Excerpt From 3 Shades Published on Literary Hub

LitHub excerpts 3 Shades on the legendary face-off between Wynton Marsalis and Miles Davis.

Check out the passage detailing the storied rivalry and then pick up your own copy of 3 Shades of Blue from or Kaplan’s publisher Penguin.

3 Shades of Blue in Vanity Fair’s 13 Best Books to Read in March

Vanity Fair's David Friend loves 3 Shades in VF's 13 Best Books to Read in March.

"In recent years, I’ve devoured two books exploring the backstory of Kind of Blue, the most beloved album in jazz history. But James Kaplan’s new effort, 3 Shades of Blue, raises the bar... we are fortunate that the author has conjured this hothouse flower of a book—as rarified, intricate, and haunting as an orchid." - David Friend, Vanity Fair

3 Shades is officially out! Purchase it now from or Kaplan’s publisher Penguin.

3 Shades of Blue Reviewed in Sunday’s London Times

The London Times reviewed 3 Shades of Blue in its Sunday March 3rd issue, praising Kaplan's depiction of the Hard Bop era.

"In the ten years between 1955 and 1965, an American art form — jazz — reached its peak... for that brief decade it resonated around the world, serving as the soundtrack of the postwar, pre-rock’n’roll era. James Kaplan, a novelist and journalist turned biographer, has written the definitive book on how that decade came to be and the three men — Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Bill Evans — whose musical collaboration defined it." - Harry Lambert, The London Times

3 Shades is officially out! Purchase it now from or Kaplan’s publisher Penguin.

The Wall Street Journal Reviews 3 Shades of Blue

The Wall Street Journal recently reviewed 3 Shades of Blue and included it in their "17 Books We Read This Week" roundup.

"Mr. Kaplan does a wonderful job synthesizing sources to produce a compelling narrative history. His own interviews add a lot as well. His technical descriptions of the music are accessible and useful." - Gerald Early, The Wall Street Journal

3 Shades is officially out. Purchase it now from or Kaplan’s publisher Penguin.

Early Praise for 3 Shades of Blue

“Fascinating, detailed and comprehensive . . . Kaplan—who also penned the two-volume definitive look at the life of one Francis Albert Sinatra—goes into similar depth here . . . 3 Shades of Blue—like the best of music books—just sends you back to the source.” —Houston Press

“Elegant and elegiac, 3 Shades of Blue tells stories of ambition and anxiety, collaborations and clashes, musical innovation and racial discrimination.” —The Minneapolis Star Tribune

“[Kaplan] writes like a dream . . . As an overview of musical magnificence, this book cannot be bettered.” — Jazz Journal

Publications that have gotten their hands on early copies of 3 Shades of Blue have great things to say. Order the book now from or Kaplan’s publisher Penguin.

Excerpt From 3 Shades of Blue Published in Esquire

Read an excerpt from author James Kaplan's newest book 3 Shades of Blue ahead of its publishing date on March 5th 2024 via Esquire Magazine. 3 Shades of Blue is available now from and Kaplan’s publisher Penguin.

3 SHADES interview on The Art of Manliness Podcast with Brett McKay

3 SHADES OF BLUE interview by Brett McKay, host of The Art of Manliness Podcast — RELEASE DATE TK

3 SHADES interview with Gary R. Zidek, WDCB & WRTE, Chicago

3 SHADES OF BLUE interview by Gary R. Zidek, Arts/Public Affairs Director for Chicago jazz stations WDCB 90.9 FM & WRTE 90.7 FM — AIR DATE TK