[JPL] dick twardzik biography

David Johnson djohnso2001 at yahoo.com
Sun May 31 23:07:16 EDT 2009

I'll second Tom's rec on this one--read it a couple of months ago.  Amazing how much Chambers was able to dig up on Twardzik's life and music--and yes, an excellent portrait of the very vibrant late-1940s/early-1950s world of Boston jazz.

David Brent Johnson
Night Lights/Afterglow
WFIU-Bloomington, IN

--- On Sun, 5/31/09, Tom Reney <tr at wfcr.org> wrote:

From: Tom Reney <tr at wfcr.org>
Subject: [JPL] dick twardzik biography
To: "jazz progammers list" <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
Date: Sunday, May 31, 2009, 7:56 PM

I want to draw your attention to a new biography of pianist Dick Twardzik by Jack Chambers entitled Bouncin' With Bartok, The Incomplete Works of Richard Twardzik. The Danvers, Massachusetts native died of a drug overdose in 1955 at the age of 24 when he was in Paris playing with Chet Baker.  He left behind a miniscule discography, including just one date as a leader for Pacific Jazz, studio sessions with Charlie Mariano, Serge Chaloff and Baker, and airchecks from Boston nightclub appearances with Charlie Parker and Allen Eager.  Despite this small output, Twardzik's legacy was considerably enhanced by the five, highly distinctive compositions he produced, and his playing which everyone from Baker to Herb Pomeroy to Cecil Taylor attests was ahead of its time. 

Chambers has done an exemplary job of pulling Twardzik's story together.  The book features a colorful array of relatives, musicians and artists who peopled the Boston scene in the '30's-'50's, and includes a folio of his father Henryk's paintings, several of which were portraits of his son.  Secondarily, the book serves as an excellent primer on the Boston jazz scene during these years.

It's published by the Mercury Press in Toronto.  www.themercurypress.ca

Tom Reney
Jazz à la Mode

NPR News and Music for Western New England

Hampshire House
131 County Circle
Amherst, MA 01003-9257

tr at wfcr.org

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