John Corbett

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January 2019


John Corbett is a writer, curator, and producer based in Chicago. He is co-owner of Corbett vs. Dempsey, an art gallery. Corbett is the author of several books, including Extended Play: Sounding Off from John Cage to Dr. Funkenstein (Duke U. Press, 1994), Microgroove: Forays into Other Music (Duke, 2015), A Listener’s Guide to Free Improvisation (University of Chicago Press, 2016), Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium (Duke, 2017), and Pick Up the Pieces: Excursions in Seventies Music (University of Chicago, 2019). As an essayist and reviewer, Corbett has written for numerous academic and commercial publications, including DownBeat, The Wire, The Chicago Reader, The Chicago Tribune, NKA, Bomb, LitHub, and Lapham’s Quarterly. Corbett ...more

Average rating: 3.93 · 417 ratings · 71 reviews · 55 distinct worksSimilar authors
A Listener's Guide to Free ...

4.14 avg rating — 87 ratings — published 2016 — 4 editions
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Microgroove: Forays into Ot...

4.38 avg rating — 24 ratings — published 2015 — 3 editions
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Extended Play: Sounding Off...

3.71 avg rating — 41 ratings — published 1994 — 3 editions
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Vinyl Freak: Love Letters t...

4.02 avg rating — 41 ratings3 editions
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Pick Up the Pieces: Excursi...

3.55 avg rating — 33 ratings2 editions
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West Dickens Avenue: A Mari...

3.97 avg rating — 87 ratings — published 2003 — 7 editions
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Traveling the Spaceways: Su...

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3.83 avg rating — 12 ratings — published 2007
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Sun Ra + Ayé Aton: Space, I...

3.60 avg rating — 5 ratings — published 2013
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Touch and Go: Ray Yoshida a...

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4.50 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2015
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Charline Von Heyl: Snake Eyes

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 2 ratings
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“A friend tells the story of seeing percussionist Milford Graves perform a solo concert. Before the music commenced, Graves asked for someone from the audience to come up and help him with a demonstration. A young man volunteered, made his way onstage and stood facing the performer. Graves held out both wrists and asked the man to check his pulse, which was verified as normal. Then the drummer closed his eyes, concentrated, and halted his pulse—as the volunteer confirmed, in expectant delight. Relaxing, the regular pulse reappeared and the enlisted man released Graves's wrists. "No, no. Wait a minute," smiled Graves, holding his arms as they were, stock still. The assistant took ahold of Graves's wrists, once again feeling for a pulse. Once again, Graves closed his eyes and concentrated deeply. Some time passed, with the audience, volunteer, and graves absolutely hushed in anticipation. Suddenly, the man jerked away in disbelief, "My God, they're not beating together!" he exclaimed. Graves quickly took a seat at his kit and began to play.”
John Corbett, Extended Play: Sounding Off from John Cage to Dr. Funkenstein

“This is significantly different from the notion of giving everyone the means of production. It consists of making the means of production mobilize its audience, a form of auto-stimulation.”
John Corbett

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