mikeweil

Which jazz book are you reading right now?

418 posts in this topic

Last night, I finished Max Gordon's memoir, Live at the Village Vanguard.  I enjoyed it. Gordon is an adept storyteller and writer. I only wish the book were longer!

Today, I started reading Carlos Santana's autobiography, The Universal Tone.

 

Edited by HutchFan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the moment I'm reading books on the fringes of jazz:

51AMPBzXOGL.jpg

81eB5jZFaDL.jpg

Edited by mikeweil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm currently re-reading this:

39447048vn.jpg

One question I've been wondering about for some time (I also have the K.C. books by Ross Russell and by Driggs and Haddix):

How come all the history and writings about Kansas City jazz were always about Kansas City, MISSOURI, but never any explicit mention crept in about next-door Kansas City, KANSAS?
Was K.C. (Kansas) really "the pits" and nothing shaking there throughout these decades, and if so, was this all because there the reign of Pendergast did not extend beyond the MO. state limits, or was there a blind spot in the coverage somewhere? If the Southwestern territories around it (Oklahoma etc.) were bubbling with musical activity, something must have happend in Kansas (including "their" Kansas City) too?

Any historians who can can shed some light on this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/15/2020 at 8:41 AM, ghost of miles said:

9781458419798_p0_v2_s1200x630.jpg

I read this one a few years back.  It seemed good for what it is, a fairly brief biography.  I only wish it had been a longer work with more in-depth, first-hand interviews and research by the author.  Cannonball Adderley certainly deserves a painstakingly researched biography, but I don't think many publishers would agree with my sentiment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, duaneiac said:

I read this one a few years back.  It seemed good for what it is, a fairly brief biography.  I only wish it had been a longer work with more in-depth, first-hand interviews and research by the author.  Cannonball Adderley certainly deserves a painstakingly researched biography, but I don't think many publishers would agree with my sentiment.

At any rate, Cannonball Adderley is off the usual tracks of what Cary Ginell would have been expected to cover. It certainly is a surprise to see his name there (to me, anyway). His work for the "Milton Brown and the Founding of Western Swing" book was exceedingly detailed, and as the author of The Decca Hillbilly Discography 1934-1945 and co-author of the Discography of Western Swing and Hot String Bands, 1928-1942, he left no stone unturned either. Not to mention his numerous liner notes for LP and CD reissues of Western Swing.

Not that I would want to pin him down in the Western Swing corner only, but Cannonball Adderley is sort of "far" removed from that field, right? So maybe this explains that? ;)

P.S. Forgot that he also brought the words and recollections of Terry Gibbs for his autobiography into book form (but I guess Terry Gibbs was an easy assignment to handle, judging by the contents of that hilarious and light-hearted work), and judging by his personal bio on the Origin Jazz label website Ginell has been an all-out hillbilly and roots music man for a long time and has only relatively recently moved away into modern jazz fields. Makes you wonder ...

Edited by Big Beat Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, relyles said:

51pK9lNIReL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

What's this one like? Would you recommend it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Rabshakeh said:

What's this one like? Would you recommend it?

I have only finished the first chapter on Chris McGregor and the Brotherhood of Breath. If you have ever read any of Shoemaker's writing on Point of Departure it is pretty consistent with his style there. Informative and obvious that historical research was conducted about what was happening outside the music that impacted how the music was made. I will reserve my ultimate opinion until I finish the entire book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. I hadn't made the connection, but I like POD on the days when I have enough of an attention span. Is it exclusively about the Avant Garde, then, or does it cover fusion, straight ahead and soul jazz too?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

Thanks. I hadn't made the connection, but I like POD on the days when I have enough of an attention span. Is it exclusively about the Avant Garde, then, or does it cover fusion, straight ahead and soul jazz too?

Definitely the so called avant garde. Each Chapter focuses on a specific year and artist, event or recording. Quick summary of each chapter:

1970 - Chris McGregor

1971 - Albert Mangelsdorff/Peter Brotzmann

1972 - Julius Hemphill

1973 - Martin Williams - The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz

1974 - Anthony Braxton Arista Recordings

1975 - Archie Shepp

1976 - Wildflowers, Sam Rivers, Loft Jazz

1977 - Derek Bailey

1978 - Jimmy Carter White House Jazz Picnic/Cecil Taylor

1979 - Art Ensemble of Chicago

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. That definitely looks like something I'd like to get round to reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Book-2.jpg

Just got this one through the mail. Sort of ‘James Bond meets Denis Preston’s Columbia Lansdowne series’ !

and the spy was...... Guy Warren of Ghana !

