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Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEWS

Billie Holiday: Lady Sings The Blues

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Lady Sings The Blues Billie Holiday/William Dufty 180 Pages ISBN: 978-0-241-35129-1 Penguin Modern Classics 2018 For many, Billie Holiday was the greatest of all the jazz singers, while her emotive delivery and tragic persona seemed to embody the early jazz life in all its boho chic and with all its dark undertones. Six decades after her death from alcohol-related illness at the age of forty four, Holiday remains a hugely admired and somewhat ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Tracy Fessenden: Religion Around Billie Holiday

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Religion Around Billie Holiday Tracy Fessenden 280 pages ISBN: #9780271080956 Cambridge University Press 2018 This is one of the most unusual books about a jazz figure that I've encountered in a long time. The premise, as spelled out in this interview with author Fessenden, is fascinating. She is the Steve and Margaret Forster Professor and interim Director of the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. Her previous ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Sonny Rollins: Meditating on a Riff

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Sonny Rollins--Meditating on a Riff Hugh Wyatt 304 Pages ISBN: #978-0-9981219-2-5 Kamama Books 2018 Author Hugh Wyatt doesn't hide his friendship with Sonny Rollins-Rollins is his daughter's godfather-he has written a spiritual biography of saxophone great Sonny Rollins which is perilously close to hagiography. He says in the intro that he doesn't want to avoid the dark incidents in Sonny's life and he doesn't. However, whether describing Rollins' involvement in heroin, his ...

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Dexter Gordon: Portrait of a Sophisticated Giant

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Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon Maxine Gordon 261 Pages ISBN: #9780520280649 University of California Press 2018 Maxine Gordon was the last of Dexter Gordon's several wives and she has written a biography of Gordon, a task with which he charged her before he died in 1990. The saxophonist had actually done some writing on an autobiography before he died and Maxine Gordon was able to use this material in ...

BOOK REVIEWS

The History Of European Jazz: The Music, Musicians And Audience in Context

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The History Of European Jazz: The Music, Musicians And Audience In Context Various authors/Edited by Francesco Martinelli 741 Pages ISBN: 13 978 1 78179 446 3 Equinox Publishing 2018 It's taken some time, about a century in fact, but finally, thanks chiefly to editor and jazz historian Francesco Martinelli of Siena Jazz, the first comprehensive, pan-European history of jazz sees the light of day. And what stories they are too -complex, colorful ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Dreaming of Dylan: 115 Dreams About Bob

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Dreaming of Dylan: 115 Dreams About Bob Mary Lee Kortes 160 Pages ISBN: #978-1947026179 BMG Books 2018 Considering the subject of Mary Lee Kortes' Dreaming of Dylan, it may sound implausible to suggest the cover reminds of nothing so much as books of Shel Silverstein such as The Giving Tree (Harper & Row, 1964). But that implicit connection, intentional or not, is wholly appropriate: all three writers invoke the whimsical side of their ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Tom Petty And Me: My Rock 'n' Roll Adventures with Tom Petty

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Tom Petty And Me: My Rock 'n' Roll Adventures with Tom Petty Jon Scott 190 Pages ISBN: #978-0692091197 Chickasaw Buddy Publishing, INC. 2018 Tom Petty And Me has a most interesting premise, its effect heightened when considering the late musician's tumultuous history with his record label(s). In My Rock 'n' Roll Adventures with..., a company promo man, Jon Scott, recounts his collaboration(s) with and on behalf of an artist he came to deeply ...

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Leaps & Sounds: 12 Contemporary Etudes for Jazz Saxophone

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Leaps & Sounds: 12 Contemporary Etudes For Jazz Saxophone by Adam Larson17 Pages ISBN: #978-1724613059 Self Published 2018 The educational market is saturated with printed materials that regurgitate the same concepts with slight-to-little-to-no variation, playing--or preying, perhaps--on everything from foundational needs to grasps at virtuosity. Truly novel concepts are, sadly, few and far between, but sometimes a book comes along that finds new angles and conceptual footholds. Enter Adam Larson's Leaps & ...

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Roger Daltrey: Thanks A Lot Mr Kibblewhite - My Story

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Thanks A Lot Mr Kibblewhite Roger Daltrey 272 Pages ISBN: #978-1250296030 Henry Holt and Co. 2018 Unlike most rock and roll memoirs, Roger Daltrey's is not a tell-all. Far from it, because, like most interviews the author conducts, Thanks A Lot Mr Kibblewhite is based on the 'less said the better' premise. In two-hundred-forty some pages, the lead vocalist of the Who is terse and to-the point, perhaps too much so for some ...

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Hearing Beethoven: A Story of Musical Loss and Discovery by Robin Wallace

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Hearing Beethoven: A Story of Musical Loss and Discovery Robin Wallace 288 Pages ISBN: # 978-0226429755 University of Chicago Press 2017 It is the artistic human-interest story to end them all. The most famous “Classical" composer spent the better part of his late composing period almost completely deaf, in the process completing a body of music unsurpassed 200 year later. The sheer Romanticism of the thought of it is almost too much to ...

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More Than A Jazz Legend: Dexter Gordon and His Search For Personal Integrity

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Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon Maxine Gordon 261 Pages ISBN: #9780520280649 University of California Press 2018 Dexter Gordon became a jazz legend in his own time. He played a key role in the bebop and hard bop movements, created an instantly recognizable style that came from Louis Armstrong and Lester Young but moved quickly into the modern jazz era, and established a new standard for tenor saxophone playing. ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Alligator founder provides blues fans insider look at running of label

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Bitten By the Blues: The Alligator Records Story Bruce Iglauer with Patrick A. Roberts 338 Pages ISBN: 9780226129907 University of Chicago Press 2018 Bruce Iglauer's autobiographical history of Alligator Records is, in many ways, a story about technological change as much as it is about music. Yet, even more than a book about music or technology, at its heart, “Bitten by the Blues" is a business tale--the story of how a ...