Book Excerpts

BOOK EXCERPTS

The View from the Back of the Band: The Life and Music of Mel Lewis

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The following is an excerpt from “Chapter 13: Opening Night at the Village Vanguard" of The View from the Back of the Band: The Life and Music of Mel Lewis by Chris Smith (University of North Texas Press, 2014). In November of 1965, Thad and Mel quickly put together a list of the musicians they wanted for their band. While Thad had certain friends at CBS that he wanted to hire, and Mel had musicians he wanted, ...

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Bebop, Swing, and Bella Musica: Jazz and the Italian American Experience

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The following is an excerpt from the “Lennie Tristano: The Passionate Intellectual" chapter of Bebop, Swing, and Bella Musica: Jazz and the Italian American Experience by Bill Dal Cerro and David Anthony Witter (Bella Musica Publishing, 2015). World War II and the atomic bomb changed not only the political landscape, but art, architecture and music as well. In architecture, “Googie" or “Ray-Gun Gothic" combined many of the traditional elements introduced by Frank Lloyd Wright almost forty years ...

BOOK EXCERPTS

Listen to This: Miles Davis and "Bitches Brew"

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The following is an excerpt from the “MUSIC" chapter of Listen to This: Miles Davis and “Bitches Brew" by Victor Svorinich (University Press of Mississippi, 2015). Call It Anything “I'd like to say one thing about Miles Davis. One time he said to me, 'Hey Wayne, do you get tired of playing music that sounds like music?'" --Wayne Shorter “Call It Anything" was one of the working titles used for Bitches Brew. It ...

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John Coltrane: Exploring the Mystery of A Love Supreme, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 This year marks the 50th anniversary of John Coltrane's album, A Love Supreme. Here is a critical engagement of various parts of A Love Supreme by UC-Berkeley professor and author Dr. Scott Saul. The excerpt is taken from his award winning book Freedom Is, Freedom Ain't: Jazz and the Making of the Sixties. Saul provides a penetrating analysis of the deep spirituality embedded in Coltrane's iconic album, supported by a sharp musical ...

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John Coltrane: A Deeper Look Into His Iconic Album A Love Supreme

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Part 1 | Part 2 This year marks the 50th anniversary of John Coltrane's album, A Love Supreme. Here is a critical engagement of Coltrane's 4th movement entitled “Psalm" by UC-Berkeley professor and author Scott Saul. The excerpt is taken from his award winning book entitled Freedom Is, Freedom Ain't: Jazz and the Making of the Sixties. “Psalm" extends the recitative texture of the opening moments of “Liberia" over its entirety. For seven minutes, Coltrane ...

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And All That Motive: A Casey McKie Mystery

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The following is an excerpt from the first chapter of And All That Motive: A Casey McKie Mystery by Joan Merrill (CreateSpace, 2014). Who the hell was calling me this early on a Sunday morning? After a night of music and drinking. Jesus. “Casey McKie," I mumbled, not hiding my annoyance. “Casey, Casey, can you hear me? I need you to come over--shee-it--how do you work this goddamned thing--fuck it." And ...

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On Highway 61: Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom

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The following is an excerpt from the “Spirituals to Swing" chapter of On Highway 61: Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom by Dennis McNally (Counterpoint Press, Berkeley, 2014). Danny Barker, who in the 1930s was Cab Calloway's guitarist, told a particularly revealing story of working at the Nest Club, a Harlem after-hours joint. Business would be dead when the doorman buzzed three loud rings to indicate that they had prospects coming. The band would strike ...

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For the Artists: Critical Writing, Volume 2

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Miles Davis: The Complete On the Corner Sessions Sony-Legacy Music, October 2007 “There is no architecture and no build-up. Just a vivid, uninterrupted succession of colors, rhythms and moods." --Arnold Schoenberg, describing his Five Pieces for Orchestra in a letter to Richard Strauss, 1909, quoted in The Rest is Noise, Alex Ross (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007) The music Miles Davis forged in the first half of the 1970s, his so-called “electric period," is ...



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