All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Serving jazz worldwide since 1995
All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Book Reviews

April 2, 2014

Being Here: Conversations On Creating Music

Read "Being Here: Conversations On Creating Music"

By SAMMY STEIN

Being Here: Conversations On Creating Music Radhika Philip 461 pages ISBN: 13:978-0-989-488006 Radhio.org 2013 Imagine having conversations with a large, diverse group of jazz musicians; old and young, both those who have been around for years and those relatively new to the scene. Radhika Philip has done just that, and documented their reflections in her book. The interviews were carried out in various places, including Philip's home, musicians' homes and various locations around New York. Philip is fully aware of New York's importance as a crucible for creativity and also the importance ...

Read More
March 31, 2014

Dance of the Infidels: A Portrait of Bud Powell

Read "Dance of the Infidels: A Portrait of Bud Powell"

By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

Dance of the Infidels: A Portrait of Bud Powell Francis Paudras 355 Pages ISBN: # 0-306-80816-1 Da Capo Press 1998 Pianist Earl Randolph “Bud" Powell (1924-1966) is one of jazz's brightest stars and most tragic figures. The new millennium has enjoyed a renewed interest in Powell, his life and art with Alan Groves and Alyn Shipton's Glass Enclosure: The Life of Bud Powell (Bloomsbury Academic, 2001), Peter Pullman's Wail: The Life of Bud Powell (Peter Pullman, LLC, 2001) and Gruthrie Ramsey's The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History, and the Challenge of ...

Read More
March 27, 2014

America's Music: Jazz In Newark

Read "America's Music: Jazz In Newark"

By DAVID A. ORTHMANN

America's Music: Jazz In Newark Barbara J. Kukla 324 pages ISBN: #978-0-9768130-3-3 Swing City Press 2014 Every jazz fan has a story about how the music became an important part of their life. For some the point of entry was taking up a musical instrument. Others fell under the music's spell after hearing a family member's or neighbor's jazz records. And there are those whose exposure to sounds intended as an aphrodisiac led to a lifelong love affair with the music. Barbara J. Kukla's introduction to jazz occurred in ...

Read More
March 26, 2014

Pops – The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout

Read "Pops – The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout"

By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

Pops--The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong Terry Teachout 508 Pages ISBN: # 1906779562 Aurum Press 2014 Critic Terry Teachout published his biography of Louis Armstrong, Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) in 2009, republishing it under the present title of Pops--The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong in Kindle and hardcover format. Qualitatively, the biographies are the same. Teachout as biographer has benefitted from all previous Armstrong reportage plus recently released personal writings of Armstrong. This new material included 650 reels of tape recordings privately made by Armstrong during the ...

Read More
March 24, 2014

Chet Baker: The Missing Years by Artt Frank

Read "Chet Baker: The Missing Years by Artt Frank"

By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

Chet Baker: The Missing Years Artt Frank 234 Pages ISBN: # 978-0-9887687-4-1 BooksEndependent 2014 Baker attracts positive and negative criticism like a celebrity black hole--the artist as hero and antihero. When considering Baker, you consider no one else. From “On The Banks of the Jabbok with Chet Baker," All About Jazz, 2012. Since his death in 1988, trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker has been the subject of three biographies that when taken together, provide a temporal account of the musician's often turbulent life. The biographies must be considered together because ...

Read More
March 9, 2014

One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band

By JOHN COLTELLI

One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band Alan Paul 436 Pages ISBN: #978-1-250-04049-7 St. Martin's Press 2014 Apparently the calling to go out and capture the American spirit on canvas came to Norman Rockwell at an early age. Picking up the mantel, and paintbrush, he documented boys at play, secretaries at work, housewives baking pies and other scenes brilliantly depicting various aspects of Americana. What he neglected to chronicle however, either intentionally or not, is what has come to be one of the great American settings and a ...

Read More
February 16, 2014

Bach: Music In The Castle Of Heaven by Sir John Eliot Gardiner

By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

Bach: Music In The Castle Of Heaven John Eliot Gardiner 672 Pages ISBN: # :0375415297 Knopf 2013 There are a dozen reasons why Bach: Music In The Castle Of Heaven is an important addition to the J.S. Bach bibliography, several being associated with its author, Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Gardiner is the dean of the college of Bach Choral specialists, a college containing names like Joshua Rifkin, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Philippe Herreweghe, Ton Koopman, Masaaki Suzuki, and Helmuth Rilling. What separates Gardiner from the rest of the Bach pack is his Bach Cantata ...