Edited by sidewinder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wondered about that one but didn't buy it in the end. Bought the Harry Beckett instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, mjazzg said:

I wondered about that one but didn't buy it in the end. Bought the Harry Beckett instead.

Both of interest. The Matt Parker book (which I assume utilises some of his PhD work) focuses quite a bit on the Lansdowne Series so definitely of interest to me. The Harry Beckett is good too, although could have used some editing.

A Barbara Thompson bio from these guys is coming out soon. Can’t keep up with them ! And that’s not even mentioning their various LPs, CDs and download action on Bandcamp.

Edited by sidewinder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, sidewinder said:

Book-2.jpg

 

That definitely looks like something I must check out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/17/2020 at 3:02 AM, Big Beat Steve said:

At any rate, Cannonball Adderley is off the usual tracks of what Cary Ginell would have been expected to cover. It certainly is a surprise to see his name there (to me, anyway). His work for the "Milton Brown and the Founding of Western Swing" book was exceedingly detailed, and as the author of The Decca Hillbilly Discography 1934-1945 and co-author of the Discography of Western Swing and Hot String Bands, 1928-1942, he left no stone unturned either. Not to mention his numerous liner notes for LP and CD reissues of Western Swing.

Not that I would want to pin him down in the Western Swing corner only, but Cannonball Adderley is sort of "far" removed from that field, right? So maybe this explains that? ;)

P.S. Forgot that he also brought the words and recollections of Terry Gibbs for his autobiography into book form (but I guess Terry Gibbs was an easy assignment to handle, judging by the contents of that hilarious and light-hearted work), and judging by his personal bio on the Origin Jazz label website Ginell has been an all-out hillbilly and roots music man for a long time and has only relatively recently moved away into modern jazz fields. Makes you wonder ...

my problem with Ginnell is that, in his Milton Brown book, there is not a single, and I mean not a single, mention of black musicians or black musical influences related to the genre in general or Milton Brown in particular. I found this lapse just incomprehensible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree - thinking about it, that aspect of "cross-pollination" ought to have been given more coverage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking in Jazz: The Infinite Art of Improvisation by Paul F. Berliner.

It's structured as a "jazz ethnography", and focuses a lot on how improvisers learn and grow.

As a non-musician I am finding it interesting.  

1041617._UY475_SS475_.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My father bought me this for Chrismas in 1978. This was my second jazz book after the Joachim Ernst Behrend book. I still like it very much. Arrigo Polillo really had a lot to say and he met many great musicians and had a lot of inside infos......

images.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rereading this for a Night Lights show in progress—highly recommended for anyone with an interest in Hazel Scott:

61p-Ekn0bBL.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished Phil Woods' autobiograhy Life In E-Flat. There are a lot of great stories that he shared in interviews and his Phil In The Gap column for the Al Cohn Memorial Newsletter, plus additional material about his personal life that isn't as widely known. Woods discusses his own shortcomings with candor, while Ted Panken, who edited the book, wrote an excellent introduction and Brian Lynch shared his thoughts about working and talking witht he late jazz master. 

 

510WsUJpdmL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ken Dryden said:

I just finished Phil Woods' autobiograhy Life In E-Flat. There are a lot of great stories that he shared in interviews and his Phil In The Gap column for the Al Cohn Memorial Newsletter, plus additional material about his personal life that isn't as widely known. Woods discusses his own shortcomings with candor, while Ted Panken, who edited the book, wrote an excellent introduction and Brian Lynch shared his thoughts about working and talking witht he late jazz master. 

 

510WsUJpdmL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

I'm also reading the book, and though I haven't liked any of Woods playing since, maybe, the early 1960s, he is an interesting and important figure. One thing I am very disturbed about is that they would use the same title that Chan used in her autobiography. It's clearly done, in my opinion, because Woods was pissed off at her negative portrayal of him. This is really unethical and should not have been done.

Edited by AllenLowe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.