Books: The Lost Beat

BLOW UP A STORM (337 pp.)—Garson Kanin—Random House ($3.95).

There is a school of thought which holds that bullfight bores are more deserving of ball-bat anesthesia than jazz bores, but this school is wrong. A bullfight bore may re-enact Manolete's death spasms, but a jazz bore will replay the same Charlie Parker record, with contrapuntal commentary, until his woofer melts. The public ear has been grievously bent, and therefore any novel about jazzmen that is fresh, authentic and ungummed by cultism is an achievement.

Playwright Garson (Born Yesterday) Kanin (rhymes with rain in), a jazz...

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