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Novel draws on jazz legend’s music

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Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013 4:30 am

Buddy Bolden is a jazz legend whose powerful, original sound at the turn of the last century was so enthralling that some now call him the first big star of that lively American art form.

But his own star died quickly. Increasingly erratic, even violent, he was institutionalized in Louisiana in 1907 when he was still in his late 20s and before the word “jazz” had even entered the musical lexicon. He died without ever performing in a rocking, smoke-filled club again.

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