Publication Date: May 25, 2014
In this evocative and entertaining fictional memoir, nineteen-year-old Dan Hennessey takes us on a journey to the epicenter of the beat movement — San Francisco 1956, the year of Howl and The Dharma Bums. As he gets swept up in the fervor of the San Francisco Renaissance, he meets cultural icons such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, and spiritual figures like Alan Watts and Jiddu Krishnamurti, each of whom serves as a catalyst for his awakening. But the man who becomes his spiritual and musical mentor, the man the poet Gary Snyder called the jazz master, is a tenor saxophonist, ex-Zen monk who teaches him Zen through the art of jazz. Filled with reflections on art, society, and spiritual life, The Jazz Master is both a tale of spiritual awakening and a portrait of a unique and colorful era that paved the way for the revolutionary changes of the sixties and seventies.