Cover image for Drummin' men : the heartbeat of jazz : the bebop years
Drummin' men : the heartbeat of jazz : the bebop years
Korall, Burt.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xi, 308 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bebop -- From swing to bop - the visionaries -- Transitional figures -- Innovators -- Into the 1950s -- Other significant figures
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML399 .B658 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Burt Korall is widely recognized as the most authoritative writer on jazz drumming. His first book Drummin' Men--The Heartbeat of Jazz: The Swing Era is considered a classic. It was praised by Nat Hentoff as "a book that illuminates not only the pantheon of jazz drummers in classic jazz, butmakes clear the very essence of the jazz spirit." Now, in this exciting sequel, Korall offers a richly informative history of drumming in the Bebop era. Bebop--hard driving, discordant, melodically unconventional--introduced new sounds and innovative rhythms that changed the face of jazz. Korall looks at this music through the eyes of the musicians themselves, covering a whole range of important jazz drummers, but focusing upon the mostoriginal and significant--principally Kenny Clarke, Max Roach, and Art Blakey. Korall provides a knowledgeable background about the history of bebop--and the unfortunate and almost universal heroin addiction that swept through the jazz world in the wake of Charlie Parker's habit. The book containsKorall's own memoir of nearly 50 years in the jazz world, linked by his narrative of the careers of these drummers and their place in the bebop jazz scene. But the most remarkable aspect of the book is the oral history that weaves together the stories of the drummers themselves as well as theirfriends and contemporaries. This is one of the most readable jazz histories in recent years, as well as one of the most authoritative and significant. It takes readers inside the heads of the men who drove the beat, to convey the excitement and originality of the bebop era.

Author Notes

Burt Korall, himself a jazz drummer, is a music business veteran and jazz authority who has written on jazz for The New York Times, Village Voice, Modern Drummer, and a number of other jazz publications. He has been Director of Special Assignments at BMI and is currently founder and directorof the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop. He lives in Mount Vernon, New York.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

The drummer is one of the jazz band's most important members, providing the energy, pulse, and drive that can make or break a unit. Korall illuminates these points and more in his latest offering, a fine follow-up to his Drummin' Men: The Heartbeat of Jazz; The Swing Years, which was published in 1990. A jazz authority whose writings have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Modern Drummer, and the Village Voice, Korall is also a jazz drummer and can thus talk knowledgeably about various stylistic aspects of drumming. As in his previous work, he uses interviews with musicians to address various key artists and concepts. It's hardly surprising that drummers Art Blakey, Max Roach, Kenny Clarke, and Roy Haynes are included, but the unexpected coverage of artists like Tiny Kahn, Stan Levey, Shadow Wilson, and Don Lamond provide diversity and a greater understanding of how bop drumming evolved. While there is some overlap between the two books, Korall's latest offering is no carbon copy. It is a readable tome that would appeal to jazz enthusiasts and jazz scholars alike. Recommended for academic and public libraries with a jazz interest. Ronald S. Russ, Arkansas State Univ., Beebe (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.