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| Books on jazz as recommended by The Jazz Man|
|Read about the music they created and the lives of the people whose extraordinary talents made them jazz legends.
There are hundreds of books available on the subject of jazz. The Jazz Man recommends the following that are considered some of the best that have ever been published.
Some are particularly revealing about the artists themselves and delve not only into their musical careers but also their very private personal lives.
The majority of the leading black musicians of the 1940s and ‘50s lived in an America where racial discrimination was an accepted way of life. Their escape from such bigotry was though their music, however for many it was also through the use of alcohol and drugs.
Many died prematurely due to their addictions – which in some cases included violence as a result of their addictions.
Nearly every talented black jazz musician of the 1940s and 50s did at some time turn to drugs as a release. The best known (mainly because of his musical genius) was alto player Charlie “Bird” Parkerand the best known female jazz figure was Billie Holiday.
Others who followed Parker included Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Sonny Stitt (to name just three “legends" as an example) and this is only the tip of the iceberg.
|“The Jazz Standards” is a comprehensive guide to the most important jazz compositions, a unique resource, a browser’s companion that tells the story of more than 250 key jazz songs along with a guide to more than 2,000 recordings.
Award winning author Ted Gioia is the perfect guide to lead readers through the classics of the genre. A jazz pianist and recording artist, he has performed these songs for decades.
Ted is a jazz pianist and recording artist who has performed these songs for decades. As a music historian and critic, he has gained a reputation as a leading expert on jazz.
A useful reference for jazz enthusiasts, performers, students and educators.
“…before you realize it you will have spent an intriguing hour or two learning fascinating and new things about old songs that you have known most of your life.” Dave Brubeck
“…a finely researched work.” Sonny Rollins
“THE JAZZ STANDARDS” is published by Oxford University Press.
”The last Balladeer” The Johnny Hartman Story
The journey of the Grammy-nominated vocalist from his big band origins with Earl Hines and Dizzy Gillespie to featured soloist in prestigious supper clubs throughout the world.
The book includes exclusive interviews with Hartman’s family and fellow musicians, along with accounts from friends and associates along with newly discovered recordings and studio outtakes with in-depth research on Hartman’s career and personal life.
The author Gregg Akkerman expertly describes Hartman as a gentleman, romantic, family man, and constant contributor to the jazz scene.
As an author and educator Akkerman has since 2004 held the position of director of jazz studies and commercial music at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg.
“...one of the great singers of all time”
“…elegant, insightful account of Johnny Hartman’s life and music”
Barry Kernfeld – editor of “The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz”
“…expertly captures the life and music of this vital, memorable jazz singer”
Tad Hershorn – author of “Norman Granz: The Man who Used Jazz for Justice”
”The last Balladeer” The Johnny Hartman Storyis published by Scarecrow Press, Inc.
”Clark” the autobiography of Clark Terry
is the compelling story of one of the most recorded and beloved jazz trumpeters of all time.
With unsparing honest and a superb eye for detail, Clark Terry, born in 1920, takes us from his impoverished childhood in St. Louis to the small, smoke filled clubs and carnivals across the Jim Crow South where he got his start, and on to world wide acclaim.
“Clark” also takes us behind the scenes of jazz history - he was part of it!
Clark Terry also reveals much abut his personal life: his experiences with racism, how he helped break the colour barrier in 1960 when he joined NBC’s television program the “Tonight Show” band.
“…he will always be an indelible part of our lives, inseparable from our identity as musicians and people”
“…he’s an extraordinary role model and mentor who has walked the walk. And now, in addition to decades of wonderful music, he is giving us another gift, his autobiography”
“…his first pupil was Quincy Jones, and he was the first to recognize the potential of Miles Davis”
I highly recommend this great read.
The Jazz Man.
“Clark” is published by University of California Press. www.ucpress.edu
”Have you met Miss Jones?”
Salena Jones – My life and Music
A direct descendent of Souix Indian warrior Crazy Horse, Salena Jones (born Joan Shaw) recounts her colourful and event-filled life from an abandoned baby growing up in Virginia and New York to becoming an internationally celebrated singer.
