The beginnings of jazz and the story of Buddy Bolden (1877-1931) are inextricably intertwined. Just after the turn of the century New Orleanians could often hear Bolden's powerful horn from the city's parks and through dance hall windows. He had no formal training, but what he lacked in technical finesse he made up for in style. It was this--his unique style, both musical and personal--that made him the first "king" of New Orleans jazz--inspiration of such later jazz greats as King Oliver, Bunk Johnson, Kid Ory, Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet.
For years the legend of Buddy Bolden was overshadowed by myths about his music, his reckless life-style, and his mental instablility. "In Search of Buddy Bolden" overlays the myths with the substance of reality. The result is as complete a biography of Bolden as is likely ever to be written.