mikeweil

Which jazz book are you reading right now?

156 posts in this topic

An early Christmas gift from my wife:

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Latin Jazz: The First Fusion, 1900 - Today by John Storm Roberts (Schirmer)

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1 hour ago, sidewinder said:

Michael James was also a stellar contributor to one of my favourite books - ‘Modern Jazz - The Essential Records’ (1975) as well as to Jazz Journal.

Terrific book --- many stellar contributors: Max Harrison, Jack Cooke, Ronald Atkins. My copy disintegrated, fortunately I found another one.

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17 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

Terrific book --- many stellar contributors: Max Harrison, Jack Cooke, Ronald Atkins. My copy disintegrated, fortunately I found another one.

I taped mine together. :)

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I hear you, Larry - the original silver covered paperback had a propensity to fall apart. Mine somehow survived - miraculously I also acquired a second hardback copy that some kind soul had thoughtfully bound.

The book was updated many years later but I’ve always preferred the original. At time of reading it was quite frustrating as the US and UK issues referenced were long since deleted and unobtainable.

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On 19/12/2019 at 10:13 PM, mjazzg said:

Just starting Simon Spillet's 'The Long Shadow of the Little Giant'. Accompanying my deep delve into the Fontana box set

I'm also deep into the Fontana set and decided to look for that book. I have ordered it now. And I also have We called it music, which I will read soon.

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Ronnie Scott's Some of My Best Friends are Blues

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50 minutes ago, BeBop said:

Ronnie Scott's Some of My Best Friends are Blues

I recall Ronnie's brilliant opening: "I was born in a room over a Jewish pub in the East End of London. It was called The Kosher Horses. We were very poor. My father was always unemployed. He was a shepherd. We were so poor they had to buy my clothing at the Army and Navy Stores. There I was during the Second World War going to school in a Japanese admiral's uniform." (Quoting from memory) :lol:

But for the real Ronnie story I recommend John Fordham's Jazz Man: The Amazing Story of Ronnie Scott and His Club.

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5 hours ago, BillF said:

I recall Ronnie's brilliant opening: "I was born in a room over a Jewish pub in the East End of London. It was called The Kosher Horses. We were very poor. My father was always unemployed. He was a shepherd. We were so poor they had to buy my clothing at the Army and Navy Stores. There I was during the Second World War going to school in a Japanese admiral's uniform." (Quoting from memory) :lol:

But for the real Ronnie story I recommend John Fordham's Jazz Man: The Amazing Story of Ronnie Scott and His Club.

Ah, but who wants the real story.  ;-)

(From memory, not exact quotes)  "We weren't Jewish, but we were Jew-ish..."

"The landlady used to do the cooking and pygmies came all the way from Africa to dip their arrows in the soup." 

"We used to mix LSD and chopped liver and take trips to Israel."

It's pretty much like that throughout, if you haven't read.  Maybe that'll save you a few quid.

The Japanese military uniform reminds me of Red Rodney in his (non-Japanese) military uniform and related shtick.  (OT)

Edited by BeBop

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I remember once I read a book written by Ronnie Scott, but I don´t remember the title and think it´s OOP. It has a Cartoon like Picture of Ronnie on the book cover. 

I remember mostly his stories About visiting stars, how he had difficulties to find a proper piano for Bill Evans, how Stan Tracey had to suffer from the behaviour of mean Artists like Lucky Thompson, something About Coleman Hawkins in his very last and very self destructive year, and so on...…..

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On 2/16/2020 at 11:50 AM, BeBop said:

Ah, but who wants the real story.  ;-)

(From memory, not exact quotes)  "We weren't Jewish, but we were Jew-ish..."

"The landlady used to do the cooking and pygmies came all the way from Africa to dip their arrows in the soup." 

"We used to mix LSD and chopped liver and take trips to Israel."

It's pretty much like that throughout, if you haven't read.  Maybe that'll save you a few quid.

The Japanese military uniform reminds me of Red Rodney in his (non-Japanese) military uniform and related shtick.  (OT)

I'm reading "The Long Shadow of the Little Giant", the Tubby Hayes bio by Simon Spillett, and I'm up to the Jazz Couriers group with Tubbs and Ronnie Scott. There are a couple of good Ronnie Scott lines in there:

They were touring with the Dave Brubeck Quartet with Paul Desmond, and Ronnie used to crack Desmond up every time they ordered food at the grungy Great Transit British Cafe by inquiring, "Excuse me, can I see the wine list?" Scott would inquire in one dismal roadside establishment after another!

