Monday, February 21, 2011

Book review: Notes and Tones by Arthur Taylor

Notes and Tones: Musician-To-Musician InterviewsNotes and Tones: Musician-To-Musician Interviews by Arthur R. Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thanks a lot pianist Ethan Iverson and his blog Do the Math for pointing me toward this wonderful and eye opening book of musician to musician interviews conducted by the drummer Arthur Taylor. Speaking to Taylor as a colleague as well as a friend, musicians open up about a wide variety of issues from how they play their instrument to the social and racial environment of the United States in this period. Since the interviews were conducted during the late sixties and early seventies, many of the most provocative questions and answers deal with racial issues including protests, black nationalism, and the nature of the word "jazz." Musicians were quite divided about their enthusiasm for the use of electronics in jazz and the impact of pop groups like The Beatles, but were unanimous in their reverence for bop icons Charlie Parker and Bud Powell. Taylor is a perceptive and thoughtful interviewer, asking open ended questions that allow the musicians to expound at length on different topics. This book made a huge impact on me and really made me re-think the nature of music, musicians and race relations. Notes and Tones: Musician-to-Musician Interviews -

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