Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Clare Teal: "If you're brought up in a working-class family, you haven't got money for records so everything you get hold of, you treasure, learn to love, and I loved those Ella tapes." - (Radio Times 23-29 January 2021)

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

Postage

12,393 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 112 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (Jan. 23).

Friday, November 27, 2020

Book review: The Art of Jazz: A Visual History

Album covers, concert posters, paintings, photographs, every jazz fan will have their favourites. Turning the pages (all 256 of them) of Alyn Shipton's new book, it is likely that some, perhaps all of them, will be represented across its eleven chapters. From its nineteenth century roots to the present day, The Art of Jazz: A Visual History is a beautifully illustrated chronological survey of the music. 

The format is simplicity itself: chapter one Jazz Begins, chapter two The Jazz Age, through the swing era, WWII, bebop to modern, the New Orleans' revivalists and on to Twenty-First-Century Jazz with much else between. More than three hundred pristine images make leafing through this hardback tome a pleasure. 

A noted author, broadcaster and musician, Shipton offers authoritative commentary as the reader's eye darts from the printed word to the visual image and back again. Chapter one, page seven, the very first photograph (Charles Peterson, photographer) shows Duke Ellington holding (perhaps not playing!) Sister Rosetta Tharpe's guitar as Rex Stewart , Cab Calloway, Ivie Anderson and an anonymous French fan look on. 

Chapter two, page 33, Mondrian's famous painting Broadway Boogie Woogie gets a page all to itself. WWII, page 97, film posters advertising Stormy Weather (Lena Horne, Bill Robinson, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller) and Cabin in the Sky (Ethel Waters, Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington), turn the page, sheet music for Fats Waller's The Spider and the Fly (Poor Fly, Bye-Bye)

Reid Miles' design for Horace Parlan's Blue Note album Us Three (page 157) reminds the reader of the classic 'brand' and on Atlantic, Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation (chapter 8, page 188) makes the connection with the abstract expressionists of the time (Jackson Pollock's White Light, or part of it), an integral part of the label's vision. 

As a 'must have' book, or, at this time of year, an ideal gift, Alyn Shipton's book is highly recommended.
Russell   

The Art of Jazz: A Visual History by Alyn Shipton is published by Imagine (Charlesbridge Publishing)ISBN: 978-1-62354-504-8.  

No comments :

Blog archive