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Three Chords for Beauty's Sake

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About the Author

Tom Nolan, the author of the critically acclaimed and Edgar Award-nominated Ross Macdonald: A Biography, is a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal's Leisure & Arts page. He lives in Los Angeles, California.


"[F]ollows Shaw's various zigzags with aplomb, and Nolan shifts gears adeptly in pursuit of his subject. The book is well paced and never lags, while the author addresses everything from litigation to personal rivalries with fairness and a deft touch." -- Ted Gioia - San Francisco Chronicle
"Absorbing... fascinating." -- David Gates - The New York Times Book Review
"Nolan reconsiders the swing clarinetist-bandleader in a beautifully measured, unforgiving account... An exemplary work of jazz biography." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Every great artist deserves a great biography, and Swing Era bandleader and clarinetist Artie Shaw finally has one... Nolan has crafted a well-written, highly entertaining, and informative biography." -- Library Journal
"Enthralling... [Nolan] gives the satisfactions of a true rags-to-riches story, complete with the spice of glamorous marriages and flings (with Lee Wiley, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner, etc.), and plausibly accounts for Shaw's huge character faults without obscuring his charm and prodigious talent." -- Booklist
"Tom Nolan has a great story to tell and he knows precisely how to tell it, fast and deadpan, abetted by the irascible Shaw himself-a serial husband, detached father, and full time autodidact who may have been the finest clarinet virtuoso of all time." -- Gary Giddins, author of Warning Shadows and Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams
"[A]t last, the lively, continually imaginative life of the most creative clarinetist in jazz history and an orchestra leader who not only produced hits but also new dimensions of this music." -- Nat Hentoff, author of At the Jazz Band Ball: Sixty Years at the Jazz Scene
"In this riveting biography, Tom Nolan recovers the genius, the legend, the ego and blocked emotions of an enigmatic American icon." -- Kevin Starr, University of Southern California
"[C]ompulsively readable." -- Daniel Akst - Wall Street Journal

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