Salena worked with the true greats of jazz during the 1950s and 1960s before leaving the U.S. to seek her fame in Europe. She settled in the United Kingdom when she was 26.
As a young woman Salena Jones resisted the drug environment which was rife in the music industry and stood up against racism going on to a career that has included appearing on every continent in the world and a tally (at the time of this writing) of thirty nine solo albums to her credit.
“Have you met Miss Jones?” is the engaging story of a very warm personality who excels at ballad singing, interpreting the lyrics of the masters of “The great American Songbook” as the writer(s) intended them to be, something that is neglected by many of today’s vocalists.
Salena Jones rightfully takes her place in the front row of world-renowned popular singers of the 20th and 21st Century, which include such elite artists as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn (who was a close friend of Salena’s) and Frank Sinatra.
”Salena Jones is a rarity: any aspiring singer needs look no further for inspiration and tutelage”.
Stuart Mc Allister, Chairman and Chief Executive of HMV.
The Jazz Man highly recommends “Have you met Miss Jones?”
“Have you met Miss Jones” is available only from © Vine Gate Music in the U.K. firstname.lastname@example.org
Not only did black jazz musicians succumb to the temptation of narcotics - white players such as Art Pepper, Gerry Mulligan and Stan Getz (again to name just three) also fought and fortunately managed to shake off their demons.
However (white) trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker didn't.
Considered a “cool” and very talented trumpeter and flugelhorn player his handsome “movie- star” looks (in the James Dean mould) turned him into a cult figure.
Chet Baker’s book “Deep in a Dream”(by James Gavin-Random House), is a no-holds-barred account of an artist whose career and excesses took him from the heights of jazz “stardom” to the lowest depths of total drug dependency.
Unfortunately Baker could never shake the monkey off his back, and did anything to “score”.
He died an addict on a seedy street in a known drug infested area of Amsterdam (The Netherlands) on May 13,1988. Whether he fell from the window of the cheap hotel room he was letting, or whether self induced or an accident or homicide, to this day nobody is quite sure.
”The Jazz Singers-The ultimate Guide
This is a vast overview of jazz vocalism. This remarkable, encyclopedic guide consists of more than 500 profiles that spans the history of jazz, from the dawn of commercial recordings to the present day.
The book goes beyond the jazz household names and includes many important singers of yesterday and today.
The author is Scott Yanow a critic and historian with vast experience. He has written for virtually all the significant jazz magazines, including Downbeat, Jazzis, Coda, Cadence, and also theLos Angeles Jazz Scene.
The Jazz Man recommends this very informative publication by Backbeat Books. A must for dedicated jazz fans to add to their jazz library.
|Art Pepper like Chet Baker (above) was an extraordinary musical talent with handsome looks that added to his appeal as a “cool, hip” young jazz musician.
Also like Chet Baker he became a hardened junkie, and stooped to degrading levels to support his habit which on one occasion resulted in a jail sentence for committing an armed robbery.
Art Pepper’s honesty about his very dark life makes for captivating reading. His association with and admiration for the iconic jazz musicians (particularly black) he played with is heartwarming and touching.
Unlike Chet Baker Pepper eventually managed to shake his drug habit, and in turn put his energies into helping those who were struggling with their own drug addiction.
“Straight Life, the story of Art Pepper”(by Art and Laurie Pepper-Schirmer Books and pictured above) is possibly one of the most honest and graphic books ever written by/about a jazz musician. It is highly recommended.
Richard Cook's "Jazz Encylopedia"(Penguin Group)
The perfect reference book if you're new to jazz or a committed fan. It's a fascinating inside look at the turbulant lives of the people involved, showing how they influenced the music and how the music influenced them.
From traditional jazz to swing, bebop, mainstream, "cool", hard bop and free jazz - they're all there.
An excellent jazz reference book recommended by The Jazz Man
Richard Cook has been writing about music since the 1970s. He is currently editor of the leading U.K. jazz magazine, Jazz Review
|”Jazz, Black and White – Cats of any Color”
First published in 1994 Gene Lees takes a long overdue look at racism in the past and present of jazz – both the white racism that for decades ghettoized black musicians and their music, and what Lee demonstrates is increasingly strident prejudice of some black musicians against their white counterparts.
