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Bassically Speaking

An Oral History of George Duvivier

Edward Berger and David Chevan

"Both as a person and as a musician, he was number one in my book." —Benny Carter

Bassist George Duvivier (1920-1985) was one of the most universally respected musicians in jazz. His impeccable musicianship graced the big bands in the 1940s and led to musical associations with virtually every important jazz and popular artist. His prolific recording career spanned all styles of music, from Eubie Blake to Eric Dolphy, Billie Holiday to Barry Manilow.

Duvivier was a most astute and articulate observer of the musical scene. A large part of this book is devoted to his own reflections on growing up in Harlem in the 1920s and 1930s, the evolution of the bass, life in the commercial studios, and his memories of close associates—Coleman Hawkins, Jimmie Lunceford, Bud Powell, Lena Horne, and many others. In addition, twenty of Duvivier's colleagues, including Louie Bellson, Ron Carter, Milt Hinton, Ed Shaughnessy, Arthur Taylor, and Joe Wilder, have contributed, covering a variety of musical and social issues, as well as providing a loving portrait of an extraordinary artist. Duvivier's musical style is discussed by David Chevan, who has included transcriptions of several solos. An extensive discography/solography traces Duvivier's incredibly diverse recording career. With dozens of previously unpublished photos.
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Scarecrow Press
Pages: 514Size: 6 x 9
978-0-8108-2691-5 • Hardback • October 1993 • $97.00 • (£65.00)
Series: Studies in Jazz
Edward Berger is Assistant Director, Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University and co-editor of Scarecrow's Studies in Jazz series. He is co-author of Benny Carter: A Life in American Music and Teddy Reig's biography, Reminiscing in Tempo (vols. 1 and 10 in the series) and co-editor and frequent contributor to the Annual Review of Jazz Studies.

David Chevan, a bassist and doctoral candidate in musiclolgy at the Graduate Center, CUNY, has published articles in The Black Perspective in Music and Black Music Research Journal.
We owe our thanks to jazz historian Edward Berger for this new book...
Bass Player

...very illuminating and intriguing book...interviews and information are so well done you just grow with the man from his childhood and develop a kinship...
Victory Review

Duvivier's legacy can now be passed on to others via this comprehensive effort...should be required reading by all jazz scholars...
The Magazine For The Modern Bassist

..a brilliant, living study of one of the finest, most revered, totally professional and experienced bass players ever to illuminate the jazz firmament...an inspired format...This study is complete.
Crescendo & Jazz Music

...many great, inside stories...this is one of the indispensable jazz books.
JazzTimes Magazine

A fine memorial - organized in an interesting and illuminating form, and gives a true picture of a fascinating musician. Many good photographs are scattered throughout...and...there is a 15-page album of photos from George's infancy to his last years.

...superb...answers many important historical questions and helps separate the myth from the man and music...an essential source...
International Society Of Bassists

...an in-depth study of Duvivier which includes many big names, photographs and a large discography.
Big Bands International

...highly informative yet eloquent history...all libraries should ensure they have a copy. Highly recommended.

This is another in the ever-growing and important series of authoritative books from Scarecrow Press in cooperation with the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies and, like those volumes that have preceded it, will very likely become the definitive book on its subject...the book is informative, factual, and although very entertaining is an invaluable working tool...
The Mississippi Rag

This is a book well worth your time and expenditure.
The IAJRC Journal

...a thoroughly scholarly, yet very warm tribute...