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Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEWS

50 Summers of Music: Montreux Jazz Festival

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50 Summers of Music: Montreux Jazz Festival Arnaud Robert 398 Pages ISBN: 978-2-84597-558-3 Montreux Jazz Festival/Editions Textuel 2016 It's neither the oldest nor the largest, but Montreux Jazz Festival is, arguably, the most famous music festival in the word. It's a notable and perhaps unlikely badge of honor for Montreux, described by Deep Purple in the early 1970s as “a sleepy little town full of old ladies and tea rooms." To ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Matthew Crampton: Human Cargo

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Human Cargo -Stories and Songs of Emigration, Slavery and Transportation Matthew Crampton 164 Pages ISBN: 978-0-9561361-2-1 Muddler Books 2016 The best books are those that tell their story with passion and, when needed, a sense of anger and disgust at human venality and corruption. But when a book tells a story you thought you knew too well already, adding not just nuance and detail but bringing whole new depths of understanding, you have ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Kickback City: Deluxe Edition

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Kickback City Ian Rankin/Tim Truman/Rory Gallagher 40 Pages ISBN: B019GLERXO Eagle Rock 2016 Notwithstanding titles such as “Deluxe Edition" of Irish Tour '74 (Legacy Recordings, 2014)or the almost equally splendid archiving that is Notes From San Francisco (Eagle Rock, 2011), Kickback City Deluxe Edition is the most distinctive entry in Rory Gallagher's discography. Two collections of studio and concert tracks highlight the detective mystery theme running through Gallagher's later original material, all of ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Godfather of the Music Business: Morris Levy by Richard Carlin

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Godfather of the Music Business: Morris Levy Richard Carlin 294 Pages ISBN: # 978-1496805706 University Press of Mississippi 2016 Well, I don't suppose it is an understatement to say that club owner and mid-20th Century music entrepreneur Morris Levi was a Son-of-a-bitch. That has been very well documented before Richard Carlin's in depth and informative biography, Godfather of the Music Business: Morris Levy. What Carlin has done is bring together ...

BOOK REVIEWS

How to Listen to Jazz by Ted Gioia

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“As you develop your listening skills, [answer this question]: Are the musicians playing the notes with precision, almost as if they are reading music from some Platonic ideal score, or are they handling them roughly, torturing them to make them speak the truth?" I see [Billie Holiday] more as a diagnostician of the soul, whose music reaches into those vulnerabilities and emotional risks that many of us avoid or actively repress. Ted Gioia, How To Listen ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Better Git It In Your Soul: An Interpretive Biography of Charles Mingus

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Better Git It In Your Soul: An Interpretive Biography Of Charles Mingus Krin Gabbard 296 Pages ISBN: 978-0-520 University California Press 2016 Compared to other historically important jazz figures, few have been the books dedicated to Charles Mingus, which is strange given his enduring influence on modern jazz practitioners. Perhaps Mingus was simply too complex a figure, both as a character and as a prolific composer of wildly inventive music to invite easy ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Bob Dylan: A Year and a Day

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Bob Dylan: A Year and a Day Daniel Kramer 288 Pages ISBN: 978-3-8365-4760-4 Taschen 2016 There is an intangible but powerful relationship between music and photography that can't be explained adequately with words. Music has often sought some form of association with the world of visual arts as often photographs can tell a story more articulately and can convey more meaning. Or they can convey more mystery. It is as if the grains ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Why Jazz? A Concise Guide

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Why Jazz? A Concise Guide Kevin Whitehead 184 pages ISBN-10: 0199731187 Oxford, University Press 2011 Small books on big themes are a tough gig. Jazz is a uniquely American, musically challenging, and highly improvisational musical form. Jazz is also a rather vexing topic to explain to the uninitiated (or even to the initiated, who quarrel much over it). Several years ago, I played some late-period work of John Coltrane (the first four ...


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