Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEWS

6 Steps To Big Band Writing

Read "6 Steps To Big Band Writing" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

6 Steps to Big Band Writing Steven Feifke 44 pages Jazz Lesson Videos 2019 Big band writing is no simple task. As with any skill, musical or otherwise, it requires time, study, and patience to reach a true level of proficiency. In short, it's an art that shouldn't be minimized. But it's also a process that need not mystify. Foundational knowledge connected to big band scoring is, at it's heart, all about building blocks. ...

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Can't Give It Away On Seventh Avenue: The Rolling Stones And New York City

Read "Can't Give It Away On Seventh Avenue: The Rolling Stones And New York City" reviewed by Doug Collette

Can't Give It Away on Seventh Avenue: The Rolling Stones and New York City Christopher McKittrick 256 pages ISBN: #978-1642930399 Post Hill Press2019 Based on his extremely well-wrought prologue, Christoper McKittrick's Can't Give It Away on Seventh Avenue would seem to be based on a very finite premise. But it's a deceptively complex one and to his great credit, the writer balances the main theme, accurately paraphrased on the back cover with the ...

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The Routledge Companion To Jazz Studies

Read "The Routledge Companion To Jazz Studies" reviewed by Ian Patterson

The Routledge Companion To Jazz Studies Edited by Nicholas Gebhardt, Nicole Rustin-Paschal and Tony Whyton 481 Pages ISBN: 978-1-138-23116-0 Routledge 2019 Spoiler alert: this book may permanently alter many fixed notions of jazz history previously held by the reader. In fact, it would be a surprise if it didn't. For taken together, these forty-four essays by leading international jazz scholars / researchers, take firmly entrenched jazz narratives by the scruff of the ...

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Begin the Begin: R.E.M.'s Early Years

Read "Begin the Begin: R.E.M.'s Early Years" reviewed by Doug Collette

Begin the Begin: R.E.M.'s Early Years Robert Dean Lurie 288 pages ISBN: #978-1891241680 Verse Chorus Press 2019 Coming from the unusual angle of a repatriated Southerner by the name of Robert Dean Lurie, Begin The Begin is a fast and fascinating read devoted to the formative period, including the first flush(es) of success that occurred during R.E.M.'s Early Years. As is the case with the best book covers, this one featuring Joanna Schwartz' ...

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Sounds: Inside Stories of Jazz Studio Sessions By Famed Recording Engineer Max Bolleman

Read "Sounds: Inside Stories of Jazz Studio Sessions By Famed Recording Engineer Max Bolleman" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Sounds: Inside Stories of Jazz Studio Sessions Max Bolleman 256 Pages ISBN: #978-90-820456-1-1 (Self-Published) 2018 When it comes to recorded jazz, most diehard fans have definitive tastes in how they want their music to sound and be reproduced at home and on the go. It is not unusual to find zealots outlining the relative merits of recording engineers such as Rudy Van Gelder or Roy DuNann. Of more recent vintage, astute listeners will ...

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Singer’s Survival Guide to Touring by Elisabeth Lohninger

Read "Singer’s Survival Guide to Touring by Elisabeth Lohninger" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Singer's Survival Guide to Touring Elisabeth Lohninger 172 pages ISBN: # 978-1793950161 Lofish Music 2019 Singer/composer/arranger/bandleader/teacher Elisabeth Lohninger adds published author to her credentials with Singer's Survival Guide to Touring, a primer on how not to lose one's mind (and health) as a touring musician. To be completely fair and transparent, Lohninger has been a published author since 2013 when she released a series of short stories, A Walk in the Park (Lofish ...

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Ziga Koritnik: Cloud Arrangers

Read "Ziga Koritnik: Cloud Arrangers" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

Cloud Arrangers Ziga Koritnik 376 Pages ISBN: 978-961-288-626-4 Drustvo Pega 2019 Most of the music we experience today is heard removed from the presence of the performers. That is the result of the invention of the phonograph and every other invention to date following in its footsteps. The invention of this apparatus has had the same effect as the printing press had on literature i.e., it allowed numerous people who otherwise wouldn't have ...

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Ricochet: David Bowie 1983

Read "Ricochet: David Bowie 1983" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

Ricochet: David Bowie 1983 Denis O'Regan 328 pages ISBN: 9781846149726 Particular Books 2018 1983 was a great year for David Bowie. In the previous two years he bowed out of music for a spell in order to act, debuting on Broadway as The Elephant Man and on television in Bertolt Brecht's play Baal. This move culminated in 1983, when he landed leading roles in two movies. Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, directed ...

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Shake Your Hips: The Excello Records Story by Randy Fox

Read "Shake Your Hips: The Excello Records Story by Randy Fox" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Shake Your Hips: The Excello Records Story Randy Fox 170 Pages ISBN: # 9781947026223 BMG 2018 As almost a vital act of nature, three books that would make a tidy trilogy in any musical world, were recently released independently. These are: Blues From The Bayou: The Rhythms Of Baton Rouge (Pelican Publishing Press, 2018), Martin HawkinsSlim Harpo: Blues King Bee Of Baton Rouge (LSU Press, 2016), and the present Shake Your Hips: The ...

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Billie Holiday: Lady Sings The Blues

Read "Billie Holiday: Lady Sings The Blues" reviewed by Ian Patterson

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 ...

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Tracy Fessenden: Religion Around Billie Holiday

Read "Tracy Fessenden: Religion Around Billie Holiday" reviewed by Steve Provizer

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 ...

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Sonny Rollins: Meditating on a Riff

Read "Sonny Rollins: Meditating on a Riff" reviewed by Steve Provizer

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 ...


Summertime Magic

Statik Link captures the sound of Soul and Jazz that was popular in the 1970s with a modern twist. The trumpet, saxophones, and drums were recorded with vintage microphones for a tone like no other.

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