Terry Teachout has written many articles and books about jazz and jazz musicians. I have read and admired his biographies of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Most recently, on May 17, 2017, he published a piece on Bunny Berigan in Commentary. It is entitled “The Tragic Trumpeter…a Jazz Casualty.” Although I do not agree with everything Mr. Teachout says in his article, I am happy that he has written knowingly about Bunny Berigan, and that what he has written has appeared in a mainstream publication.
Here is a link to Terry’s piece:
Teachout seems deliberately obtuse about alcoholism/addiction. There’s no separate ‘mystery’ for Berigan that’s all that different from Bix, or Bird, or Fats Navarro, or any other casualty.
These examples are, perhaps, joined by the fact that their addictions actually killed them at very young ages. Many others were able to keep up their careers and lived for much longer periods. And only some did it by getting sober—e.g. Bobby Hackett, Pee Wee Russell etc.