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10 Interesting Books on Jazz Published in 2019

Blog
10 Interesting Books on Jazz Published in 2019

30.01.2020

Text: Ekin Sanaç
Translated: Yetkin Nural

Our 2019 evaluations continue with interesting books on jazz, written in English, released within last year…

“Art Rebels: Race, Class, and Gender in the Art of Miles Davis and Martin Scorsese”, Paul Lopes, Princeton University Press

Sociologist Paul Lopes looks at interesting developments in avantgarde and independent art scene in post-war America during the second half 20th century through two important figures: Miles Davis and Martin Scorsese. The portraits of these two iconic names, who are known with their unconventional work, open up discussions about various matters such as ethnicity, identity, class, masculine ideology and creative autonomy.

“Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan”, Alan Paul ve Andy Aledort, St. Martin’s Press

Texas Flood is the most comprehensive book to date that is dedicated to legendary guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, who lost his life at the young age of 35 in a helicopter accident after his performance with Eric Clapton in August 27, 1990. Opening with an introduction from his fellow band members from Double Trouble, Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton; and closing with epilogue from his musician brother Jimmie Lawrence Vaughan, the book conveys the unforgettable musician’s life through the words of his family and loved ones.

“Debussy: A Painter in Sound”, Stephen Walsh, Knopf

Receiving a lot of praise with his Stravinsky biography, British writer Stephen Walsh now offers the story of one of the most important 20th century composers, Claude Debussy (1862-1918). In the book, Walsh conveys Debussy’s personal life and works in the European context and their relation to other art disciplines, and he also shares his own analysis.

“Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music”, Gerald Horne, Monthly Review Press

Jazz and Justice gives a detailed account on the story of jazz becoming a global phenomenon that was shaped in and spread out from America, with roots going back to blues music, that emerged from the instruments the military bands left behind after the Civil War.

 “Women in Jazz: The Women, The Legends & Their Fight”, Sammy Stein, 8th House Publishing

Dedicated to women artists in jazz history and their struggle, Women in Jazz hands the mic not only to musicians and composers, but also to women working in other fields of the music industry such as radio programmers, label managers and writers; letting them share their stories. With interviews and first-hand accounts, the book follows the female route in jazz from 1920’s to today; highlighting the positive changes since then, as well as revealing the fact that there is still a lot to do to stop the misogyny in jazz.

“Definitive Jazz & Blues Encyclopedia: New & Expanded Edition”, Supervising editor: Howard Mandel, Flame Tree Publishers

The encyclopedia that offers a comprehensive account of jazz and blues all the way from their 19th Century Afro-American roots to today, as well as their influence on popular culture, is released in its renewed edition. The encyclopedia, which was created under the supervision of Jazz Journalist Association president, NPR collaborator, New York University faculty member, Chicago born writer Howard Mandel; includes detailed portraits of iconic names and collection of recordings from various periods. 

“When the City Was Yellow: Chicago Jazz and Improvised Music 1980-2010”, Editor: Mike Reed, Constellation Performing Arts

Focusing on 1980-2010 period from Chicago’s impressive music history, this book offers an anthology of jazz and improvised music compositions, aiming to reach not only musicians or music students but also to a wider audience that is interested in the Chicago scene. With articles from period’s music writers and photographs, the book hopes to open up new dialogues.

“Black Case Volume 1 & 11: Return From Exile”

One of the most respected bands of avantgarde jazz, Art Ensemble of Chicago’s founding member, sax player Joseph Harman’s 1974 book is re-released after his death in January 2019, in tribute to his memory. Published in limited edition, the book includes Jarman’s black music manifesto, photographs, compositions and notes.

“Jazz From Detroit”, Mark Stryker, University of Michigan Press

A Detroit Free Press journalist and music critic for 21 years, Mark Stryker’s book offers a deep analysis of Detroit’s layered cultural history and its undeniable role in the shaping of modern jazz. Jazz From Detroit also pleases its reader with its extensive photo selection.

“The Jazz Alphabet”, Neil Shapiro

The Jazz Alphabet is a personal work from illustrator Neil Shapiro, who has worked for various newspapers, magazines and children books; with an A to Z illustrative selection of 26 names from jazz world. From Louis Armstrong to Joe Zawinul, Chicago Green Mill Lounge to New York Birdland, this selection can be read as Shapiro sharing his own passion for jazz with other jazz fans.

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