Jazz Institute of Chicago

Reviews

The Life and Legacy of Tadley Ewing Dameron

TADD:
The Life and Legacy of Tadley Ewing Dameron
By Ian MacDonald
Jahbero, 133 pp.
$30 (US, available from Cadence, Redwood, New York), £19.50 (UK)
Reviewed by Don Rose

Tadd Dameron, born in 1917, seamlessly bridged the crucial musical years from swing to bebop. He wrote and arranged for late-1930s bands such as Lucky Millender, Andy Kirk and Vido Musso before he was 20, jammed with his fellow musical "outlaw" Charlie Parker in Kansas City in 1939 and went on to become an indispensable—though undersung—part of the modern music scene of the '40s through the early '60s.

SWING IT! An Annotated History of Jive

SWING IT!
An Annotated History of Jive
By Bill Milkowski
Billboard Books, 288 pages (paper), $18.95
reviewed by Don Rose

In those happy swing-filled days when jazz was America's popular music, when there were few lines drawn in the musical sand (other than those designed to keep the longhairs at bay), there was a language and a musical idiom shared by the hep (who would soon become hip).
We speak here of jive talk, the ancillary lingo to swing and jump music; a slang, an argot, a patois. But hey—as they say these days—jive was also a subset of swing music and jazz itself.

Spinning Blues Into Gold: The Chess Brothers and the Legendary Chess Records

Spinning Blues Into Gold:
The Chess Brothers and the Legendary Chess Records
by Nadine Cohodas
St. Martin’s Press, 358 pp., $25.95
reviewed by Jim Linduff

In a lucid, thoroughly researched chronicle of the lives of Leonard and Phil Chess, Nadine Cohodas provides a better understanding of the independent record business and the music it helped create. Founded in Chicago, Chess Records, with subsidiaries Checker, Argo and Cadet was a major vehicle for blues, R&B and jazz artists and was at the core of the rise of rock and roll, the stuff that changed the music business forever.

Shelly Manne: Sounds of the Different Drummer

Shelly Manne:
Sounds of the Different Drummer
by Jack Brand and Bill Korst
Percussion Express
P.O. Box 1731
Rockford, Illinois 61110.
190pp. $60.00
Reviewed by Bill Moody

This LP-size labor of love is a comprehensive biography of one of the most well-liked, busiest jazz and studio drummers in music. Manne's voluminous recorded history is traced from his first efforts on 52nd Street to the Hollywood film studios.

PLAYING IT BY EAR: An Autobiography

by John LaPorta
Cadence Jazz Books, 272 pages, $18 (www.cadencebuilding.com)
reviewed by Don Rose

Out of Nowhere: The Musical Life of Warne Marsh

Out of Nowhere: The Musical Life of Warne Marsh
by Marcus M. Cornelius
Aurora Nova Publishing
P.O. Box 437, Mawson, ACT 2607, Australia
Distributed in the U.S. by Cadence Publishing and in Europe by NewThink!
305 pages. Paper.
Reviewed by George Ziskind

"The world has gone mad today and good’s bad today . . ."

Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole
by Daniel Mark Epstein
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999 364 pages, $27.00
reviewed by Terence M. Ripmaster

Born Nathaniel Coles in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1919, Nat King Cole lived only 46 years, but packed in a couple of lifetimes. Epstein's biography, which reads like a narrative novel, details the life and times of the school boyish, velvet-voiced singer/ pianist.

Myself When I Am Real: The Life and Music of Charles Mingus

Myself When I Am Real:
The Life and Music of Charles Mingus
By Gene Santoro
New York: Oxford University Press, 2000 452 pp.
Reviewed by David Simpson

The media dubbed him “Jazz’s Angry Man,” and even his wives (all four of them), family, fellow musicians, and closest friends agree that he could be cantankerous, insulting, intimidating, and downright mean. Though, as they also point out, it was never easy to tell how much of this behavior was put-on and how much was due to actual anger or pent-up rage.

MUSICHOUND JAZZ: The Essential Album Guide

MUSICHOUND JAZZ:
The Essential Album Guide
Edited by Steve Holtje and Nancy Ann Lee
Visible Ink Press, 1390 pages (paper), $26.95
Reviewed by Don Rose

MILES BEYOND, The Electric Explorations of Miles Davis, 1967–1991

MILES BEYOND, The Electric Explorations of Miles Davis, 1967–1991
By Paul Tingen
Billboard Books, 352 pages, $24.95
reviewed by Don Rose

Magical, mystical, mysterious Miles!

Syndicate content

Subscribe

Stay up to date on the latest Jazz Institute events.





User login