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Murray Talks Music: Albert Murray on Jazz and Blues

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The year 2016 will mark the centennial of the birth of Albert Murray (1916–2013), who in thirteen books was by turns a lyrical novelist, a keen and iconoclastic social critic, and a formidable interpreter of jazz and blues. Not only did his prizewinning study Stomping the Blues (1976) influence musicians far and wide, it was also a foundational text for Jazz at Lincoln Cen The year 2016 will mark the centennial of the birth of Albert Murray (1916–2013), who in thirteen books was by turns a lyrical novelist, a keen and iconoclastic social critic, and a formidable interpreter of jazz and blues. Not only did his prizewinning study Stomping the Blues (1976) influence musicians far and wide, it was also a foundational text for Jazz at Lincoln Center, which he cofounded with Wynton Marsalis and others in 1987. Murray Talks Music brings together, for the first time, many of Murray’s finest interviews and essays on music—most never before published—as well as rare liner notes and prefaces. For those new to Murray, this book will be a perfect introduction, and those familiar with his work—even scholars—will be surprised, dazzled, and delighted. Highlights include Dizzy Gillespie’s richly substantive 1985 conversation; an in-depth 1994 dialogue on jazz and culture between Murray and Wynton Marsalis; and a long 1989 discussion on Duke Ellington between Murray, Stanley Crouch, and Loren Schoenberg. Also interviewed by Murray are producer and impresario John Hammond and singer and bandleader Billy Eckstine. All of thse conversations were previously lost to history. A celebrated educator and raconteur, Murray engages with a variety of scholars and journalists while making insightful connections among music, literature, and other art forms—all with ample humor and from unforeseen angles. Leading Murray scholar Paul Devlin contextualizes the essays and interviews in an extensive introduction, which doubles as a major commentary on Murray’s life and work. The volume also presents sixteen never-before-seen photographs of jazz greats taken by Murray. No jazz collection will be complete without Murray Talks Music, which includes a foreword by Gary Giddins and an afterword by Greg Thomas.


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The year 2016 will mark the centennial of the birth of Albert Murray (1916–2013), who in thirteen books was by turns a lyrical novelist, a keen and iconoclastic social critic, and a formidable interpreter of jazz and blues. Not only did his prizewinning study Stomping the Blues (1976) influence musicians far and wide, it was also a foundational text for Jazz at Lincoln Cen The year 2016 will mark the centennial of the birth of Albert Murray (1916–2013), who in thirteen books was by turns a lyrical novelist, a keen and iconoclastic social critic, and a formidable interpreter of jazz and blues. Not only did his prizewinning study Stomping the Blues (1976) influence musicians far and wide, it was also a foundational text for Jazz at Lincoln Center, which he cofounded with Wynton Marsalis and others in 1987. Murray Talks Music brings together, for the first time, many of Murray’s finest interviews and essays on music—most never before published—as well as rare liner notes and prefaces. For those new to Murray, this book will be a perfect introduction, and those familiar with his work—even scholars—will be surprised, dazzled, and delighted. Highlights include Dizzy Gillespie’s richly substantive 1985 conversation; an in-depth 1994 dialogue on jazz and culture between Murray and Wynton Marsalis; and a long 1989 discussion on Duke Ellington between Murray, Stanley Crouch, and Loren Schoenberg. Also interviewed by Murray are producer and impresario John Hammond and singer and bandleader Billy Eckstine. All of thse conversations were previously lost to history. A celebrated educator and raconteur, Murray engages with a variety of scholars and journalists while making insightful connections among music, literature, and other art forms—all with ample humor and from unforeseen angles. Leading Murray scholar Paul Devlin contextualizes the essays and interviews in an extensive introduction, which doubles as a major commentary on Murray’s life and work. The volume also presents sixteen never-before-seen photographs of jazz greats taken by Murray. No jazz collection will be complete without Murray Talks Music, which includes a foreword by Gary Giddins and an afterword by Greg Thomas.

