The Jazz Itinerariesseries, a new format based on Ken Vail's successful Jazz Diaries, charts the careers of famous jazz musicians, listing club and concert appearances with details of recording sessions and movie appearances. Copiously illustrated with contemporary photographs, newspaper extracts, record and performance reviews, ads and posters, the series provides a fascinating insight into the lives of the greatest jazz musicians of our times. No.3 in the series, Count Basie: Swingin? The Blues 1936?1950, chronicles Basie?s life from the Kansas City years, discovery by John Hammond, triumph in New York with the floating swing of the All-American rhythm section and tenor saxist Lester Young, through to the eventual demise of the swingingest of big bands in January 1950.
Ken Vail trained as a graphic designer and for 25 years developed his own graphic design business. The company moved from corporate work into publishing, specialising in designing highly illustrated educational books. In 1996 Ken Vail retired from the business to indulge his life-long interest in jazz. He self-published his first book, Jazz Milestones, which was critically acclaimed, leading to commissions for a series of Jazz Diaries which yielded Bird?s Diary, Lady Day?s Diary, Miles? Diary, and the two-part Duke?s Diary. Vail is now working on the new series of Jazz Itineraries and a scrapbook of the Swing Era.