Boston-raised, Frazier was graduated from Harvard College in 1932. He wrote for the Boston newspapers and for Esquire magazine, as well as many other venues, including the New York papers. Beginning as a noted jazz critic, his Sweet and Low Down column, debuting in the Boston Herald on January 27, 1942, was the first regular jazz column in an American big-city daily. He soon left jazz criticism for general journalism. He concluded his career as a much-revered columnist for The Boston Globe.
Thanks to his writing, Frazier earned a place on the master list of Nixon political opponents.
It feels like snow, he said, and it was all there, all the sadness and all the silveryness in a single sentence.—George Frazier, 1960s column in the Boston Herald
All I’m trying to say, really, is that most boutique customers should be lined up before a firing squad at dawn and that there should be a minute of silence to thank God for the existence of people like Miles Davis.—George Frazier, liner notes for 1965 album Miles Davis' Greatest Hits
Duende was George Frazier’s favorite word. It is, of course, the precise word to describe his life and his writings: roughly translated—grace, wit and class.
Links to writings by Frazier
- "The Art of Wearing Clothes", article by George Frazier, Esquire magazine, September 1960
- "Whose Civil Rights", column by George Frazier, Boston Herald, August 30, 1963
- Small sample of Frazier's jazz criticism from 1942, JazzBoston
- "Warlord of the Weejuns", Frazier's liner notes for the 1965 album Miles Davis’ Greatest Hits (reprinted in Ivy Style, May 10, 2010)
- Fountain, Charles (1984). Another Man's Poison: The Life and Writings of Columnist George Frazier. Globe Pequot Press. ISBN 0-87106-857-5.
- Whitman, Alden (June 15, 1974). "George Frazier, Writer, 63, Dies; Columnist for Boston Globe, Life Editor, Jazz Critic Fond of Nantucket Wrote Monthly Column". The New York Times.
- Rodricks, Dan (August 13, 1990). "So just who has duende?". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 6, 2010.
- Vacca, Richard. "Of Datelines and Down Beats: Jazz, George Frazier, and Late-Night Boston". JazzBoston. Retrieved June 6, 2010.
- Negri, Gloria (June 27, 2008). "Mimsi Harbach, 87; former wife, partner of columnist George Frazier". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 6, 2010.
- Maroney , Edward F. (March 12, 2010). "(Untitled)". The Barnstable Patriot. Retrieved June 6, 2010.
- Fountain, Charles (June 12, 2011). "George Frazier’s duende". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
- Fountain, Charles (January 30, 2009). "Another Man’s Poison". Retrieved June 6, 2010.