Jazz History and Criticism
Something to Live for
The Music of Billy Strayhorn
Hardcover ISBN: 0195124480
Duke Ellington was one of jazz's greatest figures, a composer and bandleader of unparalleled importance and influence. But little attention has been given to his chief musical collaborator, Billy Strayhorn, who created hundreds of compositions and arrangements for his musical partner, and without whom the sound of Ellington's orchestra would have been very different. Now, in Walter van de Leur's provocative new book, Something To Live For, Billy Strayhorn steps out from Ellington's shadow and into the spotlight. Van de Leur argues that far from being merely a follower of Ellington or his alter ego, Strayhorn brought a radically new and visionary way of writing to the Ellington orchestra. Making extensive use, for the first time, of over 3,000 autograph scores, Van de Leur separates Strayhorn from Ellington, establishes who wrote what, and clearly distinguishes between their distinctive musical styles. "Both Strayhorn's and Ellington's oeuvres," writes Van de Leur, "though historically intertwined, nevertheless form coherent, separate musical entities, especially in terms of harmonic, melodic, and structural design." Indeed, Something to Live For allows us to see the characteristic features of Strayhorn's compositions and arrangements, his "musical fingerprints," and to analyze and evaluate his music on its own terms. The book also makes clear that Strayhorn's contribution to the band was much larger, and more original, than has been previously acknowledged. Based on a decade of research and offering detailed analyses of over 70 musical examples, Something to Live For casts new light--and will surely arouse intense debate--on two of the most important composers in the history of jazz.
A Biography of Billy Strayhorn
Paperback ISBN: 0865475121
Nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award Billy Strayhorn (1915-67) was one of the greatest composers in the history of American music, the creator of a body of work that includes such standards as "Take the 'A' Train." Yet all his life Strayhorn was overshadowed by his fri and collaborator Duke Ellington, with whom he worked for three decades as the Ellington Orchestra's ace songwriter and arranger.A "definitive" corrective (USA Today) to decades of patchwork scholarship and journalism about this giant of jazz, Lush Life is a vibrant and absorbing account of the "lush life" Strayhorn and other jazz musicians led in Harlem and Paris. While composing some of the most gorgeous American music of this century, Strayhorn labored under a complex agreement whereby Ellington took the bows for his work; until his life was tragically cut short by cancer and alcohol abuse, the small, shy black composer carried himself with singular style and grace as one of the few jazzmen to be openly homosexual. Lush Life has sparked an enthusiastic revival of interest in Billy Strayhorn's work. It is already acknowledged as a jazz classic.
Deep in a Dream
The Long Night of Chet Baker
1st Edition Hardcover ISBN: 0679442871
An intriguing portrait of Chet Baker describes the jazz legend's hardscrabble Oklahoma youth, his rise to success in the world of jazz, his long-time addiction to heroin, and his mysterious 1988 death falling from an Amsterdam hotel window. 25,000 first printing.
High Times, Hard Times
Paperback ISBN: 0879101180
"...in the tradition of the best jazz autobiographies...a fascinating travelogue through the jazz world, filled with vivid images of Gene Krupa, Stan Kenton, Roy Eldridge and Billie Holiday...Her prose is as hip as her music." -The New York Times Book Review
A Gathering of Autobiography, Reportage, and Criticism from 1919 to Now
Paperback ISBN: 0679781110
Compiles autobiographical sketches, profiles, and criticism by and about jazz greats, including Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane
The Baby Dodds Story
As Told to Larry Gara
Paperback ISBN: 1888408081
Born in New Orleans in 1894, Warren "Baby" Dodds became one of the greatest drummers of that city's early jazz tradition. This lively autobiography, first published more than 30 years ago and long unavailable, is the result of a series of interviews Dodds taped with Larry Gara a few years before his death in 1959. With disarming candor, Dodds recalls his remarkable musical career, which spanned more than four decades and took him from New Orleans' famed Storyville district to Mississippi riverboats, to Chicago and New York. Dodds performed and recorded with some of the most famous musicians of his time - King Oliver, Kid Ory, Bunk Johnson, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet, among others - and his recollections of these men and the music they created add much to our knowledge of jazz history. Dodds also discusses his own style and philosophy of music, revealing himself as a dedicated artist who placed a high value on craftsmanship, versatility and originality, and whose love of the jazz world never waned. Features 12 pages of photos and a Dodds discography.