Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEWS

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

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On Highway 61: Music, Race and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom Dennis McNally 384 Pages ISBN: # 1619024497 Counterpoint 2014 Don't be intimidated by the subtitle of Dennis McNally's book. On Highway 61 is the antithesis of the dry drone of academia. On the contrary, while this is not exactly a breezy read, the author maintains a firmly conversational tone and a healthy detachment from his subject(s), utilizing the delivery of a writer who not only knows his material cold, but knows how to keep it in perspective as he moves from one ...

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A Half-Million Dollars: Biographies of Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis

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It was December 4, 1956. The famous black and white, now sepia photograph snapped that winter afternoon shows four young men, silhouetted against acoustic tile, making joyful noise. Three of the four were standing around the one at the piano, the one who would be king. When this photograph was taken, two of the men were 21-and the other two, 24-years old. Two were Baptists and two the chosen, Assembly of God, with both traditions shot deep in their individual flawed psyches. All were Scotch-Irish, hard-scrabbled proud Southern poor. These young men, young adults in the Post-War '50s, were about ...

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Joe Maini

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Joe Maini Nicolas Rabel 17 Pages Ideo-Libris 2014 Saxophonist Joe Maini's life was short, fast and colorful and it ended tragically when he was still in his prime. A talented yet erratic musician Maini was a fervent admirer of saxophone master and innovator Charlie Parker, but only spent a very brief while in New York learning from his idol. Otherwise he spent most of his career in Los Angeles and remains sorely unknown outside a small group of jazz fanatics. Nicolas Rabel's second jazz-app, on the digital imprint Ideo-Libris that he cofounded, ...

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Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan

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Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan Ellen Johnson 234 pages ISBN: 978-0-8108-8836-4 Rowman & Littlefield 2014 That Ellen Johnson's revealing portrait of Sheila Jordan is the first full biography of the eighty five-year old Pennsylvanian-born singer reaffirms the notion that the dominant jazz narrative has always lionized certain artists to the exclusion of others. As the progenitor of the bass and vocal duo Jordan was an innovative figure from the get go. Instigator of arguably the first solo jazz vocal program in America in the late 1970s and one ...

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Uncompromising Expression: 75 Years of the Finest in Jazz

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Uncompromising Expression:75 Years of the Finest in Jazz Richard Havers 400 pages ISBN: # 978-1-4521-4144-2 Chronicle Books 2014 It's probably still a bit of an understatement to suggest that Blue Note Records has become one of the most iconic labels associated with recorded jazz. Now in its 75th year, the label has undergone radical changes over the course of its history, not the least of which has been the recent appointment of Don Was as president and keeper of the flame. Over the course of this past year, Was put in place a ...

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We Thought We Could Change The World

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We Thought We Could Change The World Gerard Rouy 189 PagesISBN: # 978-3-95593-047-9 Wolke Verlag Hofheim 2014 There are many worthy books on jazz, its history and growth, that provide insight into how the art form has influenced other genres and developed in different locations. This effort is a worthy addition. In this personal and enlightening book Peter Brotzmann is in conversation with Gerard Rouy. Rouy is a French journalist and photographer who worked for Jazz Magazine, Paris from 1970 to 2009. Already familiar with the music, he first heard ...

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Please Be With Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman by Galadrielle Allman

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Please Be With Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman Galadrielle Allman 400 Pages ISBN: # 978-1400068944 Spiegel & Grau 2014 Galadrielle Allman was two-years old when her father, Allman Brothers Band founder Duane Allman, was killed in a motorcycle accident October 29, 1971. Since that time, she has been chasing a phantom and that chase has manifested as Please Be With Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman. It is a welcome addition to the DA bibliography, joining Randy Poe's Skydog: The Duane Allman Story (Back Beat, 2006). Please ...



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