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Which jazz book are you reading right now?


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You can also read most of the material that ended up in those Lees books online for free here (link fixed) in its original version published in Gene Lees' Jazz Letter... this edition contains an index of all articles from 1981 to 1997... in the early years, months are counted 1-12 from August to July, later from January to December... there's also some interesting stuff from other authors in there like Mike Zwerin's legendary article about touring with Claude Thornhill in the 1950s

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5 hours ago, robertoart said:

Yes, the White Australia Policy was still in force until '75 when Whitlam introduced the Racial Discrimination Act to the parliament of so called Australia. Let it not be understated that so called Australia was the progenitor of South African Apartheid. Although perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, African American entertainers, both visiting and emigres, were treated much more inclusively here in the ensuing decades than the vilification and marginalisation Aboriginal people continued to endure.  

for what it's worth (and I think it's worth a lot) Larry Gushee told me he thought that Ernest Coycault, the trumpeter with Clay, probably gave a strong clue as to the sound of Buddy Bolden.

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37 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

This reeks of a flower-power era pressing (that doesn't exactly hint at the contents from a mile away.) :D
My copy (Macmillan 1966) has a much more sober jacket.

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Yes, this is more the style. The other would be OK for Jazz Masters of the 70s perhaps. :)

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Exactly - on both counts: The cover you showed is the one I have too, and an OK dust jacket for "masters of the 70s". But here it would be a turnoff.  ;)
Just like with many record sleeves, this makes you wonder what the "art"work people were thinking in those stylistically garish 70s. Would it really have been that daring in the publishing business in those 70s to play the retro card at least to some extent in such cases and use a jacket a bit more in tune (literally ;)) with the contents?

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On 8.3.2022 at 3:34 PM, John Tapscott said:

Jazz Masters of the Forties: Gitler, Ira: Books - Amazon.ca

Thanks to BillF for the reminder. 

I also have it with this cover. I think I bought it in the late 70´s in Basel/Switzerland. Since during that time there were not many individual biographies about leading jazz artists of the 40´s (I already had the two Bird books , the one by Reisner and the one by Russell with the fictive essays about a night in Brussel and with Dean Benedetti), but I think other books still were not written. I think Diz´ book "To be or not to bop" came out a little later...., there was still no book about Bud . The Ira Gitler book was the first one that gave infos about Bud´s return to Birdland and his last performances at Carnegie Hall and Town Hall and was written when Bud was still alive. 

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1 minute ago, Rabshakeh said:

It was available from Jazzwise's website for a while. I thought it was a good list overall.

I remember that from the website. Don’t recall some of the more obscure choices though and there is more content in the book from the short writeups I remember online.

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On 19.3.2022 at 9:02 AM, BillF said:

Chapters on Duke, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, John Heard, Bill Evans, Billy Taylor, Art Farmer and Paul Desmond.

John Heard the bass player ? Saw him with Dexter in March 1980. It seems he was a shorter repacement between Reid and Eubanks. But he was the best, he drove the band. 
Art Farmer had his home in Vienna and lived here when he was not touring. And he would play every year two or three times at Jazzland for some nights. So I can´t count the nights I saw him. Once, Max Roach came by. 
Saw Woody with a fantastic Herd in 1979 and with an Allstar Octet in 85. The others are a bit before my time. 
With Billy Taylor I had the wrong start. I had confused him with Cecil Taylor and had a Bellaphone 2 LP album "Echoes of and Era" with Tatum, Erroll, Bud, Taylor each on one side. After Side C with Bud I thought now there must be something new for me, placed the needle and close my eyes to concentrate on my first "Cecil Taylor Experience" and was disappointed when I heard some more conservative mainstream piano....., Heard some Billy Taylor again on a Philips LP "Charlie Parker Memorial Concert" with Diz, Roy, Hawk, and again there was Billy Taylor....but he played such a strange piano, sometimes trying to play fugues or how you call that Bach Style....., I had wondered why they had chosen Billy Taylor instead of a piano player who recorded with Bird (Bud who still lived, or Bishop or Haig) ..... 
With Desmond I also had a wrong start: When I started to become a jazz fan, someone told me I must get a Brubeck album because he is the greatest....., I borrowed one and thought well if he is the greatest, might he top Miles or Mingus (the only jazz I knew then), and he did not....., and above all, my mother (born 1921) who had listened to "Meditations on Integration" (Mingus) and said it is fantastic, and how fell in love with Ornette Coleman´s "Lonely Woman" ...... well she came in my boy´s room for I don´t know what, and by the way heard that Brubeck, I think it was Blue Rondo a la Turk and said "oh no, what´s that KITSCH you listenin´ to !!!!???. 
Never spinned it again.....:lol:

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9 hours ago, Bluesnik said:

Have not read it. But now it's on my searchlist.

You will like it.

I like ist very much, because it is first hand information. Ira Gitler saw them all live, all of them and the book was writtten, when many of them (with the exception of Bird and Fats) still lived and performed. Even Bud was still alive and performed when the book came out for the first time (mid sixties). 

 

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44 minutes ago, Gheorghe said:

You will like it.

I like ist very much, because it is first hand information. Ira Gitler saw them all live, all of them and the book was writtten, when many of them (with the exception of Bird and Fats) still lived and performed. Even Bud was still alive and performed when the book came out for the first time (mid sixties). 

 

Yes, those who saw them are now a shrinking bunch. Can't claim to have seen Bird, Bud or Fats, but did see Diz, Monk, Max, Klook, Dex, Stitt, Haig, Albany, Bishop and McKibbon.

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