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How Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman & Cecil Taylor...

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How Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, and Cecil Taylor Revolutionized the World of Jazz

by Howard Mandel

Hardcover: 288 pages

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Group (due out April 1, 2005)

ISBN: 0415967147

Editorial Reviews (from Amazon.com)

The groundbreaking music of Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, and Cecil Taylor-three black Americans known to a broad-based audience by their first names alone-have impacted successive waves of musicians, not only in jazz but across the musical spectrum. Born within four years of each other, but with dissimilar family backgrounds and distinctly different personal temperaments, Miles, Ornette, and Cecil are individually and collectively American originals. They've inspired creative talents as disparate as Leonard Bernstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Thomas Pynchon, Mikhail Barishnykov, and Lou Reed; they've become gods or gurus to generations. Each has transcended the musical field to influence African-American culture. This book explores their innovative and radical musical lives, based on original interviews with all three musicians, as well as decades of following their careers. It promises to be a milestone in jazz literature.

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Mandel's a pretty good writer.

Did the liner notes for Ron Horton: Subtextures on FSNT.

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Mikhail Barishnykov??

Clem, Cecil Taylor's passion for dance is well known. He is a great fan of Barishnykov and vice-versa. The two took part in several concerts in the eighties...

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also, the implication that that troika needs some ofay validation...

:wacko::wacko:

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My wife and I enjoy Ishmael Reed's poetry.

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Clem -- That Sorrentino book is a darkly funny/painful masterwork (the only person I know [actually knew] who knew it was the late brilliant novelist Ross Feld, who was part of Sorrentino's circle for a while in the '60s), and I admire just about everything Sorrentino wrote that precedes "Imaginative Qualities," but I wonder if you agree that he went around the bend with "Mulligan Stew" and for the most part hasn't come back.

P.S. I strongly recommend Feld's "Only Shorter" -- another masterwork. If you try and like it, there's more.

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Clem -- My problem with later Sorrentino is twofold (I hate people who say "twofold"). First, I don't get why he threw aside the stilleto and the garrote of "Imaginative Qualities" and exchanged them in "Mulligan Stew" for a blunderbuss. That we at once (and to some degree) novelistically "cared" about Sheila and all of the other sad and ugly fools of "Imaginative Qualities" is for me a big part of why and how that book worked, in the sense we the readers were quite rightly made to suffer for our caring. That is, a key armature of the book was fear, contempt, and pity -- contempt mingled with pity for all or most of the art-pretense fools, and fear that we might in fact be numbered among them and thus be no less deserving of contempt. But Gil clearly had so much contempt himself for the more moist, emotionally illusionistic trappings of fiction, and a whole lot else as well, that he apparently decided he no longer wished to traffic in that material at all, even in order to subvert it. But his metafictional stuff usually just falls flat for me. I know "The Orangery" -- some fine stuff there but that was early '70s or mid '70s I think. I know "The Moon In Its Flight" too and think you can see the line betwen Gil One and Gil Two very clearly there, as the metafictional curtain comes down IMO like lead.

I bought "Plum Poems" too and like it a lot. That's when Feld was one of Sorrentino's crowd. Remembering Ross' name led me to pick "Only Shorter" out of a book section slush pile in the mid '80s and review it enthusiastically after I realized what a terrific book it was, which led to a great friendship with Ross, who died way too young (age 55, of leukemia) in 2001.

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How Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, and Cecil Taylor Revolutionized the World of Jazz

by Howard Mandel

Hardcover: 288 pages

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Group (due out April 1, 2005)

ISBN: 0415967147

This should prove to be an interesting book. Mandel has without question picked three major giants and innovators in the music. :rolleyes:

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Just per some other comments here: Giiddins and Frances Davis don't need me to defend them but the two of them have written some of the best jazz criticism of the 20th century (for full disclosure: Frances is a friend of mine; Giddins doesn't like me at all). Of the two I think Frances has the edge for depth and breadth, but I've learned a lot from both. The only other (jazz) critics I know who are in their league are Larry Kart, Dan Morgenstern, and Larry Gushee, and I am not exaggerating, over-stating or under-stating (when it comes to jazz criticism I have, almost quite literally, read it all). Lou Reed is a mixed thing for me; post-1970 he is a well of medicorty; pre-1970 he did some of the most interesting and revolutionary work in rock and roll (and no, that's not a contradiction in terms).

