Recommended to me by a friend, actually my friend insisted that I read it and sent it to me across the world in the post to make sure I did. Thanks Hud.
This is an evocative, warm and sensuous collection of vignettes in imagined intimacy based on fact. This is a book about Jazz that you can enjoy…even if Jazz isn’t your thing. Lester Young and Billie Holiday arm in arm walking across the street together, you really are there with them. Bud Powell, Ben Webster, Chet Baker, it introduces you to their dedicated and troubled lives and is an excellent book to read to understand the humanity, the pain and the soulful expression that Jazz is.
This review from Google.SE
Lester Young fading away in a hotel room; Charles Mingus storming down the streets of New York on a too-small bicycle; Thelonius Monk creating his own private language on the piano. . . In eight poetically charged vignettes, Geoff Dyer skilfully evokes the embattled lives of the players who shaped modern jazz. He draws on photos and anecdotes, but music is the driving force of But Beautiful and Dyer brings it to life in luminescent and wildly metaphoric prose that mirrors the quirks, eccentricity, and brilliance of each musician’s style.(Reviewer uncredited on the site)