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Reader recommendation: Three Chords for Beauty's Sake

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Artie Shaw, the swing-era clarinetist and bandleader, was mostly contemptuous of the music he played and the fans who brought him fame and fortune. Tom Nolan's biography, Three Chords for Beauty's Sake, presents a balanced portrait of this complex man, whose multiple marriages, flirtation with communist-fringe politics and frustrated attempts at authorship often overshadowed his true musical genius.


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