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Jazz Journeys to Japan: The Heart Within

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Part music history, part cultural meditation, part travel narrative, Jazz Journeys to Japan is the first book to address the experiences of individual players -- Japanese jazz greats such as Toshiko Akiyoshi, Masahiko Satoh, Makoto Ozone, and Yosuke Yamashita.

William Minor navigates the converging streams of Western music and Eastern tradition, revealing through interviews with musicians, critics, and producers the unique synthesis that results from this convergence. And, turning conventional wisdom on its ear, he disproves the widely held notion that Japanese jazz artists don't "swing." Along the way, we experience Minor's growing appreciation of Japanese culture, which mirrors his subjects' discovery of American jazz.

William Minor's previous books include Unzipped Souls: A Jazz Journey through the Soviet Union, and Monterey Jazz Festival: Forty Legendary Years. He has written for Downbeat, Jazz Times, Jazz Notes, Coda, and Swing Journal.

386 pages, Hardcover

First published January 20, 2004

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About the author

William Minor

17 books7 followers
William Minor was originally trained as a visual artist (Pratt Institute and U.C.-Berkeley), and exhibited woodcut prints and paintings at the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Smithsonian Institution, and other museums and galleries. His woodcut prints incorporated the text of Russian, Modern Greek, and Japanese poetry--which he also translated.

He began to write poetry as a graduate student in Language Arts at San Francisco State, producing his first book, Pacific Grove, in 1974. Bill has, since that time, published five more books of poetry: For Women Missing or Dead, Goat Pan, Natural Counterpoint (with Paul Oehler), Poet Santa Cruz: Number 4, and Some Grand Dust (Chatoyant Press), for which he was a finalist for the Benjamin Franklin Award. His short fiction has been selected for inclusion in Best Little Magazine Fiction (NYU Press) and The Colorado Quarterly Centennial Edition.

A jazz writer with over 150 articles to his credit, Bill has also published three books on music: Unzipped Souls: A Jazz Journey Through the Soviet Union (Temple University Press), Monterey Jazz Festival: Forty Legendary Years (Angel City Press; Bill served as scriptwriter for the Warner Bros. film documentary based on the latter, same title as book), and Jazz Journeys to Japan: The Heart Within (University of Michigan Press.

A professional musician since the age of sixteen, Bill set poems from For Women Missing or Dead to music and recorded a CD--Bill Minor & Friends (on which he plays piano and sings). A second CD, Mortality Suite, offers original poems and music. Bill was also commissioned by the Historic Sandusky Foundation to write a suite of original music and voice script based on a married couple’s exchange of letters throughout the Civil War: Love Letters of Lynchburg.

More biographical information and links are available at www.bminor.org.

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Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 reviews
Profile Image for Julie.
4 reviews
July 4, 2013
Do you love Jazz? Ever been to Japan? Ever want to go? Even if you said no to all three, after reading this book you'll be booking your next ticket to Tokyo. Minor does an excellent job of not only describing in intimate detail the current jazz scene in Nippon, but also of showing how jazz heloed marry the American and Japanese cultures together beginning in WWII. Fascinating!
Profile Image for Micah.
603 reviews9 followers
May 4, 2016
This is another book I was using for a research paper, and it definitely served its purpose well. Didn't read all the way through it, but what I did read seemed good. maybe I'll go back to it if I have more time in the future.
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 reviews

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