a well-written book.
Peter J. Levinson is also the author of Trumpet Blues: The Life of Harry James and September in the Rain: The Life of Nelson Riddle. He lives in Malibu California.