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Four Lives in the Bebop Business
This book offers biographical sketches and quotations from four black musicians: Herbie Nichols, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, and Jackie McLean. Photographs. A group of resourceful kids start "solution-seekers.com," a website where "cybervisitors" can get answers to questions that trouble them. But when one questioner asks the true meaning of Christmas, the kids seek to ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 1st 1985 by Limelight Editions
(first published January 1st 1985)
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Published in 1966, this book shows us how the lives and artistic fates of four influential musicians were affected by the atmosphere, business practices and prejudices of the jazz world during the late '40's and '50's: 1) the uncompromising classically-trained composer Cecil Taylor, 2) the innovative romantic artist Ornette Coleman, 3) the professional stalwart turned innovator, Jackie Taylor, and 4) Herbie Nichols.
A.B. Spellman is an able historian and interviewer who knows his subjects well, h ...more
very good inside look at jazz from the perspective of 4 little known and generally unappreciated musicians: Herbie Nichols, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, and Jackie McLean. man these dudes did NOT have an easy time of it and were really pushed down and aside most of the time. Author spellman i thought was not very good at setting these stories up though, too academic maybe? i've been told this is a great great jazz music book, but really i liked this book talking about kind of blue
The Making of ...more
The Making of ...more
Insane that it took me this long to get to reading this book. The version I read was called "Black Music, four lives" which is a terrible title compared to this original. In any case, I loved how passionate and vocal Spellman was about calling injustices out- that kind of stuff is so fucking tempered these days taht music writing is almost inflammatorily boring. I'm gonna pick up the revised edition from the library later this week and see what the differences are, but I hope he hasn't edited it ...more
somehow i've lost my copy which is a damn shame cuz this book is gold. just noticed that spellman wrote an obituary for ornette in the wire (aug 2015). still a brilliant writer. don't think i've read anything really that captures jazz so well. not romantic -- critical close-listening culminating in deserved immersion.