Edison’s experience as a working musician in the time of territory bands and the Armstrongian turn forms an invaluable record of the music’s development. He also highlights the players for which jazz was a career necessity given the country’s cultural and racial politics, and describes the difficulty of traveling through the segregated South as well as a highly competitive New York jazz scene. You can practically hear jazz historians’ pencils scribbling away while Edison speaks.
Edison also reminds us that after a night of drinking and partying, it’s always a good idea to check the labels on things before you eat them. Sage advice in several areas.