Comments: Bebop Fairy Tales

“In Mark Ruffin’s hands, jazz is neither a thing of mystery, nor a distant, misty memory. The music is alive and so are characters who breathe and speak and act out fully realized narratives built on the foundation of jazz legend. These tales may be drawn from the annals of jazz, but they offer enduring lessons of life in America for all of us.”

Ashley Kahn – Author of Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece, A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album, and other titles.

“With Bebop Fairy Tales Mark Ruffin is uniting real people in imagined circumstances that fascinate and captivate the reader. You’ll find yourself daydreaming of endless possibilities based on the worlds he’s created, you’ll be craving for more. He’s written a true literary gem.”

Dee Dee Bridgewater – Singer, NEA Jazz Master, 2- time Grammy winner, Memphis Music Hall of Famer

“Bebop Fairy Tales” is a lively volume, full of engrossing tales and true to life stories immersed in the jazz ethic, dressed in the peculiar garments of racial nuances in America and reflections on that most uniquely American pastime baseball, all pointing to the unique impact of jazz on this country’s landscape.”

Willard Jenkins, journalist-broadcaster-festival & concert producer, co-author of African Rhythms, the autobiography of NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston

There have been so many great works of fiction about baseball – “Bang the Drum Slowly,” “The Natural” and “The Great American Novel” come to mind immediately – but precious few about jazz. Mark shows the impact of race on those institutions and on our culture in 20th century America. Baseball, jazz and race. Yes, it’s a book about America.

Lee Mergner, JazzTimes

The author compels us to look at white privilege from multiple angles, and to look at the traumatic malignancy of Black hatred. As well, he nudges us to investigate more closely our own biases – explicit, implicit, or internalized – whether it toward those of another racial identity or the gay and transgender community, all while telling us some impressive facts about legendary jazzers, sportsmen, and the cities they incarnate. Pretty cool.

Terri Lyne Carrington – Founder/Artistic Director, Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice

That he can entertain us with these creations, even as they address harsh reality, is a trick as complicated as the chord sequence John Coltrane introduced on “Giant Steps.” And the ability to strike that balance, to run those changes and dole out the dozens—to stitch the things he loves into the thing that threatens—makes Bebop Fairy Tales a vibrant tapestry about to unfold.

Neil Tesser – Grammy Award-winning journalist, broadcaster, author