mikeweil

Which jazz book are you reading right now?

183 posts in this topic

On 8.5.2020 at 9:58 PM, gmonahan said:

Thanks for the recommendation! I'll check it out!

 

you welcome !

Actually there are two books, the second one I post here is very rare, both are fine. 

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Almost finished reading "My Dear Departed Past" by Dave Frishberg. I especially enjoyed the stories about Dave playing with Bud Freeman, Ben Webster, and Al Cohn & Zoot Sims. The book focuses on Frishberg as a pianist, and also as a composer/songwriter. It is a book that will  particularly appeal to those who like Dave's songs. He describes the circumstances  that resulted in many of his songs.

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On 5/10/2020 at 4:49 AM, Gheorghe said:

 

you welcome !

Actually there are two books, the second one I post here is very rare, both are fine. 

Download (6).jpg

images.jpg

I've never been able to secure a copy of the MacDonald book :angry: . I have the Combs book, and it's quite good, but there's quite a bit of musical analysis that might go over the head of some readers (like me). Reading Combs, it's evident that Dameron was a highly enigmatic personality and biographical details are difficult to come by.

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9190UhUtOPL.jpg

Got a used copy in excellent condition for a few bucks. Nice read.

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3 hours ago, mikeweil said:

9190UhUtOPL.jpg

Got a used copy in excellent condition for a few bucks. Nice read.

Good one!

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Just started, "Rhythm Is My Beat" by Alfred Green- Freddie Green bio by his son Alfred.

I thought it was going to be a fawning tale of the relationship of father and son, but AG has done all his homework, with tons of footnotes and excerpts of interviews he did with various family members, musicians and jazz writers.

I'm up to the point where John Hammond 'discovers' FG at the local club where JH likes to get his rocks off watching nude 'mermaids' swimming around in a huge fish tank. JH is not spared critical review, as he takes apart the Basie Band to fit his perception of what the band should sound like, much to the consternation of both fired and retained band members. Lester Young and Billie Holiday's opinion of him is quoted in the book as a "Heartless meddler".

Hammond took the nine piece Basie band from KC, and started adding instrumentation of five or six men, which caused the band to "slow down and made it sluggish", according to Buck Clayton, who claimed they "never had a bad night in KC". When Hammond first unveiled his 'discovery' in NYC at Roseland, the Basie Band was a huge flop.

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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

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

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Edited by mikeweil

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I'm currently re-reading this:

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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?

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On 9/15/2020 at 8:41 AM, ghost of miles said:

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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.

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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

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4 hours ago, relyles said:

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

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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.

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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?

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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

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

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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

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

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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

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11 hours ago, sidewinder said:

Book-2.jpg

 

That definitely looks like something I must check out.

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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.

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

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