This is Whitney Balliett's long-awaited "big book." In it are all the jazz profiles he has written for The New Yorker during the past 24 years. These include his famous early portraits of Pee Wee Russell, Red Allen, Earl Hines, and Mary Lou Williams, done when these giants were in full flower; his recent reconstructions of the lives of such legends as Art Tatum, Coleman HaThis is Whitney Balliett's long-awaited "big book." In it are all the jazz profiles he has written for The New Yorker during the past 24 years. These include his famous early portraits of Pee Wee Russell, Red Allen, Earl Hines, and Mary Lou Williams, done when these giants were in full flower; his recent reconstructions of the lives of such legends as Art Tatum, Coleman Hawkins, Jack Teagarden, Zoot Sims, and Dave Tough; His quick but indelible glimpses into the daily (or nocturnal) lives of Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus; and his vivid pictures of such on-the-scene masters as Red Norvo, Ornette Coleman, Buddy Rich, Elvin Jones, Art Farmer, Michael Moore, and Tommy Flanagan. Also included are such lesser known but invaluable players as Art Hodes, Jabbo Smith, Joe Wilder, Warne Marsh, Gene Bertoncini, Joe Bushkin, and Marie Marcus. All these profiles make the reader feel, as one observer has pointed out, that he is "sitting with Balliett and his subject and listening in." The book can be taken as a kind of history of jazz, as well as a biographical encylopedia of many of its most important performers. It can also be regarded as a model of American prose. Robert Dawidoff said of Whitney Balliett"s most recent book, Jelly Roll, Jabbo and Fats, that "few people write as well about anything as Balliett writes about jazz." And the late Philip Larkin wrote in 1982 of the "transcendence of Balliett's prose."...
|Title||:||American Musicians: Fifty Six Portraits In Jazz|
|Number of Pages||:||306 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
American Musicians: Fifty Six Portraits In Jazz Reviews
This book provides a good idea of the jazz musicians life in the USA in the 1950s and 1960s. An interesting read about 56 jazz musicians, mostly born in the United States. Each short story includes a half page biography and a few pages as if the musician is in the company of the author, without the author ever intruding. It's the musician talking about his musical influences and experiences with other musicians. There seems to be a common theme in that most jazz musicians during the 1950s and 1960s experience alcoholism or drug addiction, a marriage break up, ending up in New York at sometime in their career, when young, a strong inclination to learning an instrument, usually being able to play at least two instruments, very late nights, and music companionship. Mostly about jazz life in the late 1940s to the 1960s in the USA. Some very interesting character sketches giving a good glimpse of the person and even their way of speaking. I enjoyed reading this book. I found most of the characters interesting, helped by the author's very good writing style and knowledge of jazz. It is a book that is a useful jazz reference book.
Whitney was one of the most knowledgeable writers on the subject. His excellent prose demonstrates his love and deep understanding of the music. This collection of short pieces is is brought together from various articles that he had published in various jazz periodicals.