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Which jazz book are you reading right now?


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2 hours ago, Tom 1960 said:

Getting through this at a snails pace but that's just me. I do love the book.

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I concur with Bill’s enthusiasm for this one—it’s a classic! I learned so much when I read it—quite a few years ago at this point and I keep meaning to give it a rereading. So many of the musicians Gioia interviewed for that book are gone now; invaluable that he was able to create that chronicle with their input.

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2 hours ago, ghost of miles said:

So many of the musicians Gioia interviewed for that book are gone now; invaluable that he was able to create that chronicle with their input.

In the edition that I have, Gioia says in the preface something to the effect of, "This book could not have been written ten years from now."

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I read this book before the Ted Gioia book came it. The Gordon book was published in 1986. It was, as best I can recall, the first book focused on West Coast Jazz. I spent some time with the author Robert Gordon while attending some of the Jazz Weekend in Los Angeles  put on by Ken Poston in the early 2000's. Gordon was both a knowledgable and very nice guy.

I found the Gordon book highly enjoyable when I read it 30 odd years ago.

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16 hours ago, BillF said:

I bought the two books at much the same time and still have them side by side on my shelf. :tup :tup

Same here.

@Peter Friedman:
Robert Gordon's book must have been a dead heat with "West Coast Jazz" by Alain Tercinet (published by Parentheses, Paris - in the spring of 1986). Of course it is in French but it WAS (is) out there (and it isn't bad at all). I bought the book by Tercinet several years before I simultaneously got hold of the books by Gordon and Gioia so my approach was somewhat different. With the benefit of the "first impressions" covering uncharted teritory, Tercinet's book had a starting advantage with me. Overall I feel the three books complement each other very well. Gordon seems to dwell more on reviewing and analyzing key recordings by the key artists, Gioia provides more additional biographical background, and Tercinet covers (at least to SOME extent) a wider range of artists. He seems to have profited enormously from the accessibility of the WCJ vinyl reissues by Fresh Sound and digs deeply into relatively unknown "connoisseur" artists (off the beaten tracks left by the biggest names) who hardly made it into the books by Gioia and Gordon and places them into context. Overall I like Gioia's book best but to me it is a very close finish between the three.

 

Edited by Big Beat Steve
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2 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

Is this the Tapscott book to get?

I'm less than 40 pages in out of slightly over 200 (relatively slim volume and the numbering includes photo pages). There's also a discography and index.

This book is basically a transcription (from taped interviews) of an oral autobiography. I find it excellent so far, to the extent that I'll likely finish within a couple of days. If you prefer something more researched/academic, the only other Tapscott book I've read, and also recommend, is Isoardi's The Dark Tree. That may be harder to find. OTOH, this was inexpensive, $16.95 new paperback (domestic US) from Dusty Groove.

I'm happy to have both. If you only want one, maybe this, because it's in Tapscott's voice and seems (subject to my opening disclosure) to be pretty comprehensive and objective (much less, um, extravagant than, say, Mingus's Beneath the Underdog). The Dark Tree came with an outstanding music CD, which is a plus.

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Digging through this large format photo tribute bought years ago and which came out around just before Pete King handed over. Full of great shots by David Redfern, Val Wilmer and Alan Titmuss. Added bonus - final page photo of  singer Gwyneth Herbert nicely signed by Gwyneth herself, which I wasn’t previously aware of.

So many great artists in this book.

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31 minutes ago, sidewinder said:

4170V49eupL._SY279_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Digging through this large format photo tribute bought years ago and which came out around just before Pete King handed over. Full of great shots by David Redfern, Val Wilmer and Alan Titmuss. Added bonus - final page photo of  singer Gwyneth Herbert nicely signed by Gwyneth herself, which I wasn’t previously aware of.

So many great artists in this book.

Once in the seventies a young kid borrowed me a book about the famous club, written by his owner Ronnie Scott. It had another cover, a kind of caricature of Mr. Scott, and a lot of memories of Giants playing at his club, some happy, some really sad as Hawk at the very end of his life...

and about two tenorists that were have to deal with for the fine british rhythm section, they were Don Byas to a lesser extent, and above all Lucky Thompson....

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20 minutes ago, Gheorghe said:

Once in the seventies a young kid borrowed me a book about the famous club, written by his owner Ronnie Scott. It had another cover, a kind of caricature of Mr. Scott, and a lot of memories of Giants playing at his club, some happy, some really sad as Hawk at the very end of his life...

and about two tenorists that were have to deal with for the fine british rhythm section, they were Don Byas to a lesser extent, and above all Lucky Thompson....

Some good Lucky Thompson photos in the book - taken at the original club in  Gerard St.

Stan Tracey had some scathing things to say about the attitude of both Don Byas and Lucky Thompson. Not detailed in this book but stated by him elsewhere.

You might be referring to the much earlier Kitty Grime book, which had Scott on the cover. Quite a different book but Redfern contributes photos to that one too. Indeed, his photos were all over the walls of the club itself.

Edited by sidewinder
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2 minutes ago, sidewinder said:

Bad attitude from these visitors to the resident trio - which was very subtly reciprocated in the accompaniment by Tracey by way of payback. 

But Tracey, although stylistically suitable for visitors like Rollins, just wasn't right for Thompson or Byas, nor for Getz, of course.

Actually I saw the Scott group with Lucky when they visited Leeds and I saw no signs of tension. But then I remember very little of the gig - just Ronnie's promise to bring to the Leeds club an all American group starring Getz and Stuff Smith. It would be called the Getz Stuff Quintet. :(

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