Ereira, a London-based TV producer, brings a chilling doomsday message from Colombia's isolated Kogi Tribe in this captivating mix of anthropology and travel writing. It was while filming a documentary about the Spanish Armada that Ereira first heard of the Kogi, a tribe who call themselves the ``Elder Brothers'' of humanity and consider it their mission to care for ``Mother Earth.'' Secluded in the high-altitude jungles of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta on Colombia's Caribbean coast, flanked by cocaine ranches and the Guajira Desert, the Kogi were once a complex pre-Columbian civilization who managed to outlast the 16th-century conquistadors and preserve their culture through a ruthless code of isolation. To Ereira's surprise, the reclusive tribe accepted his offer to make a documentary about them—but as it turned out, the Kogi had their own agenda, assigned to them by their high priests, or ``Mamas.'' Having divined that Earth and all her people will die unless the civilized world quickly modifies its shortsighted way of life, the Mamas had decided to offer their own culture as an example of a better way to live. Pressed on by an unprecedented sense of urgency, the Kogi opened their homes to illustrate to Ereira and his cameras how, in their culture, each act is considered in its spiritual or moral dimension; how wisdom and sensitivity are so prized that some apprentice priests spend their first 30 years in total darkness to better attune themselves to ``aluna,'' the spiritual world; and how the interrelatedness of nature is so taken for granted that our own recent discoveries in that regard seem almost childlike. In the end, Ereira traveled to the top of the mountain for a terrifying view of melted glaciers and stark, snowless peaks—empirical evidence that the Kogi mystics' urgency, backed by a thousand years of keeping watch, may indeed be justified. A frightening and wondrous journey. (Eight pages of magnificent color photographs.)
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").