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Read any good books lately?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Damon Rondeau, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    It is evident that many who frequent this establishment are literate. There are many good spellers here, for example....

    Seriously, anyone have any general musical reading they'd care to recommend? I'm not talking method and technique here, I'm talking for the hell of it.

    I've got one to start: anybody I've shared it with has gotten off on Jazz Anecdotes by Bill Crow. It shows that, if nothing else, the musicians who went before us knew how to laugh. The story about Ray Brown putting loose ball bearings into Oscar Peterson's Steinway just before a set is worth the price of admission. If I'm not mistaken Ray did it when Oscar was going to croon a little ballad for the folks.

    Just picked up Basie's bio "as-told-to" Albert Murray. Looks yummy. That's what made me think of the thread.
  2. Bruce Calin

    Bruce Calin

    Oct 15, 2002
    I know this will sound pretty creepy but I recently read a book called "Jazz and Death"that was written by a medical doctor and jazz fan that describes the conditions and illnesses that killed various famous jazz musicians over the years(I don't remember the author's name).
    The book is actually very interesting and readable-not technical at all.It describes the illnesses in an understandable way,and debunks some popular myths(Charlie Parker did not die from choking on a chicken bone).In spite of the subject,I recommend this as a worthwhile book.
  3. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    "The Musical Brain"
  4. Bruce Calin

    Bruce Calin

    Oct 15, 2002
    I just thought of one more-Bill Crow wrote a sort of sequel to "Jazz Anecdotes".I'm embarrassed to say I've forgotten the title,but it's his autobiography.There are plenty of great stories & anecdotes in this one,too.He describes a gig in one chapter where he is pulling along a drummer who is dragging & describes it as "leaning into the wind".I just love that!
  5. This seems like more of an "Off Topic" topic, but as long as we're on the topic....

    I enjoyed reading "The Bear Comes Home," by Rafi Zabor, which, aside from the main character being a walking, talking, literature-quoting, philosophy-spouting alto-saxophone-playing grizzly bear, contains some of the most well-written descriptions of playing and hearing jazz I've read. Some real-life cats like Charlie Haden and Billy Hart make appearances and even become major characters.

    A cool, funny read.
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I got a great book for Xmas, called "On Sonic Art" by Trevor Wishart - with a CD which contains examples.

    So the idea is about music that is not necessarily conventional notes as such, but rather "organised sound" as Art. So it is like a recent history of the types of avant-garde art that straddles the borders between music and ...well interesting sound stuff that might not be strictly defined as music... ;)

    I also got the latest edition of the Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD!
  7. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Mike, the Zabor thing sounds like fun. I'll check it out.

    I couldn't decide between "Misc" and "Off-Topic". The Powers That Be can put it where they want.

    (Hey, Powers: I know that sounds rude. No disrespect intended. We love you.)
  8. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I just reread "The Music of Stuart Saunders Smith."
  9. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    "The Bear Comes Home" is a great read.

    The two most recent bios I've enjoyed were "Bright Moments" on Rahsaan Roland Kirk and "Myself When I Am Real" on Mingus.

  10. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    As this has a distinct jazz bent to it so far, here's something for the bluegrassers: the Bill Monroe bio Can't You Hear Me Calling is excellent. Who knew Mr. MONroe was so randy?
  11. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    ...well, I mentioned that Basie bio up there (Good Morning Blues). Sad to say, I can't recommend it. It appears that they used Basie's records of where he was on such and such a date as the basic means of recollecting stories, with the unfortunate result that about a third of it reads like: "...and then we went to Wichata for a one-nighter before we rolled on to..."

    Coupla good yarns though:
    • One club with a bandstand so small that Walter Page had to play his tuba from out on the sidewalk, leaning in through a window
    • Another club where the band doubled as bouncers, many times having to abandon the stand to have to go kick another kind of butt...
  12. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    "Leadership" by Rudolph W. Giuliani
    -Very insightful
  13. Nuno A.

    Nuno A. Velvet Strings Customer Service

    Jul 9, 2001
    " Deep Down in Music: The Art of the Great Jazz Bassists" - Leslie Gourse
    Highly recomended , specially for everybody at this side of Talkbass of course
    From the earlier bassists until nowadays bassists, this book is a great source of information, ive owned it for 1 1/2 years and i dont remember anymore how many times i read it...

  14. The Complete Works of Flannery O'Connor.