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BOUNCIN’ WITH BARTOK: The Incomplete Works of Richard Twardzik

Author: Jack Chambers

Paperback, ISBN 978-1-55128-177-3: $32.95

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When the piano prodigy Richard Twardzik died of a heroin overdose in his Paris hotel room at the age of 24, his recorded legacy amounted to just over an hour of exquisite, unique music. His short life intersected many colourful and brilliant kindred souls in the quest for truth and beauty in mid-twentieth century America—Charlie Parker, leader of the bebop revolution and jazz guru, who shared with Twardzik a passion for Béla Bartók and hard drugs; trumpeter Chet Baker,Twardzik’s boss at the time of his death, and a demonic presence in it; Madame Chaloff, inventor of the Russian technique of piano instruction; singer Crystal Joy, love of his life, and the mysterious “girl from Greenland” of his last composition; and many others. Twardzik’s life illuminates the trials of the artist as a young man, and his death raises questions that haunt us to this day. His music, touched by genius, stands as his monument, as unique and exquisite today as it was when he created it.

"Jack Chambers, previous author of a Miles Davis biography, did a marvelous job of digging up a fair amount of detail about Twardzik’s life and influences, analyzing his bop-with-a-dash-of-classical-and-avant-garde style, and situating him in the vibrant Boston jazz scene of the late 1940s and early 1950s." - David Brent Johnson, Night Lights

This is a publication of The Mercury Press, made available through Teksteditions.