The May issue of Allegro, the monthly publication of the New York local of the American Federation of Musicians, has reviews by Bill Crow of Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond, the reissue of Gene Lees’ superb biography The Worlds of Lerner and Loewe, and the first volume of Don Rayno’s Paul Whiteman, Pioneer in American Music.
From the review of the Whiteman book, a dart in the side of conventional wisdom:
This account refutes the accusations that accumulated in the jazz press in later years that Whiteman was an exploitative entrepreneur who squelched jazz luminaries in his band like Bix Beiderbecke and Frank Trumbauer. Joe Venuti is quoted as saying, “Don’t ever make fun of Paul Whiteman. He did great things for American music. He took pride in having the finest musicians in the world as sidemen, and he paid the highest salaries ever paid.”
To read the reviews, go here, then scroll down and click on Book Notes.