The Melody Lingers On .... An Autobiography - The Unabashed Memoirs of Walt Levinsky
As a musician, Levinsky was always praised for his singularly rich tone; that same quality informs his writing. He tells his life-story with style, intelligence and wit, and in telling it might almost be telling the story of an entire generation of musicians - a generation whose coming of age was both interrupted and also accelerated first by the war and then by the virtual disappearance of the market for both jazz and adult popular music. Talented as he was, Levinsky's story can't help but impress the role of sheer luck in the success of any popular or jazz musician. As a young man on the make, Levinsky made his way through an apprenticeship in a "panic" band before being noticed by Tommy Dorsey; but that gig was all too soon ended by military conscription - an experience that taught him how often making music meant breaking lots of rules. In time Levinsky proved himself as not only a player, but also as an arranger, conductor, composer and scorer of movies and television broadcasts. He is nevertheless free from media puff and self-adulation, ready always to laugh at himself. Levinsky doesn't so much "linger" on the past as compel it into form. This autobiography might well prove his boldest composition of all.
- Michael Coyle