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sphinxsix

Some Good Summer Music Reads

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I don't read about music that much nowadays, don't know all the books from this list but judging by the ones I've read and by reviews, this is a really good selection from the Guardian.

 

10 of the best music biographies

 

 


What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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I am reading "The Song of the Hawk" by John Chilton. Well written, with lots of interesting comments on Coleman Hawkins's music, live or recorded sessions, interviews and quotes of musicians who played with him. The last chapter brought a few tears to my eyes. 

 

I did not know that Coleman Hawkins was a classical music fan. He had a good quality stereo system, and only played classical music at home, preferring to hear jazz as it was played live. He always wanted to record an album of Bach, which he greatly admired. Here's a quote of his when asked by a reporter to give advice to young musicians:

 

"If they think they are doing something new they ought to do what I do every day. I spend at least two hours every day listening to Johann Sebastian Bach, and man, it's all there. If they want to learn to improvise around a theme, which is the essence of jazz (adding blue notes), they should learn from the master. He never wastes a note, and he knows where every note is going and when to bring it back. Some of these cats go way out and forget where they began or what they started to do. Bach will clear it up for them".

 

 

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I've been reading “Black Music” by Leroi Jones (later known as Amiri Baraka). It is a book of essays/ reviews of jazz and jazz musicians in NYC in the 1960s. Jones' critical thinking is spot on if you think of jazz as an art form and not as soft background music. This book is especially meaningful to me since it covers a period when I was a college student in NYC and when Leroi Jones was a kind of hero to myself and many of my classmates.

 

One nice thing about this book is that it has caused me to go back and listen to a lot of older recordings in my collection of people I don't listen to enough — Wayne Shorter, Bobby Bradford, the New York Art Quartet, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, Denis Charles ...

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1 hour ago, ronfint said:

I've been reading “Black Music” by Leroi Jones (later known as Amiri Baraka). It is a book of essays/ reviews of jazz and jazz musicians in NYC in the 1960s. Jones' critical thinking is spot on if you think of jazz as an art form and not as soft background music. This book is especially meaningful to me since it covers a period when I was a college student in NYC and when Leroi Jones was a kind of hero to myself and many of my classmates.

 

One nice thing about this book is that it has caused me to go back and listen to a lot of older recordings in my collection of people I don't listen to enough — Wayne Shorter, Bobby Bradford, the New York Art Quartet, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, Denis Charles ...

Thanks for your suggestion. I just love to read about jazz in those times. Will check it out.

 


What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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42 minutes ago, sphinxsix said:

Thanks for your suggestion. I just love to read about jazz in those times. Will check it out.

 

I think that you will enjoy it. The 1960s were exciting times for jazz. I wish that I had known about/ had made the effort to visit some of the places talked about — especially the loft scene.

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4 hours ago, ronfint said:

I think that you will enjoy it. The 1960s were exciting times for jazz. I wish that I had known about/ had made the effort to visit some of the places talked about — especially the loft scene.

 

And you missed Coleman Hawkins 😭

Not to mention Duke Ellington at the Rainbow Grill. 

 

Must have been fun being in NYC at the time. 

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Anything by/about Leonard Cohen "I'm Your Man" by Sylvie Simmons "Leonard Cohen Poems and Songs" edited by Robert Faggen "On Tour With Leonard Cohen" photos by Sharon Robinson

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