Show Notes

Nick And Simon talk about the Jazz Novel Blow up a storm published in 1959 [ a seminal year in Jazz history]

This is a first novel by the director, producer and dramatist, Garson Kanin, whose short stories have appeared in Esquire, Vogue and the Atlantic Monthly. Written in the first person and told in flashback this is a dramatist's recollections of his early days in jazz -- during the depression and the close of prohibition. While in Chicago, on tour with his actress wife, the narrator receives a phone call from a forgotten Lee Woodruff which brings back a flood of impressions and memories of their small combo shaped and led by Woody. Through a haze of half remembered incidents he recalls the growth of their trio into a sextet, the men who gave the group impetus and the women who were tenuously involved with the band. Woodruff, now an emotional wreck, unable to play, in and out of hospitals, insists upon unburdening himself to the narrator and attempts to explain the eventual failure of their group.

Kanin's best-remembered for his screenplays, however, which were written in collaboration with his wife, actress Ruth Gordon, whom he married in 1942. Together, they wrote many screenplays, including six that were directed by George Cukor. These included the Spencer Tracy - Katharine Hepburn film comedies Adam's Rib (1949) and Pat and Mike (1952), as well as A Double Life (1947), starring Ronald Colman.

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