In candid interviews, jazz players, composers, and critics share their thoughts on how racism has affected their lives.
Lee also points out that many jazz musicians have been at least in part Native Americans, but the Indian contribution has never been acknowledged.
Dave Brubeck, who himself has Indian ancestors, describes how racism long made it all but impossible for jazz groups composed of black and white players to book tours.
Gene Lees is one of the more vivid writers on the subject of jazz, having many books to his credit. He is also a capable lyricist and has worked with several distinguished composers. For a time he was editor of the respected jazz
magazine “Down Beat”.
”Jazz, Black and White” is published by Oxford University Press.
“…sensitive and beautifully written…please get this book and read it.”
Bob Cranshaw, Allegro.
“…I feel so strongly about the importance of this book that if I had time I would gladly go to people’s houses, take them by the wrist, and lead them to the nearest bookstore…It is a truly important social document.”
Steve Allen, television host, producer, author and jazz pianist.
“Faith in Time” – The life of Jimmy Scott.
Jimmy Scott, born in 1925, orphaned as a teenager, and suffered from Kallman’s syndrome, which kept his voice unnaturally high. He sang with Lionel Hampton’s band in the ‘40s and recorded with Savoy Records.
His career was however short lived. In 1991 he was re-discovered.
Jimmy Scott’s highly emotive interpretation of ballad lyrics is poignant and unforgettable.
”Faith in Time” like a haunting melody, is an unforgotten reading experience.
The author, David Ritz is also author and co-author of many music biographies. He lives in Los Angeles. The book is published by Da Capro Press.
“…Jimmy Scott has been the original ‘soul man’ for over six decades. His life parallels the best of American music history.”
“Gripping…Jaw-dropping…A tale as unconventional and affecting as the singer’s art.”
Washington City Paper
Leonard Feather Ira Gitler –
“The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz”
718 pages, featuring more than 3,300 brief biographies for each musician including:
1. Thorough documentation of musical influences
2. etails of major accomplishments and continuing legacy
3. A listing of major performances
4. An extensive accounting of musical recordings, particularly CDs
5. Record of film and television appearances
6. Essential biographical information including: date of birth, death, schooling,
marriage and much more
English born Leonard Feather who moved to the U.S. in the 1930s was one of the deans of jazz criticism. Lecturer, jazz columnist, producer, broadcaster, musician and writer of hundreds of jazz compositions he founded the “Encyclopedia of Jazz” series in the mid 1960s. Other books include the influential “Inside Bebop” and “The book of Jazz.” Leonard Feather died in 1994
Ira Gitler’s writing has helped illuminate the jazz scene since 1951.
He was the New York editor of “Downbeat” during the 1960s and still contributes to the publication. His credits include producer of recordings and concerts and he teachers jazz history at the Manhattan School of Music.
His books include the highly acclaimed “Jazz Masters of the ‘40s” and “Swing to Bop.” He lives in New York City.
“An invaluable and distinguished contribution to jazz research and scholarship.”
Dan Morgenstern. Director of the Institute of Jazz studies, Rutgers University. U.S.A.
”Opens one’s eyes to a perspective-view of jazz that is astonishingly new and rich".
This highly recommended jazz reference book is published by Oxford University Press.
”West Coast Jazz”
A history of modern jazz in California. This genre of jazz which was also known as “cool” jazz. This well documented book looks at such “cool” icons as Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan (featured on the front cover) and other well-known and obscure jazz men (and the few women) who were part of the Californian modern jazz scene between 1945 and1960.
”West Coast Jazz” is written by Ted Gioia who has recorded as a jazz pianist and has produced recordings of works of younger West Coast musicians.
The book is an ideal reference for jazz students and those interested in the early West Coast jazz scene.
“West Coast Jazz” ….ranks among the most distinguished works of jazz scholarship yet published” – Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal.
"West Coast Jazz" is publised by University of California Press.
