Discussion in 'Music Forums' started by poppachubby, Sep 29, 2013.
The Autobiography of Henry Mancini. Henry Mancini - With Gene Lees
I found this hardcover Hendrix book at GW Buy The Pound. Cover has some wear but the interior is in great shape. Dozens of color photos.
We should do a book swap group! I have tons I've read and would love to read tons more
One Way Out - The Inside History of The Allman Brothers Band
by Alan Paul
Majority of the book is based on interviews with members, crew, managers, and fellow musicians. A fascinating look at the band for over 40+ years of success and tragedy.
Great score on these on books. I want to get a jazz coffee table book for my living room now. Hopefully I can find one in my area
After contributing to onwardjames' thread about an unlikely artist and five songs that best represented them, I posted about Art Pepper. A favorite artist of mine.
I got to thinking I really didn't know a lot about him except what I'd assumed from reading liner notes.
So, I bought his autobiography "Straight Life" The Story of Art Pepper.
I'm pretty sure it's been mentioned before now in this thread but it's such a great book I wanted to give my impression of it. 505 pages, published by Schirmer Books. It's an engrossing read that's hard to put down.
The main thing I gained from reading this book is that Art Pepper wanted you to know that he is not a rat! He's not a stool pigeon. He never copped out on anybody. Never turned over on anyone. He even went to prison for someone and wouldn't fink.
No matter what else he did or who he was, he always had his reputation. That really meant a lot to him.
And the thing that meant even more to him was drugs, he was a helpless dope fiend and proud of it.
So there if is, he was an honorable junkie. Oh, and by the way...he could play the saxophone as well. Really the only thing that kept him alive, his talent was immeasurable.
Being always on the lookout for the next score, he often pawned his horns to get money for drugs. So, when he had to play he used old broken, worn out instruments with pads missing or broken mouth pieces. But listening to his records you would never know. He was able to play around those deficiencies. The times he had recording dates for records I'm familiar with, it's comical how he was either totally numb on heroin or so strung out, sick from withdrawal he was barely able to hold it together. But again, you would never know.
The detail and recall of his recollection even after all the drug use is impressive. He really tells an unbelievable story starting back when he was a small child. Much of this is due to Laurie Pepper's prodding during many of Art's story telling sessions captured onto tape. He loved to talk and tell stories. Combining this with interviews of those who were there and the record of his session dates, makes for a believeable and seemless timeline.
He had an insatiable sex drive despite his heroin use and tells of his many sexual exploits. He wasn't shy.
He describes the times he spent in prison and how it had profound effect on his view of the world and his feelings about racism. As a jazz player he was a white guy in a black man's world and he struggled with that all his career.
I had always assumed that he cleaned up after being released from prison and spending time in a drug rehab house. His playing got even sharper and more focused in his later years during the 70's. But that couldn't be further from the truth. He moved onto methadone and cocaine or whatever he could get his hands on.
A true visionary on the tenor sax and the perfect definition of a devilish angel, Art Pepper was a man of such internal pain but capable of such external beauty.
Thank you noisefreq, excellent revue.
I read this a while back and forgot to post it here.
Record Store Days --by Gary Calamar and Phil Gallo
An interesting read covering record stores from the early days (1930's) up to the last decade. Mostly zeros in on stores in major metropolitan cities. It gives great insight into the politics of the record business, innovations in record sales over the years and the major players who worked behind the scenes.
Changed my perspective from a regional view (Kansas City) to an understanding of how the business evolved on a national scale.
Lots of great pictures and personal anecdotes scattered throughout from famous people who dig records.
What made the biggest impression on me was the price of records in the late 40's early 50's were going for $3 and $4! Compare that to today's economy and we got it pretty darn good.
A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould's Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano
A very enjoyable read, I have read this one a couple of times. The book is as much about about Gould and his idiosyncrasies, as it is Steinway pianos and the virtually blind piano tuner, Verne Edquist. The NY Times faults the book for being overly technical but for me that is what made it interesting and not just another chronicle of Gould the eccentric - which has been well documented. The book goes deeper and in other directions, as it follows Gould's search for his perfect piano that he finds in the battered Steinway grand No. CD 318, and then follows through until the ultimate end of the piano.
Seems like an excellent premise for a look at Gould. Thanks for sharing, will keep my eyes out for this one.
Do you have a background with piano?? Just wondering how that may have played into your enjoyment. If the book is overly technical, I'm not sure if I would like it or not.
Wow, what a fantastic review. I must say, you should edit the paragraphs to include a line of space. It will entice people to read as it will look more inviting.
I understood your passion after only a few lines. I love jazz too, but I have never been a huge Art Pepper fan. That's not to say that I don't understand his brilliance, or why people love him so deeply.
You should send this review to Laurie Pepper. She is a lovely and warm woman, who would love to hear what you thought about the book. Chances are, with such a superb overview, you can get some dialogue happening with her. Try through her website, or the usual social media sites.
I have a few of Pepper's albums from his Contemporary years. Obviously the Rhythm Section album has transcended to one of the greatest ever, but he had so much amazing material in his later career. One player I do really love is Chet Baker, and their careers both had that "2-stage" quality. My favorite albums are definitely Baker's later ones.
I love the Allman Bros Band and yet I have never read this - need to!!
This is a great idea. Talk to one of the mods for the Music Forum. That's how this thread became a sticky. Infact, I have a couple stickys in the music forum. If its a "cool" idea, they are usually open to trying it. Worst case scenario is that it fails spectacularly and they unstick it. However I think it would have legs.
For anybody that wants an overview...
Good question! I have zippo piano or musical training background - can't even play chopsticks. I found the level of technical detail in the book bang on to make it interesting but still completely accessible.
Thank you poppachubby!
I believe it was your comment in onwardjames' thread that inspired me to buy Straight Life.
And thanks for the link. I wasn't aware of Laurie Pepper's other book.
Haha that's great to hear!! The book really stands on its own, separate from the music, to be enjoyed. Yes I hope you will contact Laurie and send her your review.
I've read Straight Life and Record Store Days.
Art Pepper's book is brutally honest. I love the work he did with fellow junky, Chet Baker. But as poppachubster points out, Art's later work is worth checking out. Same goes for Chet Baker's later concerts. Both men, though wrecked from drug abuse, could put out some passionately lyrical passages that break out from the confines of the late 50s jazz structure.
I just finished Deal, by the Grateful Dead's drummer, Bill Kreutzmann. A breezy, entertaining read. Good insight into Jerry's addictions and the pressure of keeping the entire Grateful Dead machine running.
Not a big Dead fan but again, don't need to be for a read like that. My favorite Chet Baker album is Live In Tokyo. He was hot and cold for shows - but when he was on, wow.
Will do! I think it's a great idea. And cheap because we can use media mail
Separate names with a comma.