Reviewer Bill Dahl refers to Jimmi Mayes as the ‘Forrest Gump of the music business’ which is certainly an apt comparison as Mayes has shared the stage with several music luminaries throughout his widely varied career. Dahl goes on to say that “Mayes has penned a down-to-earth, succinct account of his existence, which commenced in segregated Jackson, Mississippi (where he began playing the skins while in high school and soaked up the blues all the while) before he took the long jaunt north to Chicago.”
And he finishes by saying, “Overall, this honest portrayal of Mayes’ life and times is an engaging and enlightening read.The Amazing Jimmi Mayes is available now from UPM.
John W. Troutman reviewed Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia calling Christopher Wilkinson's book a “wonderfully researched” presentation of the vibrant dance culture of West Virginia during the long 1930s. He goes on to say:
One of Wilkinson’s contributions lies in his ability to use a musical micro-history of West Virginia’s coal camps in order to further disrupt the dichotomies that originally defined the work of many music scholars: those of rural versus urban entertainments, of “hot” versus “sweet” jazz adherents, and of the musical preferences of whites versus blacks and middle class versus working class audiences.
Troutman also agreed that Wilkinson’ book was deserving of the Best Research in Recorded Jazz Music in 2013 award it received from the ARSC. Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia is now available in paperback.