Sonny Rollins is one of jazz's great innovators, arguably the most influential tenor saxophonist, along with John Coltrane, in the history of modern jazz. He began his musical career at the age of eleven, and within five short years he was playing with the legendary Thelonious Monk. In the late forties, before his twenty-first birthday, Rollins was in full swing, recording with jazz luminaries such as Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Max Roach, Art Blakey, and Miles Davis, and he was hailed as the best jazz tenor man alive in the mid-fifties. Still active today, Rollins and his compelling sound reach a whole new generation of listeners with his eagerly anticipated live appearances. Now renowned jazz writer Eric Nisenson provides a long-overdue look at one of jazz's brightest, and most enduring, stars.
Outsider musicians can be the product of damaged DNA, alien abduction, drug fry, demonic possession, or simply sheer obliviousness. This book profiles dozens of outsider musicians, both prominent and obscure--figures such as The Shaggs, Syd Barrett, Tiny Tim, Jandek, Captain Beefheart, Daniel Johnston, Harry Partch, and The Legendary Stardust Cowboy--and presents their strange life stories along with photographs, interviews, cartoons, and discographies. About the only things these self-taught artists have in common are an utter lack of conventional tunefulness and an overabundance of earnestness and passion. But, believe it or not, they're worth listening to, often outmatching all contenders for inventiveness and originality.A CD featuring songs by artists profiled in the book is also available.
Based on interviews with family members, colleagues, lovers, and the previously silent William Burroughs, this unsparing yet evenhanded biography guides the reader through the many personas, crises, and musical metamorphoses of David Bowie--also known as Davy Jones, the Laughing Gnome, Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, the Thin White Duke, a drug-addled grandfather of punk, actor, art aficionado, political activist, one of rock's most resonant icons, and a totem of modern pop culture. Nowhere else is the man and musician so convincingly deconstructed and so compellingly humanized.
Our cultural darlings make music; we make them mythic. Every musical genre begets a community of listeners, performers, and critics, and quite often those categories are blurred. From the principled punk refusal of celebrity to hip-hop's celebration of its power, the music world is self-obsessed.
Stars Don't Stand Still in the Sky assembles scholars, music writers, industry workers, and musicians, who offer a range of opinions and experience of the nature of fame. The collection focuses on commerce, the crowd, performance and image, history and memory, and romance. Contributors discuss black women icons, love-songs, the legacy of the blues, the image of the tortured rock star, MTV, the politics of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the joy of line-dancing, and more.
The contributors are James Bernard, Anthony DeCurtis, Katherine Dieckmann, Chuck Eddy, Paul Gilroy, Daniel Glass, Lawrence Grossberg, Jessica Hagedorn, Kathleen Hanna, James Hannaham, Dave Hickey, Jon Langford, Greil Marcus, Angela McRobbie, Paul D. Miller (a.k.a. DJ Spooky), Barbara O'Dair, Ann Powers, Toshi Reagon, Simon Reynolds, Robert Santelli, Jon Savage, Danyel Smith, Arlene Stein, Deena Weinstein, and Ellen Willis.
"The ultimate in art is self-expression, not escape."-Duke Ellington In this fascinating portrait of one of America's greatest musical legends, longtime friend and jazz historian Stanley Dance recounts the life of the incomparable Duke Ellington in his own words and in the words of the artists who played along with him: longtime co-composer Billy Strayhorn, saxophonists Johnny Hodges and Ben Webster, trumpeters Cootie Williams and Clark Terry, drummer Sonny Greer, vocalist Alice Babs, and organist Wild Bill Davis, among many others. There are also first-hand accounts of Ellington's world tours, performances in churches and the White House, interviews and public appearances, and a complete discography and chronology. The result is a timeless chronicle of the long and extraordinary career of a music master."The truest and most intimate portrait of the great Ellington that we have."-Whitney Balliett
The extraordinary autobiography of Jeremy John Ratter, a.k.a. Penny Rimbaud, founder, lyricist, and drummer of Crass, a band unique in the history of rock 'n' roll. Crass took the idealism of punk seriously. When Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten screamed "No Future" the challenge was taken. In the space of seven short years, from 1977 to their breakup in 1984, Crass almost single-handedly breathed life back into the then moribund peace and anarchist movements. They birthed a huge underground network of do-it-yourself activism, fanzines, record labels, activist action groups, and concert halls. While remaining on their own independent record label, and steadfastly refusing any interviews with the major press, they managed to sell literally millions of records. Their political "pranks" included the now infamous "KGB tapes," trumpeted among others, on the front page of the "New York Times," and the duping of "Total Loving" magazine into including a Crass song (ranting against the patriarchy of marriage) as the "perfect song to play on your wedding day." In this book, Penny takes us from his strict lower-middle class childhood and his experiences in art school to the Crass years, the hippies, and Free Festivals, including the now legendary, illegal Stonehenge Festival, of which Rimbaud was a cofounder.
"Shibboleth" also includes, for the first time, the full story of Wally Hope "The Last of the Hippies," close friend of Rimbaud, cofounder of the Stonehenge Festival, and who was murdered by the State while incarcerated in a mental institution.
The hardcover publication of Blackbird Singing, the first collection of Paul McCartney's poems and lyrics, was an international cultural event celebrated in concert halls, at literary festivals, and in newspapers and magazines throughout the world. "While McCartney is of a completely different cast than Bob Dylan, his appeal may be even greater than that of the latter great poet-songwriter," wrote Publishers Weekly; The Guardian hailed McCartney's words as "a remarkable feat of historical imagination." The best-selling Blackbird Singing now includes several new poems and lyrics, including "Freedom," which McCartney performed in New York City at a benefit concert last fall. To actually read McCartney's poems, whether exuberant ballads of love or poignant messages of deepest grief, is to appreciate the electrifying power of the confluence of dream and song. Inspired by his late wife, Linda McCartney, Blackbird Singing gives us extraordinary access to the inner life of one of the most influential figures of our time."
(Berklee Press). How does a song become more than words and music to represent or influence the voice of a generation? Inside the Hits dissects more than 60 of the most powerful and memorable hit songs since the birth of rock and roll to reveal the roots of their success. Author Wayne Wadhams examines the key ingredients that made the songs work then and now, including: melody, lyrics, performance, production, artist image, promotion, and market timing. What really stopped Mick Jagger from getting "Satisfaction"? How did a secretary who was mistaken for a prostitute give Donna Summer her new sound? Find all the answers in Inside the Hits . "Reading Inside the Hits was like reliving some of the most memorable moments in rock and roll. A captivating read for industry professionals and fans alike." Phil Ramone