Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I see there is a new book coming out about Miles, Coltrane and Evans. The only review I can find is in the Wall Street Journal by Gerald Early but since I don’t subscribe to the WSJ, I can’t read it.

Here’s the blurb from the publisher, Random House, Three Shades of Blue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 56
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

2 hours ago, felser said:

How good is it?

I read it a long time ago. IIRC (and I often don't) it connects KOB to many other movements in the arts. I liked it.  BTW I really liked the first chapter of the new book which was quoted above.   Even though I've claimed I'm not going to buy any more books about either Miles or Dylan (I am  still buying nearly everything about Ellington) I'll probably get this book.  KOB has a special place in my heart. I got it from the Columbia Record Club when it was first issued and I thought that if this was jazz, I loved jazz. 

Edited by medjuck
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Face of the Bass said:

Between this and the upcoming Michael Veal book, somebody needs to alert the publishing industry that we don't need more books on Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

Or 1959, period. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Hill probably had an interesting life that a good researcher/writer could illuminate.

I mean, what did he do when he wasn't in a studio making records? I have a down beat interview where he says he's been doing concerts in the field for the Smithsonian(?). Hmmm...tell me more? 

There's a story there, I'm sure. But it would to be written as such, not a dry replication of data. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, relyles said:

I know a writer that has started doing research in order to write a Andrew Hill biography.

I hope he's able to do it! Biographies are hard, but jazz I would argue is really suffering from good biographies outside the obvious ones (Coltrane, Davis, Armstrong, Ellington, Holiday, etc.) It was great to see the Sonny Rollins bio that came out not so long ago, and the Thelonious Monk bio that Kelley wrote is fantastic. Jazz needs much more of that kind of thing. More books on Davis and Coltrane ain't it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, mjazzg said:

Can't you write them? 😃 I'd be first in the queue for both

I wish I had the requisite time and talent!  McNeill had an utterly fascinating life, studying art with Picasso, designing a USPD postage stamp for Kwaanza, and being a quite celebrated photographer and a college professor in addition to his exquisite music.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I took "3 Shades of Blue" out from the library, and just finished it. The author had little knowledge about jazz until he was assigned to do an interview with Miles Davis for Vanity Fair in 1989. All he knew about Miles was that he had played with Bird in the 40s. The author, James Kaplan, had two Miles albums in his (mostly rock) record collection, Bitches Brew and Filles de Kilimanjaro, so don't expect an expert's book

Basically, it's a bio of Trane ,Miles and Evans. and how they came together in 1958-9, and what happened to them until their dying days. It's written for the general public so maybe it will get some people interested in post Swing jazz who never were into it. It only spends eighteen pages on Kind of Blue, so I think people were misled to think it was only about that album.

Most of the technical parts on jazz were quoted from interviews with musicians, and the well-known bios of the three musicians it centered on, but there was a lot of stuuff about Monk, Diz, Max, etc...There was confirmation of stories that you might have thought were rumors-e.g. Miles did tell Bill Evans he had to f*** all the members of the band, not give them blow jobs. Evans had to think for 30 minutes before telling Miles that he didn't think he could do it, and they all laughed their heads off at him!LOL.

There are a lot of inside views of things from musicians  that I never heard before e.g. John Lewis was behind getting Ornette and Cherry to The Lennox School of Jazz, and got Nesuhi Ertegun to pay for their airfare and tuition to raise their profile on the East Coast. Max Roach did indeed knock out Ornette with one punch, but he didn't beat him up at Ornette's  hotel afterwards. He just yelled at him from outside the hotel that he was gonna beat his ass in if he came out of his hotel room Miles hated Ornette's playing up till the end, and. Coltrane did indeed use LSD at the end of his life. Sonny went to the bridge to simply get his playing together, and Trane was a close friend of his, not a rival.

Miles' penchant for lying is taken into account, and everything he says is investigated with that in mind, although his claim to writing Donna Lee is not questioned at all.

So I'd recommend this book as a fun read for anyone interested in learning more about these three dudes and everyone they played with. The profound insights only come from the musicians interviewed; not from Kaplan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...