Saturday, November 15, 2008 has a fascinating review of the music of Andrew Hill by pianist and composer Vijay Iyer:

"Just as Hill found a narrative context for his highbrow ideas within “the church perspective” and the blues, Iyer, who is the son of immigrants from South India, found his in melding advanced jazz harmony with surging vamps and ostinatos drawn from the intricate cycles of South India and West Africa, illuminating precise symbolic connections between personal imperatives and the stories, images and states of mind encoded in the rhythms he deploys, which, after all, originated in the service of social ritual."

Drummer Alex Cline guest blogs for Greenleaf Music with a thoughtful appraisal of recently passed drummer Mitch Mitchell:

"As soon as we had the necessary dollars saved from our allowance, we went out and purchased the album, Are You Experienced? It was one of our musical life's most important milestones. Besides the visceral yet other-worldly guitar virtuosity, there was the drumming. It was dazzling, driving, fluid, solid, intense. At the time I didn't recognize that Mitch's approach was essentially that of a master jazz drummer playing cutting-edge rock. Just listen to "Third Stone from the Sun"! I had no idea how he was doing what he was doing, but what I did know was that it was what I myself wanted to be able to do."

Ben Ratliff (who has a new book out himself) reviews Ted Gioia's new book Delta Blues:

"Instead, Gioia uses original research, interviews with reliable sources and his own calm, argument-closing incantations to draw a line through a century of the Delta blues — a history that is probably more over than he cares to admit in his book’s final pages. He has balanced the story of the music with that of its reception, and where the truth of either one is inaccessible, he says so. He’s in favor of the blues retaining some mystery, but only highly informed mystery."

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