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Nonfiction

May 24, 1987

THE JAZZ YEARS--EARWITNESS TO AN ERA by Leonard Feather (Da Capo: $25; 320 pp., black-and-white photographs) is a memoir in which Leonard Feather, The Times' jazz critic since 1966, reminisces about his career in music as historian, composer, lyricist, record and concert producer. The early chapters detail his discovery of jazz while growing up in London. Later passages deal with his close association with such artists as Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie, and his discovery of George Shearing, Dinah Washington and others whom he was the first to record. There are also chapters on racism and sexism, and on his tours of the Soviet Union, Japan, Israel and many other countries to visit jazz festivals.

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