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Little Melba and Her Big Trombone
by Katheryn Russell-Brown and Frank Morrison


Overview - Melba Doretta Liston loved the sounds of music from as far back as she could remember. As a child, she daydreamed about beats and lyrics, and hummed along with the music from her family's Majestic radio. At age seven, Melba fell in love with a big, shiny trombone, and soon taught herself to play the instrument.  Read more...

 
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More About Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown; Frank Morrison
 
 
 
Overview
Melba Doretta Liston loved the sounds of music from as far back as she could remember. As a child, she daydreamed about beats and lyrics, and hummed along with the music from her family's Majestic radio. At age seven, Melba fell in love with a big, shiny trombone, and soon taught herself to play the instrument. By the time she was a teenager, Melba's extraordinary gift for music led her to the world of jazz. She joined a band led by trumpet player Gerald Wilson and toured the country. Overcoming obstacles of race and gender, Melba went on to become a famed trombone player and arranger, spinning rhythms, harmonies, and melodies into gorgeous songs for all the jazz greats of the twentieth century: Randy Weston, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, and Quincy Jones, to name just a few. Brimming with ebullience and the joy of making music, Little Melba and Her Big Trombone is a fitting tribute to a trailblazing musician and a great unsung hero of jazz.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781600608988
  • ISBN-10: 1600608981
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books
  • Publish Date: June 2014
  • Page Count: 40
  • Reading Level: Ages 6-9
  • Dimensions: 8.9 x 10.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.95 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Nonfiction > Biography & Autobiography - Music

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-07-21
  • Reviewer: Staff

A musician plucked from jazz history is the subject of Russell-Brown's debut picture book. In the music-filled Kansas City of the 1920s, young Melba Doretta Liston wants to play an instrument, eventually swooning over a shiny trombone and learning to play. Staccato rhythms pepper the fluid prose: "Blues, jazz, and gospel rhythms danced in her head—the plink of a guitar, the hummmm of a bass, the thrum-thrum of a drum." Eventually, Liston's talent attracts the attention of Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, and others, but her struggles are laid out plainly: "Some white folks didn't show good manners toward folks with brown skin. Hotel rooms were hard to come by, and the band members often had to sleep on the bus." Morrison's oil paintings practically sway with a jazz beat, though somber moments crop up, too: the shadows on Liston's face signify the trials of life on the road. A final image showing long-limbed Liston in profile as she plays under the glow of stage lights is exquisite. Ages 6–10. Author's agent: Adriana Dominguez, Full Circle Literary. Illustrator's agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (July)

 
BAM Customer Reviews