‘Half-Blood Blues’ by Esi Edugyan
History is at the core of Esi Edugyan’s brilliant second novel, “Half-Blood Blues.’’ It focuses some young black jazz musicians: Americans, bassist Sid Griffiths and drummer Chip Jones, and German trumpeter Hieronymous Falk. The three find themselves in 1939 Berlin. For Griffiths and Jones, the last, unhappy gasp of the Weimar Republic is a more accepting environment than their Jim Crow hometown of Baltimore. And for Falk, the cosmopolitan city provides a chance to be who he is.