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This is an insightful and revealing look at the blues roots of the New Orleans Jazz sound. The book Jazzmen (1939) claimed New Orleans as the birthplace of jazz and introduced the legend of Buddy Bolden as the "First Man of Jazz." Much of the information that the book relied on came from a highly controversial source: Bunk Johnson. He claimed to have played with Bolden and that together they had pioneered jazz. Johnson made many recordings talking about and playing the music of the Bolden era. These recordings have been treated with scepticism because of doubts about Johnson's credibility. Using oral histories, the Jazzmen interview notes, and unpublished archive material, this book confirms that Johnson did play with Bolden, which has profound implications for Johnson's recorded legacy in describing the music of the early years of New Orleans jazz. How early jazz musicians improvised together and how the blues became a part of jazz has until now been a mystery. Part of the reason New Orleans jazz developed as it did is that all the prominent jazz pioneers, including Buddy Bolden, Bunk Johnson, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Johnny Dodds, and Kid Ory, sang in barbershop (or barroom) quartets. This book describes in both historical and musical terms how the practices of quartet singing were converted to the instruments of a jazz band, and how this, in turn, produced collectively improvised, blues-inflected jazz, that unique sound of New Orleans.