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Hardbopjazz

I need a good jazz book to read.

107 posts in this topic

I'm not sure that Richard Williams's "Long Distance Call" is available in the US but I recommend it highly to anyone who can get hold of it. Only about 1/3 of the essays are about jazz musicians (the rest are about Bob Marley, Frank Sinatra, Ry Cooder etc.) but one of the jazz essays is probably the only thing you'll ever find on Durpee Bolton.

(I almost didn't buy this book when I saw it because the cover photo is one of those romantic photos of the young Chet Baker holding his horn and I presumed the book was a bio of Chet till I

saw the small print subtitle: "wrintings on music".)

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just found this - the Russell is crap - events are simply MADE UP - I have this from: Howard McGhee, AL Haig, Tommy Potter, Curley Russell, Dan Morgenstern (they were either there or knew the participants) - is that good enough?

Cool, yes, just what I was looking for.

And "Christiern" needn't feel obliged to use scarequotes around "rat." I'm sure most people here know that I am not actually a rat, or a doctor, though I may have some qualities that Edward G. Robinson would say were "rat-like." But we can all just assume a certain level of onotological uncertainty, and dispense with a couple of keystrokes, whataya say?

--eric

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When the "Dr. Rat" handle is followed by the clarification, "not really a doctor," I have to assume the "rat" part is real. I placed it in quotes in an act of kindness. :huh:

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but one of the jazz essays is probably the only thing  you'll ever find  on Durpee Bolton.

There's a good chapter on Dupree Bolton in the Ted Gioia 'West Coast Jazz' book too. Recommended.

The only book by Richard Williams I have is the 'Man In The Green Shirt' bio of Miles, with some very fine photos in it and sympathetic coverage of Miles' career. Williams used to write some great stuff back in the UK 'Melody Maker' broadsheet back in the 1970s, back in the day when that paper actually covered jazz. I remember he did a lengthy writeup of 'Dark Magus' and 'Pangaea' when both of these were rare Japan-only imports.

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Unfortunately he's become a sportswriter and never seems to write about music anymore.

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Up for further discussion/additions.

Much of what was posted on this thread were discussions of the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, James Lincoln Collier, and Ross Russell's Bird Lives!, which was fine, but there are many good jazz books that were not mentioned.

Three more:

Selections from the Gutter - edited by Art Hodes and Chadwick Hansen. Articles from The Jazz Record, a magazine co-edited by Art Hodes in the 1940's, with articles written by Hodes and others - a fascinating look at the traditional jazz scene of that era and earlier.

Swing Era New York - The Jazz Photographs of Charles Peterson. Wonderful photographs of nearly every well known swing era musician - including many in unusual settings:

Duke Ellington playing Sister Rosetta Tharpe's guitar at a jam session; Chick Webb playing at a jam session with Ellington and Artie Shaw; Fats Waller in his underwear (ok, maybe I didn't need to see that one); Willie "The Lion" Smith, in the Commodore Record Shop, pointing to a portrait of Toscanini; Louis Armstrong playing for a group of elementary school students sitting on the floor in front of him - what a wonderful memories they must have! ; the journalist/pianist Dan Burley - I have a CD of his music, but had never seen this photograph before - it will add something to my next listen to his music. The photographs in this book will bring you back to the music and add to your enjoyment of it. (Hope that doesn't sound too much like a commercial. It's true for me.)

Randi Hultin's Born Under the Sign of Jazz. Reminiscences and photographs of musicians who visited and stayed at Swedish journalist, photographer, and friend of jazz musicians, Randi Hultin's home. What makes the book truly special is a CD of home recordings, including a 22 year old Sonny Clark, Kenny Dorham playing and singing, Eubie Blake, Anthony Ortega, Jaki Byard, Stuff Smith, Bill Evans talking about an earlier visit - I had never heard him speak and hadn't realized that he had such a down home southern accent, Freddie Green, and many others, including a host of Swedish musicians.

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I just bought "Experiencing Big Band Jazz" by Jeff Sultanof. It may have already been mentioned here (though a quick search failed to find it). I am really enjoying it.

https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781442242425/Experiencing-Big-Band-Jazz-A-Listener's-Companion

He's got a list of the songs that he comments upon (and further references) available on a YouTube channel here, which is nice so you don't waste time looking for references yourself (though some of them are blocked in France or have been removed by YouTube):  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAlMT_8diMruPuGy39xCHHQ

Edited by hopkins

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