Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEWS

Beyond Words by John Prine

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Beyond Words John Prine 179 Pages ISBN: # 978-0-692-74016-3 Oh Boy Records 2016 Anecdotally, Bob Dylan once surmised that John Prine was the last pure folk singer and counts Prine as one of his musical heroes. This statement is tantamount to the similarly anecdotal declaration by Frank Sinatra that Tony Bennett was his favorite singer. Both have the gravity of Jesus finally owning that John was his favorite apostle. All this palaver is ...

BOOK REVIEWS

50 Years at the Village Vanguard: Thad Jones, Mel Lewis and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

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50 Years at the Village Vanguard: Thad Jones, Mel Lewis and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra Dave Lisik and Eric Allen 316 Pages ISBN: #9780692808580 SkyDeck 2017 During the heydays of the big bands, people swooned and jitterbugged to the swinging sounds of these large ensembles. Names like Count Basie, Woody Herman, Les Brown, Cab Calloway, Glenn Miller, and Artie Shaw were household names to most folks. Large ballrooms featured the big bands and ...

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Nothing but Love in God's Water by Robert Darden

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Nothing but Love in God's Water--Volume 1: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement Robert Darden 224 Pages ISBN: # 978-0271050843 Penn State Press 2014 Critic Ed Ward's The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1: 1920-1965 (Flatiron Books, 2016) is a history written with a very even and broad horizon in mind. Bigger than the blues, country, and soul: rock & roll is an internationally large ...

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Bill Dahl's The Art of the Blues: A Visual Treasury of Black Music’s Golden Age

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The Art of the Blues: A Visual Treasury of Black Music's Golden Age Bill Dahl 224 Pages ISBN: # 978-02263966992 University Of Chicago Press 2016 A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring... There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again. --Alexander Pope Except when it doesn't, and we believe we know all; ...

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The Blues: Why It Still Hurts So Good

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The Blues: Why It Still Hurts So Good Marie Trout 360 Pages ISBN: #099799830X Yakkabiz Publishers 2017 Although the therapeutic value of music has not been wholly certified in scientific terms, it is nevertheless an accepted premise in our culture, one that Marie Trout explores with as much passion as scholarship in her book The Blues: Why It Still Hurts So Good. By homing in on a specific genre as her focal ...

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The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1: 1920-1965

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The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1: 1920-1965 Ed Ward 416 Pages ISBN: # 978-1250071163 Flatiron Books2016 Ed Ward has been the Rock & Roll Historian on NPR's Fresh Air (WHYY, Philadelphia--Terry Gross) for thirty years. He is the author of Rock of Ages: The Rolling Stone History of Rock & Roll (Summit Books, 1986). With his bona fides established, Ward has begun his magnum opus in his The History of Rock ...

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Transcendent Trombone - Jazz Survivor: The Rick Stepton Story

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Transcendent Trombone Frank McGowan Self Published 2017 “Jazz Luck"--a phrase I pull out of the hat every so often that aptly describes those oddball and, in some cases, unfortunate events which practitioners of the art encounter in the business. It's a more apropos term that the commonly-used “Stuff Happens," because in more cases than not a jazz musician's journey can be fraught with the truly unexplainable, the oddball, and the weirdly aleatoric. I've occasionally ...

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Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge

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Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge Martin Hawkins 416 Pages ISBN: # 978-0807164532 LSU Press 2016 James Moore, AKA, Slim Harpo, was a musician that existed at ground level. In his heyday, one was as likely to see him exiting the Excello Records in Nashville, TN one day and driving a truck in New Iberia, LA, the next, then walking into J.D. Miller's recording studio in Crowley, LA, while working on ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Paul Morley: The Age of Bowie

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The Age of Bowie Paul Morley 496 Pages ISBN: 978-1471148088 Simon & Schuster UK 2016 The enormous grief and sadness that outpoured at the unexpected death of singer David Bowie by fans and supporters worldwide were immediate and sincere. As soon as the shocking news broke on the 11th of January 2016, fans paid their homage to this artist who not only pushed boundaries but who also shaped and embodied the ...


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