Hear some of the best of "West Coast Jazz" on "Jazz on Tuesday" 8pm to 11pm on Melbourne's 95.7FM Golden Days Radio.
“The Eye of Jazz - the jazz photographs of Herman Leonard”
is a book that captures the faces of jazz as seen through the camera lens of photographer Herman Leonard.
Born in 1923 Leonard’s reputation grew rapidly in both the United States and Europe, and he is regarded as one of the best jazz photographers of our time.
Outside musical spheres Leonard worked in fashion, publicity, cinema and theatre, and traveled throughout Asia and the Middle East as a photo journalist for different publications.
Herman Leonard was around the jazz world with the “who’s who” of jazz from Charlie Parker to Dizzy, Dinah Washington, Gerry Mulligan, Erroll Garner, Stan Getz, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Chet Baker, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Bud Powell, Shelly Manne, Ben Webster and every other major jazz artist of the 1940s and ‘50s.
The photographs, all in black and white magnificently capture the jazz artist in the recording studio and in concert.
Many of the photographs as seen on ”The Jazz man Gallery are from ”The Eye of Jazz” a Viking book published by the Penguin Group. This book is a must for all jazz lovers.
”Myself Among Others” published by De Capo Press is about the legendary impresario George Wein who was the founder of the famous Newport Jazz Festival which led to Folk Festivals and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
In his highly praised memoir, Wein looks back on his life and extraordinary career, describing his unforgettable relationships – sometimes smooth, sometimes tempestuous – with the great figures he knew.
He reveals his personal associations with such iconic jazz artists as Thelonious Monk, Charlie Mingus, Miles Davis and others.
”Myself Among Others” is a life in music recalled by George Wein and conveyed to writer Nate Chinen.
“A hugely enjoyable memoir.” – Wall Street Journal
“A terrific new, can’t-put-it-down autobiography.” – New York Observer
”Sassy – The life of Sarah Vaughan”
Reveled for the first time is “jazz’s only diva” as her closest friends
and musical associates knew her.
Award-winning writer and author Leslie Gourse vividly brings to life the singer who possessed the most spectacular voice in jazz history. In her early twenties Sarah was singing with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Billy Eckstine, helping them invent bebop.
Vaughan’s voluptuous voice was matched in private by her exuberant appetites for excesses: three failed marriages, financial difficulties, late night jam sessions and liquor and cocaine that inspired and depleted her in equal measure.
The feisty and unpretentious hard working Sarah Vaughan achieved world wide acclaim as the greatest singer of her generation.
”Sassy – The life of Sarah Vaughan” is published by Mainstream Publishing.
Author Leslie Gourse has also written “Unforgettable: The life and Mystique of Nat King Cole, “Everyday: The Story of Joe Williams” and “Louis’ Children; American Jazz Singers”.
“Oscar Peterson – The will to Swing” is a richly and detailed
look at the young pianist from Montreal, Canada who became an
internationally known artist while still in his twenties.
Critic and lyricist Gene Lees examines the life and motivation of one of the world’s great jazz pianists.
Lees looks carefully at Peterson’s childhood and at what it meant to be black and talented in the 1940s in Montreal.
Oscar has not only mastered the technique of his instrument, but also enhanced the entire repertoire with his superb creativity.
“Oscar Peterson – The will to Swing” is published by Macmillan.
In 1941 at twenty two the attractive Anita O’Day was the only white woman singer accepted by both the all-black jazz world and the all-white big band circuit.
Ten years later she was strung-out, broke and doing time in a nightmare jail trapped by a drug habit she couldn’t break.Anita had sacrificed her talent and self respect for heroin addiction and an endless series of men who kept her down and dirty. Remarkably she survived, despite being pronounced dead on one occasion.
The Jazz Man highly recommends ”High Times Hard Times” the stunningly no-holds-barred story of a brave and brutal journey to hell and back.
”High Times Hard Times” published Corgi Books is written by Anita O’Day with George Eells.
”Bill Evans – How my heart Sings” is the enthralling first biography in English of Bill Evans, one of the most influential of all jazz pianists.
