The Jazz Baroness: The Life And Times Of Pannonica Rothschild De Koenigswarter by David KastinThe Jazz Baroness: The Life And Times Of Pannonica Rothschild De Koenigswarter by David Kastin

The Jazz Baroness: The Life And Times Of Pannonica Rothschild De Koenigswarter

byDavid Kastin

Hardcover | June 14, 2011

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It’s a misty night in 1950s New York. A silver Rolls-Royce screeches to a stop at the neon-lit doorway of a 52nd Street jazz club. Behind the wheel is a glamorous brunette, a chinchilla stole draped over her shoulder and a long cigarette holder clinched in her teeth. After taking a pull from a small silver flask, she glides past the bouncer into the murky depths of the Three Deuces. The Jazz Baroness has arrived.

Raised in fairy-tale splendor, Kathleen Annie Pannonica Rothschild de Koenigswarter (known as “Nica”) piloted her own plane across the English Channel, married a French baron, fought in the French Resistance, and had five children. Then she heard a recording of Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight.” Inspired by the liberating spirit of jazz, Nica left her family, moved to Manhattan, and began haunting the city’s nightclubs.

The tabloids first splashed her name across the headlines after Charlie Parker died in her hotel suite—a scandal that cast a dark shadow over the rest of her life. She retreated from the public eye, but through her ongoing ministrations to Monk and dozens of other musicians she became a legend. Nearly a score of jazz compositions have been written in her honor, including two of the most beloved classics of the genre: Horace Silver’s “Nica’s Dream” and Monk’s “Pannonica.”

Nica’s Dream traces the story of a fascinating woman across her thirty-year reign as the Jazz Baroness, but it also explores a transformative era in twentieth-century American culture. Based on interviews with musicians, family members, historians, and artists, David Kastin’s probing biography unwraps the life of this enigmatic figure and evokes the vibrancy of New York during the birth of bebop, the first stirrings of the Beat Generation, and the advent of abstract expressionism.
Music historian and educator David Kastin is the author of I Hear America Singing. His work has appeared in DownBeat, the Village Voice, and the Da Capo Best Music Writing series. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Title:The Jazz Baroness: The Life And Times Of Pannonica Rothschild De KoenigswarterFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1 inPublished:June 14, 2011Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393069400

ISBN - 13:9780393069402


Editorial Reviews

“Starred Review. This is an essential read for jazz enthusiasts and strongly suggested for those interested in new perspectives on jazz culture and its historical framework. Kastin is an exceptionally fine writer who compellingly blends rare interviews, in-depth research, and masterful storytelling in this first biography of a legendary individual.” — Library Journal“The Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter was a cultural bridge, and source of understanding for an enormously important generation of jazz musicians. This book is a must read.” — T. S. Monk“David Kastin has written the definitive biography of one of the most elusive, beguiling and pivotal personalities in 20th Century music. The story of Pannonica is essential reading for all fans of art, culture and jazz.” — Robert Kraft, President, Fox Music Inc.“ is a brilliant and incisive addition to the history of jazz. The Baroness Nica is portrayed in such a truthful fashion that those of us blessed to have known her now can introduce her to anyone by giving them a copy of this outstanding biography. reads like a picaresque novel. But it’s all true.” — David Amram, American composer, musician, author