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Giddins doesn't like me at all.

Wondering if there's an interesting story here??

(But very understanding if it can't be told in a public setting.)

Thanks!! :)

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RE top-rank jazz critics, there are some brilliant Brits: Max Harrison (though he can be a professional crank, even a bit loony at times), Jack Cooke, and the late Michael James. Also, though there isn't much of his work around unless you have access to back issues of Jazz Monthly, the for many years U.S.-based Australian I've mentioned on the Art Pepper thread: Terry Martin. A collected TM would be something. Likewise with John Litweiler.

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Oh, what the hell, I'll tell theGiddins story - when my book American Pop came out Giddins gave it a lukewarm review, which of course I didn't enjoy reading, but that's life - what bothered me, however, is that he was clearly basing his book review not on the book but the liner notes, which were a distillation of the book, but which contained about two thirds of what was in the book. So he made some comments/crticisms in his review which indicated that I hadn't mentioned this, and I hadn't mentioned that - things which, however, were in the book but not the liner notes. In one of these he said that, in discussing James Reese Europe, I failed to note the Reid Badger bio of Europe. Well, the Badger book was mentioned in my bibliography and in a foot note (and we're talking about a passage, in my book, of approximately 200 words). He also said I had no discography. Well, I did have a discography, it was just not as detailed as he might have liked, but that's also life. He also said I was "typical" in that I related everything in the book to the origin of rock and roll, which, as anyone who has actually read the book knows, is utter nonsense.So I wrote a letter to the Village Voice pointing these things out. Giddins response, vis a ve the Europe credit, was that this was typical of me and Amercan Pop: taking the works of others and passing them off as my own. He basically called me a plagiarist, which make me livid, as I have NEVER taken the credit for anyone else's work. I honestly considered suing the SOB (or, actually, the Voice), but of course that never came to anything. The only revenge I had was that Giddins, in the meantime, had become good friends with my brother-in-law. My brother-in-law happened to mention our relationship, and Giddins was, from what I heard, quite embarassed -

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That's one scary story, Allen -- given the power of a guy like that to semi-permanently mess up your reputation within your own community, so to speak -- but it doesn't surprise me. Based on his work itself (and the way it sometimes give off vibes of insecurity and petulance), and from some things I've heard about the way he's behaved towards other people in other situations, Giddins, while certainly not a fellow without value, is also not necessarily a person of good character.

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Clem -- I haven't kept up with Harry Matthews the way I probably should have (got more of his books than I've read), but back in the days of Locus Solus, "The Conversions" left me bent me way out of shape -- with laughter, astonishment, and delight. And it holds up too. Fleshmetal! Looks like we're about the same age and and have had some similar literary experiences.

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Clem -- P.S. Do you know my favorite semi-forgotten novel of that era, Philip Whalen's "You Didn't Even Try"? It's like Jane Austen in the fourth dimension. Also very funny and wise too.

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Francis's recent things for the Voice have been hampered by a lack of space, but that's something that, unfortunately, he does not have control of.

No one's an an expert on everything, but Francis has an impressive range. He just, to me, knows how to get to the essence of music and its effects, and is a terrific WRITER as well. His book on the history of the blues was quite good, filled with his typically astute observations, and an ability to contextualize in a way that's decidedly and thankfully un-academic.

Now, Gary's not my favorite person, and I think he's slept through much of the last 20 tears, musically speaking, but some of his writings (collected in Rhythming and Riding on a Blues Note, Face in the Crowd, plus this new one) can stand the test of time; good writing, keen observations, a true and deep understanding of the music (though he does occasionally try to show off, and than makes musical/technical mistakes). I don't like him, and he's vindictive and unforgiving, but that's his problem, not mine.

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Has anybody seen this book yet? Slated for UK publication in November.

0415967147.02._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_V1106564466_.jpg

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Amazon has it for pre-order, but doesn't have a release date. I guess there were some kind of problems finishing the publication. Looks interesting.

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