Saturday, February 6, 2010

Now's the Time

A Novel by Larry Strauss

The editorial staff at JazzProfiles is a great fan of novels about Jazz and Jazz musicians, although, if truth be told, there aren’t a lot of fictionalized accounts of the music and its makers to choose from.

Which is why we were particular pleased to encounter this new Jazz novel by Larry Strauss and to bring it to the attention to visitors of the site.  Here’s a quick overview of the book’s plot and a few words about its main protagonist – Didi Heron:

“Part mystery, part journey, completely heart-felt, “Now’s the Time” follows jazz trumpeter Didi Heron as she searches for the lost tape of her father’s last gig before he tragically died. A celebration of family ties and musical legacies, “Now’s the Time” is a meditation on jazz and jazz players. Drawing inspiration from a potpourri of stories from the American jazz tradition, notably those of trumpeter Clifford Brown, a fictional work rooted in historical fact.”

Larry Strauss writes the kind of fiction he likes to read: funny, surprising, insightful, and poignant. He teaches high school English and coaches basketball in South Central Los Angeles, and tries to recruit kids out of materialism, violence and despair and into the world of ideas.

Strauss grew up on the Upper Westside of Manhattan, then attended high school and college in Los Angeles. He wrote for television in his twenties, including three episodes of the first season of Transformers, then ghost-wrote and co-authored books with a doctor, nutritionist, financial planner, and two psychologists. 

Larry maintains his own Jazz blog - and “… digs East and West Coast Jazz and everything in between ….” He is also the author of three other novels.

Here’s what other musicians and authors have to say about Now’s the Time:

“ A literary feast filled with connections to jazz masters past and present. Musical insights, dramatic twists and turns.” – Chet Handley, Professor of Jazz History, California State University, Dominguez Hills.

“A riveting jazz odyssey, written with passion, authenticity and insight. Strauss writes with a real love of the jazz musicians who give their lives to their art. The pages burn!” – David Evanier, author of “Roman Candle: The Life of Bobby Darin,” and “Keeper of the Flame: The Life of Tony Bennett.”

“I love this novel, its humor and pathos, its high energy and sweet melodies.” – Esther Blue, Jazz pianist

“A wonderful, intriguing journey. I feel like Red and Didi are old friends. I saw the colors, smelled to aromas, and heard the music. Bravo!- Dwight Trible, jazz vocalist, Pharaoh Sanders Quartet.

“A quintessential search into the past with surprising and moving revelations that echo the present, ‘Now’s the Time” is Strauss’ strongest work yet.” – Leonard Chang, author of ‘Crossings,’ Black Heron Press.

“Didi Heron’s view from the bandstand is sharp, accurate and unsentimental. More, please.” – Michael Steinman, host of ‘Jazz Lives’:

If you enjoy the artful blend of fact and fiction that are so much a part of Bill Moody’s  Evan Horne mystery novels such as Bird Lives and Looking for Chet Baker, then you will find great pleasure in joining Strauss’ immensely likeable hero, Didi Heron, on her quest. The hip wordplay, the “feel right” descriptions of the Jazz scene and the manner in which Strauss juggles character and plot all combine to produce an original and intriguing book.

Copies of the book are available directly from the publisher, Kearney Street Books at or through