Better Days Will Come Again: The Life of Arthur Briggs

Arthur Briggs (1901-1991) was considered the premier Jazz trumpet player of Europe between the two world wars. Living in France continuously after 1931, he deserved his sobriquet “the Louis Armstrong of France.” A Colorful Tale This is the most exciting and readable new Jazz title in some time, a lilting saga of early Jazz culture and performance in Chicago, Harlem, London, Paris, Berlin and beyond. Written with a novelistic flow, it smoothly traces the arc of Briggs’ stupendous life and career, deftly placing him in both the evolutionary hothouse of early Jazz and the broader context of social history and world events. Travis Atria is a fresh name in music scholarship, showing great promise. Having previously only co-written a biography of Curtis Mayfield, his insights and comprehensive research bring into focus the evolution of jazz trumpet and Briggs’ growing understanding of his art. I enjoyed the excellent narration in the audiobook format. Briggs was born on the Caribbean island of Grenada, a fact he concealed most of his life. Migrating to the United States at age 16, he witnessed and participated in the emergence of
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