American Music Is

Overview

Writing in a passionate and streetwise style all his own, Nat Hentoff transports us into the diverse worlds of musicians that hold one thing in common: America. In over sixty pieces Hentoff has assembled a mosaic that creates a vivid picture of the music scene as it leaps into the twenty-first century. From sweeping surveys of the roots of American music to vivid assessments of individual performers (including John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Joe Williams, Doc Pomus, Duke Ellington, Willie Nelson, and many more) ...

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Overview

Writing in a passionate and streetwise style all his own, Nat Hentoff transports us into the diverse worlds of musicians that hold one thing in common: America. In over sixty pieces Hentoff has assembled a mosaic that creates a vivid picture of the music scene as it leaps into the twenty-first century. From sweeping surveys of the roots of American music to vivid assessments of individual performers (including John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Joe Williams, Doc Pomus, Duke Ellington, Willie Nelson, and many more) Hentoff demonstrates once again why he is lauded as "a critic par excellence" (Publishers Weekly). American Music Is compiles the best of his essays into a potent reader, collecting his most illuminating writing on a broad range of topics. For those who love jazz, blues, country, gospel, or folk, American Music Is provides eloquent and powerful insights. For those who love all of them, it is required reading.

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Editorial Reviews

Jazz Improv July 2005
"Hentoff knows how to claim his readers' attention merely, or supremely, by being a journalist ...The book makes for compelling reading from beginning to
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306813511
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 3/29/2004
  • Edition description: First Da Capo Press Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 318
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Nat Hentoff is the first Jazz critic every named a "Jazz Master" by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Billie Holiday: The Ghosts of "Strange Fruit" 3
Billie Holiday: Lady Day - All the Way 7
Ivie Anderson: For the Love of Ivie 12
Teddy Grace: A Joyful Reunion with the Blues of Teddy Grace 15
Abbey Lincoln: God Bless the Child That Has Her Own 19
Frank Sinatra: Sinatra in Paris with Small Combo, 1962 24
Fred Astaire: Some Singing - and Hoofing - with the Boys 28
You Heard It Here First: When the Sun Goes Down 35
Joe Williams: He Brought the Blues from the Country to the City 39
Jazz and Deep Jewish Blues 42
The Everliving Blues 46
Jo Jones: The Man Who Played Like the Wind 53
Johnny Hodges: Life Could Be a Dream When He Blew Alto 56
Charles Mingus: Mingus Lives 61
Charles Mingus: The Incomplete History of Charles Mingus 65
Lester Young: He Always Told A Story 69
Duke Ellington: Duke Ellington's Mission 73
Duke Ellington: The Piano Player in the Band 77
Duke Ellington: Inside the Ellington Band 82
Phil Woods: The Irrepressible Spirit of Jazz 86
Frankie Newton: The Search for Frankie Newton 90
Cecil Taylor: It's About Music and Capturing Spirits 94
Dizzy Gillespie: Dizzy's Life Force Goes On 98
Dick Wellstood: Swinging at the Sticket 102
Jack Teagarden: Teagarden Time 106
Carla Bley: Carla Goes Her Own Way 110
Wycliffe Gordon: The Talking Trombone 114
Louis Armstrong: They Would Beat Jesus if He Was Black and Marched 118
Louis Armstrong: Don't Let Anybody Tell You Louis Is Dead 126
Woody Herman: Woody Herman's Down-Home Personal Blues 130
Norman Granz: Goodbye My Friend 135
John Coltrane: The Spoken Essence 139
Dave McKenna: King of the Two-Hands 143
Ralph Ellison: Literary Jazzman 148
Clifford Brown: A Trumpet as Sweet as His Sound 153
Scott Robinson: The Sound That Time Forgot 157
Ruby Braff: Horn Player Ruby Braff Was Anything But Old-Fashioned 161
Jazz for Lunch at the Cajun 169
Jubilant Sounds Swinging Through America 173
A Thrilling Big Jazz Band 178
John Levy: A Personal Manager Beyond Category 185
Art Davis: The Mystery of Making It 189
Musicians Taking Care of Their Own 193
Musicians in Need 196
When Dizzy Liberated Himself 200
Testosterone Is Not A Musical Instrument 203
Blues Brothers Under the Skin 209
Willie Nelson: Honky Tonk Gypsy 213
Those Cheatin' Hearts 218
Delbert McClinton: Lone Star Troubadour 222
Dale Watson: Hard Country, Soft Heart 226
From 1970s Longhair Rockers to Bluegrass Icons 231
Doug Rigsby: The Sound of His Kentucky Heritage 235
American Folk Songs, Direct From the Field 243
Folk Lives, Thanks to the Songcatchers 247
"American Routes" Waters Roots of Folk 251
A Gift of America to the World 255
End of Jazz: Hold That Note 263
Sonny LaRosa's Elementary School Jazz 267
Cutting Down Solos to Get to the Cutting Edge 271
History Lessons Via Jazz 275
Toshiko Akiyoshi: Rising from the Abyss 280
The Newest Jazz Generation 284
Categorizing the Future of Jazz 288
The Lion, Fats, and My Other Mentors 295
Last Chorus 300
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