Peggy, Sheila, Herbie & Frank: New Books

Peggy Lee/Herbie HancockThis year, the number of releases of biographical or autobiographical books is pretty strong. I only want to focus on four of them which more or less came out in the last couple of months and which I’m planning to read during the winter season.

“Is That All There Is? The Strange Life Of Peggy Lee” is author James Gavin‘s new topic after his brilliant inside looks into the lives of Lena Horne and Chet Baker. He already received a lot of praise for his new book so I really can’t wait to dig deeper into the world of Miss Peggy Lee.

“Jazz Child: A Portrait Of Sheila Jordan” is Ellen Johnson‘s insightful biography of the now 86 year old singer who in 1962 was the first singer to record on the famous Blue Note label.

There is also the long-awaited biography of Herbie Hancock called “Possibilities” which was written together with Lisa Dickey. Hancock shares his musical influences, colorful behind-the-scenes stories, his long and happy marriage, and how Buddhism inspires him creatively and personally.

And then there’s “A Jazz Master: Frank Foster. An Autobiography”. In his own words, the press release states, Frank chose to reveal the complexities both positive and negative that would tell his story.  His final request to his beloved wife Cecilia was to make certain that his book was published after his death. Frank’s musical career spanned seven decades with a contribution to the Jazz world that will never be forgotten.  He was called a musical genius.

Don’t know where to start reading. Any suggestions?


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