Buy this book! | View Cart | Check Out
cloth 1-4399-1127-4 $35.00, Apr 14, Available
Electronic Book 1-4399-1129-0 $35.00 Available
400 pp 6x9 1 table 35 halftones
"You hear a brilliant and concise trumpet solo in the most unlikely of places, on a '50s cast album or vocal date, and it happens so often you gradually stop being surprised to find you've just heard Joe Wilder. He’s been everywhere in music over the last 60-plus years, and in Softly, with Feeling, Ed Berger has given this exemplary figure (a self-effacing racial pioneer as well as an impeccable musician) the exemplary biography he deserves."
Francis Davis, author of Jazz and Its Discontents: A Francis Davis Reader
Trumpeter Joe Wilder is distinguished for his achievements in both the jazz and classical worlds. He was a founding member of the Symphony of the New World, where he played first trumpet, and he performed as lead trumpet and soloist with Lionel Hampton, Jimmy Lunceford, Dizzy Gillespie, and Count Basie. Yet Wilder is also known as a pioneer who broke down racial barriers, the first African American to hold a principal chair in a Broadway show orchestra, and one of the first African Americans to join a network studio orchestra.
In Softly, with Feeling, Edward Berger tells Wilder's remarkable story from his youth in working-class Philadelphia and his apprenticeship in the big bands, to his experience as one of the first 1,000 black Marines during World War II, and his achievements in the worlds of jazz, classical, and popular music. Reminiscences by Wilder and his colleagues, including renowned Philadelphia-area musicians Jimmy Heath and Buddy DeFranco help place Wilder's experiences within a broader context of American musical and social history.
Wilder's modesty and ability to perform in many musical genres may have prevented him from achieving popular recognition, but in Softly, with Feeling, his legacy and contributions to music and culture are assured.
Excerpt available at www.temple.edu/tempress
"Softly, with Feeling is a major contribution to the literature of jazz, and the history of race relations in twentieth-century America. Berger sheds light on many infrequently examined aspects of the music world: not just jazz, but classical, radio, TV, recording and Broadway, education, and even the military. The overused word ‘unique’ does apply to Joe Wilder’s remarkable life and multi-faceted career. It has been described here in all its fascinating detail and with first-rate research and interviews. The strength of Softly, with Feeling is in the way it reflects, step by step, the talent, determination and strength of character of Joe Wilder, a truly admirable human being."
Dan Morgenstern, retired Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University-Newark, and author of Living with Jazz
"Writer/photographer Berger's approach in this biography encompasses not only Wilder's career, but also offers a vivid and well-researched depiction of both jazz and Broadway orchestras and a picture of the unheralded musician that is fascinating reading.... Berger's highly readable account is clearly an overdue testament to the performer's skills and accomplishments. VERDICT: [T]his wonderful book should be read by anyone interested in jazz or classical music; it belongs in every library."
"Berger realized that Wilder had an important story to tell, and the result is a superb biography, Softly, With Feeling, which contrasts Wilder’s enormous breakthroughs and his humble demeanor.... There’s little doubt that Berger’s elegantly-written biography will raise awareness of this important but underappreciated jazz giant."
Jazz History Online
"The new and aptly titled biography by Edward Berger embodies Wilder's deep gentle spirit...Berger's writing is worthy of his subject. The biography makes one feel as if Wilder is close at hand, fully realized. Berger's research is superb but never obtrusive; his prose is understated yet effective. The book offers rare photographs...and a discography full of surprises. Joe Wilder has been wonderfully captured in these pages, a loving, accurate portrait."
The New York City Jazz Record
Foreword by Wynton Marsalis
1. The Making of a Musician: Philadelphia (1922–1938)
Colored Kiddies of the Air: “Little Louis” Meets Pops
William T. Tilden Junior High School
2. From Student to Pro (1938–1943)
The Harlem Dictators
Leaving Home: Les Hite
3. Integration of the Armed Forces: The Montford Point Marines (1943–1946)
4. Big Band Odyssey (1946–1950)
5. New York (1950–1953)
Noble Sissle and the Diamond Horseshoe
Breaking Barriers on Broadway
Wilder on Broadway
Manhattan School of Music
6. On the Road Again: Count Basie (1953–1954)
7. Back on Broadway and into the Studios (1954–1957)
Silk Stockings and Most Happy Fella
The Urban League: Integrating the Music Industry
Developing a Style: Recordings in the 1950s
From Mainstream to Third Stream
8. On Staff: African American Musicians and the Network Orchestras (1957–1964)
Wilder Joins ABC
The Studio Life
The Urban League: Integrating the Network Orchestras
Record Dates: Sideman and Leader
“The Sound of Jazz”
Benny Goodman: USSR Tour
Miss America Pageant
9. A Dream Realized: Return to Classical Music (1964–1974)
African Americans in Symphony Orchestras: The Beginnings of Change
The Symphony of the New World
The 1969 Human Rights Commission Hearings
Earl Madison’s Reflections
Other Classical Activities
Wilder and Wilder: Joe and Alec
10. Freelance (1974–1990)
The End of the Staff Orchestras
Peter Duchin and the Society Orchestra Phenomenon
Return to Broadway
11. New Outlets: Jazz Repertory and Jazz Parties (1990–2000)
Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra
Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
Garrison Keillor and A Prairie Home Companion
The Jazz Party Phenomenon
12. Passing It On: Teaching, Awards, and Honors (2000–)
Awards and Honors
The Reluctant Leader
Recordings in the New Millennium: Evening Star
Arbors Records and the Statesmen of Jazz
Edward Berger is a writer/photographer, whose other books include Benny Carter: A Life in American Music (with Morroe Berger and James Patrick) and Bassically Speaking: An Oral History of George Duvivier. He produced two Grammy-winning albums for jazz great Benny Carter, has been a long-time cohost of Jazz from the Archives on WBGO-FM, Newark, and regularly teaches at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Swing University. He retired as Associate Director of the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies in 2011, but continues to serve IJS as a consultant.
Music and Dance
African American Studies
Buy this book! | View Cart | Check Out
© 2014 Temple University. All Rights Reserved. http://www.temple.edu/tempress/titles/2317_reg.html