On their live albums, they would keep Scott's announcements of the songs they would be performing, such as, "And now, from an LP which you may have seen in the shops, titled 'Elvis Presley Sings Thelonious Monk...'

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Posted (edited)

Yes, Ronnie's gifts as a stand up comedian equalled his gifts as a tenorman, and they were great.

The last time I saw him - with a quintet in the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester in about 1993 - the first half hour of the first set was just that - stand up comedy. The music came later.

Edited by BillF

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Ronnie Scott In repartee with Buddy Rich was the best.

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2 hours ago, sidewinder said:

Ronnie Scott In repartee with Buddy Rich was the best.

Any examples? Anything caught on record?

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Posted (edited)

Mainly what I witnessed of the two of them before/after sets but you can get a taste of it on the Mosaic Single ‘Live at Ronnie Scotts’, also RCA 2LP. No responses from Ronnie on that recording but there are some amusing Rich comments directed at him, all meant in affection of course.

Edited by sidewinder

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Raise Up Off Me by Hampton Hawes
 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, luhem said:

Raise Up Off Me by Hampton Hawes
 

 

 

 

an excellent choice ! I remember I bought this book in the late seventies. Hampton Hawes was really a great piano player and as the book shows, a great story teller also. 

I´ve also read an interview with Hampton Hawes done by drummer Art Taylor, which was later published in Taylor´s book "Notes and Tones". It´s a very angry and frustrated Hampton Hawes there…...

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4 hours ago, luhem said:

Raise Up Off Me by Hampton Hawes
 

 

 

 

One of the classics of jazz autobiography - along with Art Pepper's Straight Life.

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Interviews for insiders, very interesting, I mentioned this book above since Hampton Hawes is one of the musicians interviewed. Others are Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Johnny Griffin, Freddie Hubbard, Leon Thomas , Betty Carter etc. ......

Download (5).jpg

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6 hours ago, BillF said:

One of the classics of jazz autobiography - along with Art Pepper's Straight Life.

Yes, I agree. Perhaps the two best and most moving jazz autobiographies I've read.

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"Stars Of Jazz". A complete history of the innovative television series 1956-1958. By James A. Harrod. Also has complete discography of Calliope Records which released 36 LPs from the TV series. Absolutely outstanding work! Available on Amazon.

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30 minutes ago, Stonewall15 said:

"Stars Of Jazz". A complete history of the innovative television series 1956-1958. By James A. Harrod. Also has complete discography of Calliope Records which released 36 LPs from the TV series. Absolutely outstanding work! Available on Amazon.

Is it true that there was a  (no longer extant) show in which Chet Baker played some Bix tunes? 

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Posted (edited)

48 minutes ago, medjuck said:

Is it true that there was a  (no longer extant) show in which Chet Baker played some Bix tunes? 

Just dug out my copy of ‘Stars of Jazz’ (this version by Ray Avery, not Harrod) and there are photos of Baker with Phil Urso and Bobby Timmons on a show with a large backdrop showing the famous Beiderbecke photo. So I guess - yes !

Ray Avery’s photos of the series are a real highlight of the book. Years ago when I got the chance to meet Ray I always regretted not buying this book directly from him on the day and getting him to sign it. Fortuitously, some years ago and well after Ray had passed on, a UK seller had a pristine copy for sale which had a nice personalised signing in the front. Karma !

Edited by sidewinder

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2 hours ago, sidewinder said:

Just dug out my copy of ‘Stars of Jazz’ (this version by Ray Avery, not Harrod) and there are photos of Baker with Phil Urso and Bobby Timmons on a show with a large backdrop showing the famous Beiderbecke photo. So I guess - yes !

Ray Avery’s photos of the series are a real highlight of the book. Years ago when I got the chance to meet Ray I always regretted not buying this book directly from him on the day and getting him to sign it. Fortuitously, some years ago and well after Ray had passed on, a UK seller had a pristine copy for sale which had a nice personalised signing in the front. Karma !

I used to see him at LA Duke Ellington Society meetings (where, IIRC, he would have books for sale) but I never saw this book. 

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