JAZZ MASTERS OF THE FIFTIES by Joe Goldberg

JAZZ MASTERS OF THE FIFTIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is the story of the legacy of Charlie Parker and what the jazz giants of the fifties did with it. These studies are excitingly anchored to a dozen major innovators: Gerry Mulligan. Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, the MJQ, Charlie Mingus, Paul Desmond, Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor and Ornette Coleman. Coleman is rightly singled out as the man who is twisting the sixties into his own image, however much one may deplore his anti-musical free-form abstractions. The simple fact is that the new generations digs him and accepts his leadership. These sketches are biographical and anecdotal, seldom analytical of the music, and never stray into record-jacket, high-flown fustian. The best sketches are those of Monk, Miles, Sonny, Mingus, Coltrane and Ornette. A few fanciful tales are exploded. There is little new here, and many of the incidents related are in their tenth chorus. What's best is that each sketch is sharp focus and reduces its giant to human perspective. Generally recommended.

Publisher: Macmillan