Today would have been Bix Beiderbecke’s 105th birthday. Besides being one of the great soloists in jazz history, Bix is also one of American culture’s most fascinating characters. If, according to yesterday's Washington Post Book World, the poet Homer has become “a legend, not a personage whose life we can chart more or less accurately,” then Bix has remained both—a real person and a legend. Which, believe me, causes all kinds of problems.
So if you’re interested in learning more about my take on the life & legend, then I have written plenty over the last couple of years.
If you’re interested in hearing his great solos and how others have treated the music, then check out the Bix Mix.
If you’d like my run-down of his 12 essential tracks, then you can go over to Jazz.com, a wonderful new website edited by the jazz historian Ted Gioia.
As a bonus, you can find at Jazz.com an excerpt from my book-in-progress,Bixology.
Finally, also at Jazz.com, Gioia has a brief but thorough take on Bix’s life and career.
Thanks to Ted for the support, by the way. It’s very much appreciated.