Author Peter Pettinger, a concert pianist himself, describes the personal tragedies, commercial successes, music technique, compositional methods, approach to ensemble playing and the legacy of jazz pianist Bill Evans, whom many authorities consider one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century.
”Bill Evans – How my heart Sings” is a New York Times Notable Book published by Yale University Press.
“Lush Life”is the biography of Billy Strayhorn, the black, gay genius who wrote and arranged much of the music played by the most famous band in jazz history: the Duke Ellington Orchestra. This moving and sensitive biography gives an irreplaceable picture of a vanished culture, and is a fitting tribute to a gifted and gentle man.
“Lush Life”is by David Hajdu an editor at Entertainment Weekly and has written for the Village Voice, the New York Times and the New Yorker.
The publisher is Granta Books.
“A splendidly researched, beautifully written and moving biography.”
Gerald Kaufman, The Times.
|“Jazz at Ronnie Scott’s” (Published by Robert Hale) is an entertaining read whether you are a casual or a committed jazz fan.
London’s world famous jazz club co-founded by tenor saxophonist Ronnie Scott has hosted the biggest names from the world of jazz.
The jazz people at Ronnie Scott’s who made the 20th century’s most fascinating music tell you what it was all about – they are great talkers.
Author Kitty Grime talked to ninety-odd musicians while researching this book. They tell you what the music means to them, what it is like to play it what it is like to live the highs and lows of the life that goes with the music.
Kitty is a journalist, and her favourite music is jazz, her favourite people are jazz people. She has been listening and talking to them for over thirty five years.
Val Wilmer, who took the photographs in the book has traveled extensively, particularly to the United States to document many aspects of Afro-American music, which is her life-long preoccupation.
Val has held an exhibition of photographs entitled “Jazz Seen – the face of Black Music” at the Victoria and Albert Museum (London) and was a regular contributor to Melody Maker.
“Jazz Profiles -the spirit of the Nineties” covers both the music’s rich history and the fresh excitement that today’s prominent and rising young stars are generating.
The book profiles the artists, their experiences in the music business, their influences, and includes interviews and the artist’s best recorded works.
The writer Reginald Carver is a jazz fan and attorney practicing in Atlanta, Georgia. Lenny Bernstein is a photographer whose photographs have appeared in The New York Times, New York magazine, Vanity Fair, and Harpers. He Lives in Capitola, California.
“Jazz Profilesis published by Billboard Books.
|”The Glass Enclosure” focus’s on the life of Bud Powell who revolutionized jazz piano in the 1940s by developing a rapidity of thought and execution hitherto matched only by pioneer bebop trumpeters and saxophonists.
Powell’s glittering technique and brilliant achievements at the keyboard was a life of tragedy, dogged by mental and physical illness that took him out of the public eye for long periods at a time.
Alan Groves and Alyn Shipton unearth one of the most heart-rending stories in jazz. They char his subsequent slow decline, and his rehabilitation in Paris, France.
Alan Groves is a journalist and writer about jazz whose work has appeared in “Jazz Journal”.
Alyn Shipton is a jazz writer and broadcaster, who presents programs for BBC Radio and is a jazz critic for “The Times”.
“Warmly recommended by readers of all tastes and interests.”
Richard Palmer, “Jazz Journal”
”The Glass Enclosure is published by Continuum.
Many books have been written about Duke Ellington, one of the most interesting is ”Sweet Man the Real Duke Ellington”by Don George the lyricist, collaborator, companion and buddy who was constantly in the company of Duke (on and off the stage) from 1943 until Duke’s death in 1974.
This chatty, anecdotal, laughter filled and at times sad and ribald memoir delves into the personal side of the legendary music genius.
For more than 30 years Don George saw the intimate and private side of the man behind the legend. The man who prayed alone in a special room, the dedicated member of the Odyssey House board, the uninhibited womanizer, the man who was afraid to sleep in the dark, the loyal friend, the composer of the sacred concerts, the man who was afraid to fly – Duke Ellington.