Read More
February 16, 2014

Falling Cars and Junkyard Dogs

By DOUG COLLETTE

Falling Cars and Junkyard Dogs Jay Farrar 192 ISBN: #1593765126 Soft Skull Press 2013 Anyone who's familiar with Jay Farrar's work with Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt, his various collaborations such as New Multitudes and Gob Iron or his solo work knows he has a love of language almost as passionate as his love for music. It should come as no surprise then that he would inevitably write a book or that the publication would reaffirm that impression of Farrar as a writer. But Falling Cars and Junkyard Dogs extends Farrar's talents ...

Read More
February 8, 2014

David Sylvian: On the Periphery (The Solo Years)

Read "David Sylvian: On the Periphery (The  Solo Years)"

By NENAD GEORGIEVSKI

David Sylvian: On the Periphery (The Solo Years) Christopher E. Young 372 ISBN: 978-0-9927228-0-7 Malin Publishing Ltd 2013 With his songs of spiritual and emotional quest, and unspeakable yearning, singer and composer David Sylvian really occupies his own musical cosmos. Often viewed as the quiet man of popular music who through hushed stillness and subtle, delicate and sometimes disturbing sounds, has created a body of work which provided an important bridge between different genres, eras and types of artists. As an artist, Sylvian has a shadow that has stretched across 30 years ...

Read More
February 3, 2014

Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker

Read "Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker"

By DAVID A. ORTHMANN

Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker Stanley Crouch 365 ISBN:978-0-06-200559-5 Harper Collins 2013 Stanley Crouch's account of Charlie Parker's first twenty-one years isn't a litany of facts and antidotes rendered in an easily digestible form. Not unlike Parker, Crouch is brilliant, bold, ambitious, and mercurial. He delights in conjoining a dazzling array of topics, often introducing a particular subject, moving on to something else, and later on revisiting the original concept in a different guise. Nothing stands in isolation; everything is interrelated. The book is filled with extended journeys ...

Read More
January 25, 2014

Brian Eno: Visual Music

Read "Brian Eno: Visual Music"

By NENAD GEORGIEVSKI

Brian Eno: Visual Music Christopher Scoates 416 pages ISBN: 1452108498 Chronicle Books 2013 To say that polymath Brian Eno is one of the most influential figures of our time would be a severe understatement. Eno has been one of the pivotal figures of the 20th century music as he introduced a popular voice to a century of musical change, and he has continued to do so in the next one he has helped to envision. Innovative, exuberant and controversial, Eno has, during any point of his illustrious career, found both popular appeal ...

Read More
January 19, 2014

Shakin' All Over: Popular Music and Disbaility

Read "Shakin' All Over: Popular Music and Disbaility"

By IAN PATTERSON

Shakin' All Over: Popular Music and Disability George McKay 230 pages ISBN: #978-0-472-05209-7 University of Michigan Press 2013 Given the vast quantities written about popular music culture it is perhaps surprising that so little critical space has been given to disability and popular music. Despite this anomaly, author George McKay, Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Salford, argues that there exist identifiable and powerful links between popular music and the “damaged" body or voice: “The moment we begin to look for, to discuss disability (in popular music) we find it everywhere," ...

Read More
January 15, 2014

Juan Tizol: His Caravan Through Life and American Culture

Read "Juan Tizol: His Caravan Through Life and American Culture"

By TOMAS PENA

Juan Tizol--His Caravan Through Life and American Culture Basilio Serrano Pages ISBN: #978-14691-8166 Xlibris 2012 Basilio Serrano is a seasoned educator, historian and a person who is all too familiar with the plight of Puerto Ricans whose contributions to jazz have been ignored or forgotten. In 2000 he wrote a series of articles on Juan Tizol's cross-cultural collaborations with Duke Ellington, Harry James and other nationally known orchestras. In addition he has written articles about Boricua Pioneers in Latin Jazz, Puerto Rican Musicians of the Harlem Renaissance and essays on pianist Noro ...

Read More
January 3, 2014

Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans

Read "Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans"

By FLORENCE WETZEL

Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans Matt Sakakeeny 248 pages ISBN: 978-0-8223-5567-0 Duke University Press 2013 In his fascinating book Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans, ethnomusicologist and journalist Matt Sakakeeny delves deep into one of the great institutions of American music. In this searingly honest portrait of 21st-century brass bands, Sakakeeny shares the stories of musicians in three contemporary brass bands: Rebirth, Soul Rebels, and Hot 8. The musicians' personal stories are interwoven with historical information, academic reflection, and personal experience, combining ...

Read More