Dangerous Rhythms: Jazz and the Underworld

Dangerous Rhythms: Jazz and the Underworld

by T. J. English
Dangerous Rhythms: Jazz and the Underworld

Dangerous Rhythms: Jazz and the Underworld

by T. J. English


$26.99  $29.99 Save 10% Current price is $26.99, Original price is $29.99. You Save 10%.
    Qualifies for Free Shipping
    Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Monday, October 2
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


Notes From Your Bookseller

If you want the lowdown on the mob, organized crime, criminal justice, or the underworld — look no further than T. J. English. His deep research through unturned stones in historical true crime keep us riveted.

From T. J. English, the New York Times bestselling author of Havana Nocturne, comes the epic, scintillating narrative of the interconnected worlds of jazz and organized crime in 20th century America.

"[A] brilliant and courageous book." —Dr. Cornel West

Dangerous Rhythms tells the symbiotic story of jazz and the underworld: a relationship fostered in some of 20th century America’s most notorious vice districts. For the first half of the century mobsters and musicians enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership. By offering artists like Louis Armstrong, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, and Ella Fitzgerald a stage, the mob, including major players Al Capone, Meyer Lansky, and Charlie “Lucky” Luciano, provided opportunities that would not otherwise have existed.

Even so, at the heart of this relationship was a festering racial inequity. The musicians were mostly African American, and the clubs and means of production were owned by white men. It was a glorified plantation system that, over time, would find itself out of tune with an emerging Civil Rights movement. Some artists, including Louis Armstrong, believed they were safer and more likely to be paid fairly if they worked in “protected” joints. Others believed that playing in venues outside mob rule would make it easier to have control over their careers.

Through English’s voluminous research and keen narrative skills, Dangerous Rhythms reveals this deeply fascinating slice of American history in all its sordid glory.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780063031418
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/02/2022
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 169,024
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

T.J. English is a noted journalist, screenwriter, and author of the New York Times bestsellers Havana Nocturne, Paddy Whacked, The Savage City, and Where the Bodies Were Buried. He also authored The Westies, a national bestseller, Born to Kill, which was nominated for an Edgar Award, and The Corporation. His journalism has appeared in Esquire, Playboy, and New York magazine, among other publications. His screenwriting credits include episodes for the television dramas NYPD Blue and Homicide, for which he was awarded the Humanitas Prize. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Intro 1

Part 1 Major Chord

1 Shadow of the Demimonde 13

2 Sicilian Message 40

3 Kansas City Stomp 62

4 Disfiguration 89

5 Birt of the Hipster 113

6 Friends in Dark Places 137

7 Down on the Plantation 163

Part 2 Flatted Fifth

8 The Crooner 189

9 Swing Street 219

10 "Jazz Provides Background for Death" 245

11 The Ghost of Chano Pozo 271

12 Fear and Loathing at the Copacabana 297

13 The Muck and the Mud 327

14 Twilight of the Underworld 350

Coda 372

Acknowledgments 377

Notes 381

Sources 409

Index 421

From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews

Explore More Items