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Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEWS

Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968

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Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968 Ryan H. Walsh 368 Pages ISBN: # 978-0735221345 Penguin Press 2018 Before thoroughly delving into Ryan H. Walsh's Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968, a reader can thumb randomly through its three-hundred fifty-some pages and find nary a reference to Van Morrison or the epochal album after which this story of a pivotal year in Boston, Massachusetts is named. But that perception is as ...

BOOK REVIEWS

My Life in the Key of E

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My Life in the Key of E: A Memoir Pete Escovedo with Sarah Spinner Escovedo 284 Pages ISBN: 978-0-692-87885-9 2017 It's not news that the music business is tough. There are some phenomenally talented people who scuffle for years trying to pay the rent. And, yes, there is the other phenomenon too,a commercially successful mediocrity elevated by the vagaries of popular taste. If for no other reason, Pete ...

BOOK REVIEWS

The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums

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The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums Will Friedwald 432 pages ISBN: 0307379078 Pantheon 2017 Will Friedwald has written a nice fat, fact-laden book, closely analyzing each song on the fifty-one albums he's chosen. Comparing his responses to one's own is interesting, but what really makes this book valuable is the extensive context he provides for each album. Friedwald has been operating in the world of jazz and pop vocals for ...

BOOK REVIEWS

The Universe and John Coltrane: The Physics of Cosmic Vibrations

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The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe Stephon Alexander 272 Pages ISBN: # 13: 978-0465093571; # 10: 0465093574 Basic Books 2016 On the face of it, the premise that jazz and physics are related disciplines seems strange and remote. Because of its spontaneous nature, rhythmic pulse, and emphasis on emotion, jazz is a personal, subjective artistic means of expression which is accessible to almost ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Good Morning Blues

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Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography of Count Basie as told to Albert Murray William James Basie 399 Pages ISBN: 978-1-5179-0143-1 University of Minnesota Press 2016 (1985) In May 1959 Count Basie and his Orchestra played a “Breakfast Dance and Barbecue," like back in Kansas City, hosted by Roulette Records, for whom Basie had recently started to record. Lord, what a band: Thad Jones, Joe Newman,, Snooky Young and Wendell Culley on trumpet; ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Never Say No to a Rock Star: In the Studio with Dylan, Sinatra, Jagger and More

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Never Say No to a Rock Star: In the Studio with Dylan, Sinatra, Jagger and More Glenn Berger 4569 (Kindle) Pages ISBN: # 9781943156108 e: Schaffner Press 2016 “Never Say No to a Rock Star" is Glen Berger's lively account of his experiences participating in the production of some of the most successful recordings in recent popular music. A fascinating fly-on-the-studio-wall depiction, it covers his apprenticeship under hit-maker Phil Ramone at A+R ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Music From Out There, In Here: 25 Years Of The London Jazz Festival

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Music From Out There, In Here: 25 Years Of The London Jazz Festival Emma Webster, George McKay 136 Pages University Of East Anglia 2017 There was a time when London had more jazz festivals than you could shake a stick at. Most, however, have disappeared, leaving the London Jazz Festival, founded in 1993, as the flagship. Twenty five years is not old in jazz festival terms--the wonderful trad jazz festival that is the Australian ...

BOOK REVIEWS

The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums

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The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums Will Friedwald 432 pages ISBN: 0307379078 Pantheon 2017 The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums is unique and Will Friedwald, who has extensive knowledge of and affection for singers and songs, has mined an area all his own. Sure, there are books about singers--jazz and pop--and reviews of their albums. Many of them are excellent, but I know of none that select 57 “great" albums and ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Listening For The Secret: The Grateful Dead And The Politics Of Improvisation

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Listening For The Secret: The Grateful Dead And The Politics Of Improvisation Ulf Olsson 184 Pages ISBN: 978-0520286641 University of California Press 2017 The Grateful Dead, possibly the most heavily documented band ever, was under one form of microscope or another from its inception in Palo Alto, California in 1965. Music critics, academics, the FBI, all have attempted to understand the cultural phenomenon that was The Grateful Dead--and in doing so it seems, ...

BOOK REVIEWS

All That's Jazz

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All That's Jazz Sammy Stein 198 Pages ISBN: 13: 978-0-9557670-9-8 Tomahawk Press 2017 Sammy Stein is a brave woman. Take that title--not just a riff on “All That Jazz" to cover a personal memoir of time spent in the jazz trenches but ALL that IS jazz. This is a book that in the author's words attempts to ..."share this wonderful music with as many as possible, to allow people to understand that jazz ...