Much is written about the significant women in Duke’s life and in addition to Don’s own reminiscences he has drawn on the memories of Duke’s friends – among them Richard Burton, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee and Al Hibbler, to make this an intimate, honest portrait of one of the major figures of the 20th Century.
The Jazz Man recommends “Sweet Man the Real Duke Ellington” published by Putman.
Don George was widely known for his song “The Yellow Rose of Texas” he also wrote many songs for the movies. Two songs that Duke and Don wrote together,
“Hit me with a Hot Note” and “Watch Me Bounce” along with “I’m beginning to see the Light” were featured in the hit Broadway musical “Sophisticated Ladies.”
“…I was on the road with Duke, Billy Strayhorn, Johnny Hodges and others; and I recognize, with a rush of warmth, these men of genius that Don (George) re-creates so vividly.”
Hal David, President American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (A.S.C.A.P.)
There have been many books written about Billie Holiday, however “Billie’s Blues” does claim to be the first ever biography of this extraordinary woman.
First published in 1975, the author is John Chilton himself a professional jazz trumpeter and author, who dispels the myths and misunderstandings in this rich biography which restores Billie Holiday to her full stature as a singer and a human being.
Chilton sifts through the truth of Billie’s tragic life from the distortions and sensational treatment of her own unreliable autobiography, and the film of the same name “Lady sings the Blues.”
This is the paradoxical story of a singer who never received the adulation from the general public that she needed, but who exercised an indelible influence on her contemporaries. ”Billie’s Blues the true story of the immortal Billie Holiday” is published by Quartet Books.
|”Australian Jazz Scene”
This informative newsletter is printed in Adelaide, South Australia and published 11 times per year.
Australian Jazz Scene is distributed in various capitol cities with information relevant to the city and state (S.A., N.S.W., VIC., W.A., and QLD.) plus major jazz happenings Australia wide.
Information includes CD and book reviews, a radio jazz listing, gig guide, festival roundup, and articles of interest.
The six page publication is free and available from tourist outlets, colleges, universities, jazz venues, hotels, record stores, and radio stations.
Annual subscription (11 issues) is $27.50 or $22 concession including GST – as at Jan -01-2008.
Advertising is available in the publication.
For more information you may contact the editor Don Brow at email@example.com or telephone direct on (08) 8212 0406.
The website is www.jazzscene.com.au
| “Jazz Anecdotes” is a most enjoyable read that brings to life some of the more entertaining stories behind the biggest names from the world of jazz.
The Jazz Man recommends this book to jazz lovers and those who enjoy a good laugh.
The author Bill Crow is a free-lance musician and writer. He is the author of “From Birdland to Broadway” and his articles and reviews have appeared in “Downbeat”, “The Jazz Review” and Gene Lees’s “Jazzletter.”
“Guarantees up to a thousand laughs… recommended without reservation.”
Los Angeles Times
“A scintillating omnium gathering of jazz talk.”
The Washington Post Book World
|”DIZZY The Life and Times of John Birks Gillespie”
Dizzy Gillespie is one of the most expressive and virtuosic improvisers in the history of jazz music.
He was one of the primary creators of the bebop and Afro-Cuban revolutions who fundamentally changed the way jazz improvisation was done.
Born black in fiercely racist Cheraw in South Carolina, in 1917, Dizzy had the energy and a furious drive to succeed and the one-in-million talent to climb quickly out of rural poverty to a role among the Swing Era jazz elite before his 21st birthday.
Dizzy’s incredible story takes us on the road with the great bands of Cab Calloway, Earl Hines and Billy Ekstine, through the cotton fields of the south, the after hours clubs of Harlem, the teeming jazz scene of Fifty Second Street (N.Y.C.) Rio’s samba festivals, the White House and the world’s great concert halls.
Dizzy Gillespie achieved a popularity that few jazz musicians have ever enjoyed.
"DIZZY The Life and Times of John Birks Gillespie” is written by Donald L. Maggin and published by Harper Entertainment.
Donald L. Maggin a writer and businessman is also the author of ”Stan Getz: A life in Jazz he also produced jazz concerts for Max Roach, Sonny Stitt and James Moody among others.
