In the triumphant concluding volume of the trilogy that began with Whistle Guitar and The Spyglass Tree, Albert Murray gives us what is at once an African American coming-of-age novel and a pitch-perfect evocation of a touring jazz band at the height of the Swing era. Murray's hero, Scooter, graduates from an Alabama college and becomes a bass player in an ensemble headed by the legendary Bossman. As Scooter criss-crosses the United States, he and his bandmates find themselves retracing Sherman's march to the sea, the Underground Railroad, and the conquest of the West. The Seven League Boots is nothing less than a jazz epic, so vivid, high-spirited, and infectious that readers will tap their feet to the music of its prose.
"A work of joy, of celebration...a great work of art, a rich and moving song of the human spirit."--Los Angeles Times
"A fictional tale spinner in the grand Southern tradition."--Washington Post Book World
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Jazz and fiction haven't invariably made a happy marriage. Often the jazz element seems incidental--an excuse to set the denouement in a smoky nightclub. Every now and then, however, a book appears in which the very texture of the prose is inseparable from the music, and Albert Murray's The Seven League Boots is a perfect example. The third and penultimate installment in a series, the novel revolves around an Alabama-bred bass player named Scooter. When the story opens, the Swing Era is in full flower. Scooter has just graduated from college, and he's immediately enlisted to play with the Bossman--a pianist and composer with a more-than-casual resemblance to Duke Ellington. Like Ellington's music, Murray's prose is a marvelous mixture of lyrical and gutbucket tonalities. And as the Bossman's orchestra tours the United States, Scooter undertakes a journey of discovery, in which centuries of American history are comically or tragically encapsulated.About the Author:
Albert Murray is the author of The Omni-Americans, Stomping the Blues, The Hero and the Blues, South to a Very Old Place, Conjugations and Reiterations, and From the Briarpatch File. He is the coauthor of Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography of Count Basie and the coeditor of Trading Twelves: The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray. He lives in New York City.
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