Robert M. Levin
Robert M. Levin, a St. Louis native known as ‘Bob’ to his friends, earned his B.A. and M.S.W. from Washington University. While a post-grad student, he came perilously close to earning an M.F.A. in Creative Writing having studied with Stanley Elkin, Howard Nemerov, Jarvis Thurston, and the many other distinguished men and women of letters that gathered at the school at the time. He has published a few magazine and newspaper articles, but the bits and pieces of writing fiction didn’t form a coherent picture for him until he read Mark Twain’s essay on Fenimore Cooper, and then the anvil of gestalt fell upon his head. A Brief History of Howard is his first novel.
As in all works of fiction, there is non-fiction. Bob was a Washington University grad student, but in the school of Social Work, not Psychology. Similarly to 'Howard,' he studied Family Therapy as a rational decision, and then became seriously ill.
The differences: in the real world, the acupuncture was good and effective, the Chinese herbal remedies worked, and the Tai Chi helped—period. The questioning of the self, the explorations of the soul, the rethinking of Judaism—all similar and necessary. Bob presently lives in a good climate (Atlanta, Georgia) with his wife and children, and is still trying to play jazz guitar. He also goes to an M.D. and an acupuncturist depending on just what needs fixing—and he’s old enough to need to be checked every 3,000 miles.
Amy displayed her innate musical ability at age two when she could identify Ella Fitzgerald's voice and sat in front of the TV repeatedly watching a PBS jazz special video, Carnegie Hall Salutes the Jazz Masters that featured Herbie Hancock, Hank Jones, and Jackie McLean.
For the next few years, she rhythmically banged on anything nearby and if nothing was handy, her feet always moved to an internal beat. By the time she joined the school band in fourth grade, she became first chair percussion.
Amy played for two years with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra of Atlanta and in 2007 was featured in a tribute to the legendary, Henry Mancini, conducted by Mancini's lead trumpeter, Cecil Welch.
Now playing with a small combo of seasoned musicians, Amy has blossomed into a stellar vibraphonist in the Milt Jackson tradition.
Listen to a clip of her rendition of Charlie Parker's "Confirmation."
Read the CD liner notes.
Buy the CD What I Did Over My Summer Vacation at Amazon.com. Would you prefer downloadable tunes? Send us an email and we'll make it happen!
“A BRIEF HISTORY OF HOWARD presents an opportunity to discover a classic: gifted writing, intellectual stimulation, and just enough 'Hollywood' suspense to prevent you from guessing what happens next. Pay attention; you can’t imagine where you’re going to end up on this journey!”
JENNIFER ELIN COLE, COOKIE BEAR PRESS, INC.
“A BRIEF HISTORY OF HOWARD is brilliant, astonishing, soulful—it reads like a jazz improvisation would play: surprising, moving, virtuosic and ultimately satisfying.
“It's the classic story of the grand fight between good and evil, with a solution provided by Stephen Hawking via Fritjof Capra and Isaac Singer. (Now, how is that for a hybrid?)
“It is an astonishing work of innovative fiction.”
Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents, NYC
"Whether you see it 'your way' or the author's, A BRIEF HISTORY OF HOWARD is more than an entertaining, thought-provoking, and engrossing tale (much more...as a sequel is underway). Levin truly captures the 'Spirit of St. Louis' in place and time. As I was carried along by the story, reading ceased and listening took over, leaving me with the impression I had just participated in a very satisfying conversation."
Vikary E. Fins, Ph.D. English Literature, Educator
H Johnson, host of Jazz Classics on WABE:"Amy is a very special young talent."
Masani, host of The Jazz Spot on Georgia Public Broadcasting:
"Amy's talent sparkles! I'm thrilled to be a part of spreading the word about
Lew Prince, Vintage Vinyl, St. Louis:
"This is absolutely f****** amazing!"
Nicole Sweeney, host of Midday Jazz Swing on WCLK: "It's hard to believe she's only 15 on these tunes!"
5-part interview with Robert M. Levin
What is this book about?
What makes this book different?
How much of it is real?
Where does it fit in the canon of American Jewish Literature?
There's a new revolution in science.