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The son of a grieving Jewish family in jazz age Chicago impresses patrons of a mob-controlled saloon with his piano talents, which become subject to a changing music era, his need to survive, and exacting mob demands.
"...I am a syncopator, a jazzman. I mark time by being off beat. My beats make the weak ones strong and the strong ones weak." With those words, the novel's main character, George Nepras, son of Czech immigrants and living a hard life in blue collar early twentieth-century Chicago, spins a tale of his life in jazz and his soul's redemption through it. Haunting the speakeasies of the Raring Twenties, George studies early jazz great like King Olive...
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