Maggin also served in the Carter White House for three years and is an editor of the literary journal “The Reading Room.”
“Altogether, it’s one of the best jazz biographies.”
“A major contribution to jazz biography.”
Dan Morgenstern, Director, Institute of Jazz Studies.
|Britain’s Jazz Journal International is billed as “the world’s greatest jazz magazine” and may very well have the right to this claim.
It also claims to be the world’s longest continuous operating jazz magazine.
The first edition of “Jazz Journal” (as it was initially known) hit the streets in May of 1948 priced at one shilling and sixpence and had a photograph of Louis Armstrong on the distinctive front cover (wow, they got there before TIME!).
The publication was founded by Sinclair Traill who was born in 1904, and embarked on a career in banking.
Sinclair was posted to India with the R.A.F. during World War 2 where he worked on the force’s radio program, giving him the opportunity to indulge in his jazz interests.
After leaving the air force Traill was a staff writer for “Melody Maker” magazine contributing to the feature “Collector’s Corner”.
|Sinclair Traill was a flamboyant character who enjoyed an international reputation often visiting the prestige jazz events in Europe and the United States. Hundreds of jazz musicians counted themselves among his friends.
Sinclair Traill died due to a heart attack on January 10th 1981 at the age of 76.
Pictured above right is the cover of “Jazz Journal International” of March 1981 which shows Sinclair at the Nice Jazz Festival which he had attended since its inception. Also pictured is the cover of the August 2008 magazine.
One of the distinctive features of the magazine is the front cover which always has a close up photograph of the featured jazz artist of the month.
|”Lester leaps In” The life and times of Lester “Pres” Young"
written by Douglas Henry Daniels.
Tenor saxophonist Lester Young was jazz’s first “hipster” who performed in sunglasses and coined such phrases as “that’s cool” and “you dig?”
Young always wore a suit and his trademark porkpie hat. He influenced everyone form Charlie Parker to Stan Getz and Miles Davis, creating a lyrical style of playing that forever changed the sound of music.
“….a provocative book, presenting Lester Young in a novel, even controversial light while opening new avenues of possible investigation into one of the most tantalizing enigmatic of all historic jazz figures.”
“A remarkably researched book that delves deep into Lester’s life starting from his childhood, through his early musical training in his father’s very successful band to his own incredible career. It also looks at the racism that was part of the social fabric of mid 20 Century America.”
The Jazz Man
Author Douglas Henry Daniels is professor of black studies and history at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His other books include, “A social and Cultural History of Black San Francisco.”
The book is published by Beacon Press, Boston. www.beacon.org
|“Q The Autobiography of Quincy Jones”
Growing up on the mean streets of Chicago’s South Side this is the absorbing story of a music prodigy who was literary saved by music.
Quincy Jones, musician, composer, producer, arranger and pioneering entrepreneur has worked alongside the “superstars” of music and entertainment – Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Ray Chares, Will Smith and dozens of others.
Taking up the trumpet, Quincy played back-up for Billie Holiday and toured the world with the Lionel Hampton Band before leaving in his teens.
His career highlights have included arranging albums for Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn and Count Basie.
He composed scores for movies including “In cold Blood”, “In the heat of the Night”, “The Pawnbroker” and “The Color Purple” and the theme songs for the television shows “Ironsides”, “Sanford and Son” and “The Cosby Show”. He also produced the best selling album of all time – Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.
His musical achievements have yielded an incredible seventy-seven Grammy nominations.
Quincy Jones is one of the most successful black business figures in America, his life encompasses an astonishing cast of show business giants, and provides the raw material for one of the great African American success stories of the 20th Century.
“Q The Autobiography of Quincy Jones” is highly recommended reading. It is published by Doubleday.
|The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings Ninth Edition.
The ninth edition of The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings has been released - the perfect present for a jazz fan. The much-missed critic and record producer Richard Cook is still credited, even though he died in 2007: his partnership with Brian Morton in producing this book was crucial in establishing its authority, quirkiness and stature.
