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Book Reviews

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, ...

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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 ...

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Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine

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The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine Joe Hagan 560 Pages ISBN: # 1101874376 Knopf 2017 If Jann Wenner, the subject of Sticky Fingers, wasn't such a devoted fan of the Rolling Stones (after whom he at least partially named the magazine he founded), Joe Hagan might've equally aptly titled his biography of the man after Kris Kristofferson's song “The Pilgrim," two lines of which appear to capture the ...

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Claude Ranger: Canadian Jazz Legend

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Claude Ranger: Canadian Jazz Legend Mark Miller 279 pages ISBN: 978-1-77302-559-9 Tellwell Talent 2017 The ultimate impact of a man's life is not always synonymous with the things he leaves behind. Such is the tacit premise of Mark Miller's exceptional biography of Canadian jazz drummer, composer and bandleader Claude Ranger. Shortly before disappearing without a trace in November of 2000, Ranger burned all of his compositions, none of which had been published. ...

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Softly, With Feeling

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Softly with Feeling. Joe Wilder and the Breaking of Barriers in American Music Edward Berger 378 Pages ISBN: 978-1-4399-1127-3 Temple University Press 2014 It's a long way from Darby Colwyn PA to Manhattan NY in more ways than one. There's an old Fels Naptha plant that has always seemed the pride of Colwyn, that is, until you know about Joe Wilder. Many of us discover him scandalously late in life, decades after our ...

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Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In And Out Of Jazz

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Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In And Out Of Jazz Fred Hersch 307 Pages ISBN: #9781101904343 Crown Archetype Press 2017 Disclaimer #1: Like the author, I harbor a blood pathogen (he HIV, me Leukemia) that is intent on killing me. Disclaimer #2: Being of similar age, the author's discovery of jazz as an art form very much paralleled mine. It was September 4, 2015, and I was ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Jazzing: New York City's Unseen Scene

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Jazzing: New York City's Unseen Scene Thomas H. Greenland 245 pages ISBN: #978025081606 University of Illinois Press 2016 This week I plan on attending three live jazz performances. I'm fortunate to reside in an area that affords the opportunity to check out a variety of jazz musicians who I otherwise might only hear on recordings, or not at all. Aesthetically-related reasons for my selections vary. On Wednesday night I'm patronizing an ongoing jazz ...

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David Bowie: Behind the Curtain

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David Bowie: Behind the Curtain Andrew Kent 160 Pages ISBN: 0996058753 Press Syndication Group 2017 Very few musicians have been as documented, analyzed or scrutinized as singer David Bowie. Ever since the 60s, Bowie has spent his entire life in the spotlight and really very few musicians can match or parallel his imaginative and aesthetic influence he has had during his lifetime. An ever evolving and transformative person, he was a master of ...

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In Tune: Charley Patton, Jimmie Rodgers, and the Roots of American Music by Ben Wynne

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In Tune: Charley Patton, Jimmie Rodgers, and the Roots of American Music Ben Wynne 296 Pages ISBN: # 978-0807157800 Louisiana State Press 2014 With surgical precision, Ben Wynne teases away all the romantic claptrap surrounding two titan music contemporaries, placing them in their appropriate historical perspectives, perspectives that make for a unique Venn diagram of social and cultural overlaps that highlight the elements common to both the blues and country music. He does ...


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