Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Norman Granz, Oscar Peterson, Ray Charles, Don Ellis, and Miles Davis-these are the dozen jazz figures whom Leonard Feather chose to describe the development of jazz. This is the first Feather book to examine in-depth the innovative figures who have led the way throughout the music's history. As composer, producer, and for almost half-a-century one of its leading critics, Feather has a unique perspective of these jazz immortals. He has worked with and known all of them. These are portraits of human beings first, analyses of musicians or musical history only peripherally if at all, says Feather in his new foreword. A warm, affectionate, and perceptive inside account of twelve originals, the book is packed with wonderful stories. As Feather says: Most of all I am grateful for the inspiration and friendship of the artists themselves. Armstrong and Ellington were directly responsible, through their records, for drawing me to jazz. After their magic had worked on me, the others, one by one, sustained and refreshed and invigorated my interest in, an involvement with, this liveliest of twentieth-century arts.