Jazz Survivor: The Story of Louis Bannet, Horn Player of Auschwitz, by Ken Shuldman. London and Portland, OR: Vallentine Mitchell, 2005. ISBN: 0-85303-476-1 (paper). Pp. 70. $18.50.
In the Museum of Jewish Heritage/A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City is displayed a large-bell Bb trumpet on permanent loan. The owner had been Louis Bannet. An inscription in the exhibit information informs the viewer that it was that actual trumpet that gave Bannet the strength to live through the unimaginable horrors of Auschwitz. Musicians often have a strong tie to their instruments but few can be credited with life-saving power. This and many other aspects of Louis Bannet’s life are effectively related by Ken Shuldman, but perhaps of even greater interest to readers of this Society is the examination of how jazz was embraced by one of Europe’s early proponents of this music.