54 review for Murray Talks Music: Albert Murray on Jazz and Blues

  1. 5 out of 5

    patrick Lorelli

    Anyone wanting to know something or anything about jazz this is a book for that. With Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marseilles, and Duke Ellington names that most people recognized. I liked the interviews with John Hammond, Stanley couch, and my favorite Billy Eckstein who was a band leader and singer. If you can get a chance find a reproduction of any of his music and you will see what I mean. He was an awesome talent. I found this book to be a wonderful read and a good look at different jazz musicia Anyone wanting to know something or anything about jazz this is a book for that. With Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marseilles, and Duke Ellington names that most people recognized. I liked the interviews with John Hammond, Stanley couch, and my favorite Billy Eckstein who was a band leader and singer. If you can get a chance find a reproduction of any of his music and you will see what I mean. He was an awesome talent. I found this book to be a wonderful read and a good look at different jazz musicians. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com

  2. 5 out of 5

    Terri Farris

    Exceptional insight. One of the few introductions that I have read in its entirety. His memories and experiences make the era and genre come alive. This book was a departure for me and I would recommend it to music lovers and historians alike. I won this in a goodreads giveaway

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bookforum Magazine

    "The freewheeling give-and-take in Murray Talks Music is robust and colorful enough to lay waste to any accusations of stodginess." -Gene Seymour on Murray Talks Music: Albert Murray on Jazz and Blues in the Dec/Jan 2017 issue of Bookforum To read the rest of this review, go to Bookforum: http://bookforum.com/inprint/023_04/1... "The freewheeling give-and-take in Murray Talks Music is robust and colorful enough to lay waste to any accusations of stodginess." -Gene Seymour on Murray Talks Music: Albert Murray on Jazz and Blues in the Dec/Jan 2017 issue of Bookforum To read the rest of this review, go to Bookforum: http://bookforum.com/inprint/023_04/1...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael Borshuk

    An indispensable posthumous addition to the work of one of the finest American public intellectuals of the past half-century (and then some). Required reading for anybody wanting to understand jazz and blues musics at the philosophical level, beyond the surface level of aesthetic form.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Phil Overeem

    A genius, and his concept of "engagement with the briar patch" is useful today in and outside of the art world. A genius, and his concept of "engagement with the briar patch" is useful today in and outside of the art world.

  6. 5 out of 5

    André

    "Now, you stomp the blues to get rid of the blues. You don't stomp it with a hammer or bang it down. You stomp the blues with insouciance. The blues is a boogeyman. And if the boogeyman comes to get you and you don't pay any attention, that wipes it out. He can't stand elegance and insouciance. That's what jazz does." "Now, you stomp the blues to get rid of the blues. You don't stomp it with a hammer or bang it down. You stomp the blues with insouciance. The blues is a boogeyman. And if the boogeyman comes to get you and you don't pay any attention, that wipes it out. He can't stand elegance and insouciance. That's what jazz does."

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Campbell

  9. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Castillo

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amiel Handelsman

  12. 5 out of 5

    Will

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Greenhill-taylor

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jan

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  16. 4 out of 5

    Isaac Ezer

  17. 4 out of 5

    r

    “Well, you know, one of the basic fallacies with so much twentieth-century art journalism is that they confuse art with rebellion and revolution. Art is really about security. The enemy is entropy, the enemy is formlessness. Art is about form. Art is about elegant form. If you’re going to be just for tearing down something, that is as ridiculous as trying to embrace entropy, then you’re gonna embrace chaos. If you want to try that, go down to the waterfront and try to embrace some waves coming i “Well, you know, one of the basic fallacies with so much twentieth-century art journalism is that they confuse art with rebellion and revolution. Art is really about security. The enemy is entropy, the enemy is formlessness. Art is about form. Art is about elegant form. If you’re going to be just for tearing down something, that is as ridiculous as trying to embrace entropy, then you’re gonna embrace chaos. If you want to try that, go down to the waterfront and try to embrace some waves coming in. You’ll do much better trying to surf on the waves. You gotta be elegant to surf.”

  18. 4 out of 5

    Debee Sue

  19. 4 out of 5

    Luqdah

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marta Abrantes Mendes

  21. 4 out of 5

    Denise Sullivan

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kendall Hill

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ari Stamat

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jay Dougherty

  25. 4 out of 5

    Preston

  26. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  27. 5 out of 5

    Haven

  28. 4 out of 5

    Terry Pearson

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  31. 5 out of 5

    Zandt McCue

  32. 4 out of 5

    D

  33. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  34. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

  35. 5 out of 5

    ColumbusReads

  36. 4 out of 5

    Melinda M

  37. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Cobb Sabatini

  38. 5 out of 5

    Claire

  39. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  40. 5 out of 5

    Linda

  41. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

  42. 4 out of 5

    Sophia Huse

  43. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  44. 5 out of 5

    Ted

  45. 4 out of 5

    Amie Gibson

  46. 5 out of 5

    Katie Jones

  47. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

  48. 5 out of 5

    Gwen

  49. 4 out of 5

    Pam Mooney

  50. 4 out of 5

    Chrisanthi

  51. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Reader

  52. 5 out of 5

    Len

  53. 4 out of 5

    Pam

  54. 5 out of 5

    Kim Tehan

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