A former journalist whose wit and honesty made him one of the most reliable assessors of jazz music's many transitions and tributaries, Cook wrote much of the core of the book, which the legendary American jazz writer Nat Hentoff called his "bible".
The current edition runs to some 20,000 listings, with 2,000 new CDs and 500 new artists added this time around – including plenty of recently-emerged young Brits, preserving the book's tradition of balancing classic and contemporary, American, European and global jazz.
What's remarkable about the Penguin Guide is that it's informed by the educated passion of truly devoted fans while offering a treasure trove of accessible new experiences for any music lover who wants to discover what jazz is all about. It also avoids the star-rating, shopping-cart mentality of so much record reviewing (though the "core collection" entries continue to point you to the most revealing works), Much contemporary media seems fearful of boring a supposedly impatient public with anything that smacks of a sense of history or context. This book, thankfully, is not.
For all the Guide's erudition, though, there's none of the snootiness or secretive elitism of the jazz buff who thinks that if you don't somehow know it all by osmosis you're a musical heathen.
Richard Cook's collaborator Brian Morton had to take on this gargantuan task on his own after 2007, and says that he often finds himself still "listening on Richard's behalf … I've tried to continue reviewing in his spirit and to preserve the Guide's unique sense of a single voice, arguing with itself." To his immense credit, Morton has triumphantly succeeded in doing just that.
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings Ninth Edition,, is out now at £35. No jazz fan – or maybe more importantly, no listener of any kind who wants to understand how modern music got to be the way it is – will want to be without it.
The book is available from reputable book stores.
See a review of Richard Cook’s other highly recommend reference book ”Richard Cook’s Jazz Encyclopedia” above on Jazz in Print.
|”Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya”
Hundreds of personal interviews, letters, tape recordings, telephone conversations and published articles have gone into creating one of the most fascinating and lively histories of jazz ever published.
These are the stories of jazz told by those who were there, those who were jazz.
Edited by Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff this is the story of jazz told by the men and women who made it.
First published decades ago, the vast majority of jazz artists who contributed to the book are no longer with us. It was first published in Britain in 1992 by Souvenir Press Limited.
“A work of considerable substance.” The New Yorker.
|The Duke Ellington Reader
Duke Ellington is universally recognized as one of the towering figures of 20th Century music, both a brilliant composer and one of the preeminent musicians in jazz history.
The book offers the first historical writings about this major African-American musician. There are over a hundred selections – interviews, critical essays, reviews, memoirs, and over a dozen writings by Ellington himself - with generous introductions and annotations for each selection provided by the editor Mark Tucker.
Mark Tucker is Associate Professor of Music at Columbia University and author of ”Ellington: The Early Years.”
”an astounding book…An extraordinary leap in jazz studies and in the history of race and culture in this century.” (20th Century) The New York Times
A splendid view of both the man and his art.” The Economist
“The Duke Ellington Reader” is published by Oxford University Press.
|The Birth of Bebop
A social and musical history of bebop jazz written by Scott DeVeaux and first published in 1997. The book pictured was first published in Great Britain by Picador in 1999.
At the time of the British publication the author Scott DeVeaux was Associate Professor of Music at the University of Virginia. He is also the author of “Jazz in America: Who’s Listening?” (1995) and co-editor of “The Music Of James Scott” (1992)
“A model of what jazz scholarship can and should be: I know of no other academic study of jazz that integrates musicology, biography and cultural history with comparable success.”
Wall Street Journal
“An insightful work of musical scholarship…belongs on the short list of absolutely vital jazz historical works.”
Los Angeles Times
”…a magisterial synthesis of social history, commercial praxis, starry anecdote and laconic but highly incisive analysis.”
This pictorial chronicle of jazz from 1900 to 1990 is a year by year documentation of births, deaths, recordings, compositions, films and books including photographs.
There’s also maps of the major centres of jazz history plus a list of clubs, theatres and ballrooms.
An important reference book for true jazz fans.
Jazz Milestones is compiled by Ken Vail with the foreword by tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton. The book os published by Castle Communications plc.
"TIME" Novembr 8-1954 with Dave Brubeck.
Note the price - 20 cents!