Pioneers of the Blues Revival Steve Cushing 400 Pages ISBN: # 978-0252038334 University of Illinois Press 2014 Pioneers of the Blues Revival documents the efforts of a quirky set of researchers who slowly pieced together a version of blues history and meaning. This dedicated cohort, despite their widely different backgrounds, somehow brought together the skill sets necessary to create a literature based on blues research. Some would say that in the process the reinvented the blues in their own image. Regardless, their work affected mass culture perception of blues. For many, this may ...read more
Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of the Record Industry Gareth Murphy 400 Pages ISBN: # 978-1250043375 Thomas Dunn Books 2014 Revelations: I suppose you've come to see the future? If you wish to believe today's self-proclaimed experts, imagine a system of mobile devices through which music flows as a kind of utility, financed by a subscription similar to public television in Europe. Tomorrow's listeners will, they say, consume music like water..." Songs stored and played as computer files effectively antiqued music for delivery as discreet bundles of entertainment ...read more
Jazz Life: A Journey for Jazz Across America in 1960 William Claxton and Joachim E. Berendt 552 ISBN: 3836544687 Taschen 2013 A single photograph can say and convene more than a thousand words. Although music itself can't be photographed, only a handful of photographers ever got closer to pulling it off than photographers such as Herman Leonard, William P. Gottlieb or William Claxton, to name but a few, whose photographs have captured music's inexplicable quality. Musicians and music photographers have always engaged in a special kind of dance mainly because they need ...read more
Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World's Rarest 78 rpm Records Amanda Petrusich 272 Pages ISBN: # 978-1451667059 Scribner 2014 The text for Jonathan Edwards' famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" was based on the Old Testament scripture of Deuteronomy 32:35: Their foot shall slide in due time." But, rather than referring to the Christian unconverted, this admonition applies equally well to those humans innocently taking ownership of a dusty and scratched 78 rpm 10-inch shellac disc from ...read more
Don Drummond: The Genius and Tragedy of the World's Greatest Trombonist Heather Augustyn 233 pages ISBN: #978-0-7864-7547-6 McFarland 2013 Don Drummond: The Genius and Tragedy of the World's Greatest Trombonist--Heather Augustyn's study of the late and extraordinarily gifted Jamaican trombonist, composer and ska pioneer is exceptionally well-researched and very readable. What impresses most about the work is the author's painstaking efforts not only to reconstruct Drummond's troubled life from the accounts of those who knew him but also that of Anita 'Margarita' Mahfood, the lover he stabbed to death in January 1965.read more
Ska: The Rhythm of Liberation Heather Augustyn 163 pages ISBN: # 978-0-8108-8449-6 Scarecrow 2013 Heather Augustyn's Don Drummond: The Genius and Tragedy of the World's Greatest Trombonist offers an excellent study of a gifted but troubled man that succeeds both as analysis and narrative. By contrast, Ska: The Rhythm of Liberation is a less successful piece of work. It does have its strengths, however. Augustyn is particularly strong in her account of the origins of the Jamaican music of ska, a precursor in some senses of reggae. She locates this successfully ...read more
The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History, and the Challenge of Bebop (Music of the African Diaspora) Kindle Edition Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. 257 Pages ASIN: # B00CDTSS78 University of California Press 2013 All of the sudden, we have competing biographies of modern jazz pianist Bud Powell. For the longest only Francis Paudras' deeply sentimental memoir, Dance of the Infidels: A Portrait of Bud Powell (Da Capo, 1986) and Bertrand Tavernier's imaginative film adaptation of the same, Round Midnight (Warner Bros., 1986) were the only biopics" of the biographically-neglected pianist until Alan ...read more
Dameronia: The Life and Times of Tadd Dameron Paul Combs 264 Pages ISBN: # 978-0-472-03563-2 The University of Michigan Press2013 There is enough ugliness in this world; I'm interested in beauty."--Tadd Dameron Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf's a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf, So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day Nothing gold can stay. --Robert Frost Composer, arranger, and pianist Tadd Dameron ...read more
ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman Laurie Pepper 358 Pages ISBN: # 978-1494297572 Art Pepper Music Corporation 2014 About two-thirds the way through her memoir, ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman Laurie Pepper plants her spear in the dirt and declares the obvious: A question I ask myself is if Art hadn't had me there constantly assessing his mood, taking his aesthetic temperature, would he then have had to push his vision by himself"? I think somebody else, another friend or lover, might have done ...read more
Bathed in Lightning: John McLaughlin, the 60s and the Emerald Beyond Colin Harper 480 Pages ISBN: 978-1908279514 Jawbone 2014 Few guitarists in the history of jazz have leapt onto the scene the way John McLaughlin did when the relatively new British expat made two very different appearances on albums by seminal American artists in 1969: first, with drummer Tony Williams' then-new group, Lifetime on the dense, intense and intentionally supersonically loud Emergency! (Polydor); and then on another groundbreaking but easier on the ears yet equally innovative recording, In a Silent Way (Columbia), the ...read more
Wail: The Life of Bud Powell Peter Pullman 483 Pages ISBN-13: # 978-0985141813 (print) ASIN: B0079NR9IC (ebook) Peter Pullman, LLC 2012 The best biographies are well researched and annotated without being pedantic, informative without browbeating the reader and objective without indifference, or worse, malice. There exists excellent examples to illustrate the difference between good" and bad" biographies, written on the same subject: Elvis Presley. Peter Guralnick produced a two-volume set on Presley, Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley (Little Brown, 1995) and Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis ...read more
Straight Life--The Story of Art Pepper Art and Laurie Pepper 506 Pages ISBN# 0306805588 Da Capo Press 1996 Writer's Note: Straight Life--The Story of Art Pepper is 35-years old and is a well-established piece of jazz reportage not requiring further comment, which has never stopped me. I have written this piece for a two-fold reason: one, to provide All About Jazz some commentary original to the magazine, and to anticipate Laurie Pepper's long awaited memoir, ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman (Art Pepper Music Corporation, 2014). These two books taken together ...read more
Miles Davis: The Collected Artwork Scott Gutterman 204 ISBN: 978-1608872237 Insight Editions 2013 Few are the musicians in any era that accurately inhabit the word superstar" in the sense that artist Andy Warhol used it. He defined a superstar" as a person of style, influence and panache, a figure of endless charisma and on whom one's attention falls and rarely wanders. It could be said with certainty that trumpeter Miles Davis fits into that rare breed of superstars. He was a man of impeccable style and taste, and just like no ...read more
Dublin Jazz Book Vol. 1 Sam Kavanagh Pages: 80 ISBN: 979-0-9002321-0-6 Self Published 2014 Original, adventurous and visually striking, the Dublin Jazz Book may be the first jazz Real Book in the world to celebrate the original compositions of a single city. Conceived of by saxophonist Sam Kavanagh and designed by Steven McNamara, the DJB seeks an alternative path to gigs dominated by American jazz standards and a move towards the type of gigs and jam sessions where the compositions of a host of Dublin jazz musicians can be readily called upon. ...read more
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