Amazon.com Widgets
80 Recommend It!

But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz

By Published: | 3,167 views
But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz by Geoff Dyer
North Point Press, 1996
0-865-47490-7

At first glance, Geoff Dyer's But Beautiful appears to be a collection of biographical essays. It's not. In his portraits of jazz luminaries like Bud Powell, Chet Baker, Charles Mingus, and Ben Webster, the author plays sufficiently fast and loose with the facts to qualify as a fiction writer, and a brilliant one. It's hard to explain how he does it—in fact, the very idea of a young British novelist inflating Thelonious Monk's life with poetic ether was enough to make me shudder. Yet Dyer has pulled it off: these are elegant and moving vignettes that capture the feeling of music with eerie precision. Here he is on Monk's technique: "He didn't play the piano really. His body was his instrument and the piano was just a means of getting the sound out of his body at the rate and in the quantities he wanted." Enough said.


Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

About | Enter

Tom Chang

Tom Chang

About | Enter

Cedar Walton

Cedar Walton

About | Enter

Sheryl Bailey

Sheryl Bailey

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW