Jazz fans will enjoy reading about some of the legendary players involved but might be disappointed if they expect an...

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HAMP & DOC

LYNN “DOC” SKINNER AND THE LIONEL HAMPTON JAZZ FESTIVAL

Skinner’s engaging if slight debut memoir, as told to Solan, recounts his time organizing the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in the unlikely town of Moscow, Idaho.

The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival started out as the University of Idaho Jazz Festival in 1968, and Skinner took the reins in 1976, thinking it would be a one-year gig. It turned out to be a 31-year job—and the start of a lifelong friendship with legendary vibes player Lionel Hampton. Skinner wanted to move the festival forward and bring in bigger names. He brought Hampton in to perform in 1984, and he played every festival from then to 2002. In 1987, UI went one step further and named their music school the Lionel Hampton School of Music. That brought national news coverage to the school, and Hampton’s presence brought in a lot of talent, like Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Branford Marsalis, and Carmen McRae. The relationship was so close that when Hampton’s apartment caught fire in 1997, he called Skinner from the sidewalk while he watched it burn. Skinner tells his story in a fairly conversational style, illustrated with many photos of him with jazz legends. The bulk of the story is about how the festival expanded, adding more talent across more days, providing stage time and scholarships to area students and generally helping to keep jazz alive. Skinner devotes the rest of the time to stories about “Hamp,” as he calls him, and about his own education as a jazz fan and music teacher, ending, oddly, with the story of his tour of the Soviet Union in 1989. It’s clear there was a fine friendship between Skinner and Hampton, and there are some wonderful glimpses into Hampton’s personality, like his tendency to get lost in a jam with guests and go long. But as much as jazz fans might enjoy the book, they are getting only glimpses. Skinner never dives into a particular show to make the reader feel like they were there from beginning to end.

Jazz fans will enjoy reading about some of the legendary players involved but might be disappointed if they expect an in-depth look at Lionel Hampton.

Pub Date: Dec. 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62901-587-3

Page Count: 184

Publisher: Inkwater Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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