All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
The House That Trane Built: The Story Of Impulse Records Ashley Kahn Hardcover; 340 pages W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. 2006
Author Ashley Kahn's latest contribution to the documentation of jazz history is The House That Trane Built: The Story Of Impulse Records, a chronicle of the rise of Impulse Records in the '60s and '70s. Impulse Records occupied a unique place in the development of jazz for the sheer variety of its catalogue: During its 15-year run, Impulse issues represented every school of jazz, from swing and bebop to avant-garde and free improvisation.
As the book's title suggests, the label's mainstay was saxophonist John Coltrane. Kahn carefully tracks the growing symbiosis between the prolific artist and the label's management as Coltrane pulled up his roots in big band and buried them deep into experimental jazz. During the six years he recorded for Impulse, Coltrane's musical expression evolved in reaction toor perhaps in call-and-response tothe seismic cultural and political shifts of the day, especially in the African-American community. The label could not help but follow suit.
Kahn's storytelling reveals an exhaustive amount of research. Thus the back of the book material fascinates as much as does the story line: A comprehensive discography of Impulse Records from 1961 to 1977 reads like a syllabus of jazz history. Also of interest: 36 album profiles inserted throughout the chapters, complete with interviews, photos and insider stories about the sessions and the players.
The book's release marks the 45th anniversary of Impulse Records. Accompanying the book are 12 Best-of-Impulse CDs (including a four-CD companion collection).
I was first exposed to jazz as a middle school band student. A college ensemble passed through and put on a concert for the band students (of which I was one). The level of mastery and musicianship blew me away, intimidated, and inspired me
I was first exposed to jazz as a middle school band student. A college ensemble passed through and put on a concert for the band students (of which I was one). The level of mastery and musicianship blew me away, intimidated, and inspired me. Try as I might, I was never able to achieve a high enough level of competency to perform at the level I was first and subsequently exposed to. Regardless, I was hooked on jazz and remain so to this day.