Jazz on the Road
Albert's years as a San Antonio nightclub owner in the 1940s and 1950s saw the rise in popularity of rhythm and blues and the decline of interest in jazz. There was also increasing racial animosity, which Albert resisted by the successful legal defense of his right to operate an integrated establishment in 1951. In the two decades before his death in 1980, his performances in Dixieland jazz bands and interviews with oral historians concerning his own career were the fitting climax to a multifaceted musical life. Albert's voice and personality, his feelings and opinions about the music he loved, and the obstacles he faced in performing and promoting it, are artfully conveyed in Wilkinson's fluid, accessible, and erudite narrative. Jazz on the Road shows the importance of live performance in bringing jazz to America, and succeeds brilliantly in depicting an era, a locale, and a way of life.