Not sure where Miles Davis, Duke Ellington or Stan Tracy fit in? Then this book is for you. (It’s also for you if you think Ruby Braff was a female wrestler and Randy Brecker is an aphrodisiac muesli…)
“A much hotter form of cool jazz was started up called ‘hard bop’ – because it was hard to play and, for some people, even harder to listen to.”
“Corn: term of abuse for jazz that is likely to appeal to the general public, who are frequently referred to by the jazz community as ‘cornflakes’.”
“Art Tatum was so fast on the keyboard that no one could tell if he was making mistakes or not (least of all himself).”
Paul Barnes took up the trumpet aged 11, and while at art school he played in the Weary City Stompers (WC, for short). He has worked as a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Today, The World at One and Woman’s Hour, among others, and continues to dispense his blend of rhythm and rhubarb weekly – some say weakly – on the BBC radio jazz and blues programme The Late Paul Barnes.
Peter Gammond was an infant prodigy, playing the gramophone at the age of three and revealing a natural winding action that was the admiration of all who beheld it. He is now acknowledged as one of the country’s leading gramophone players, as well as the author of an excessive number of books on music. Most of them have been compiled from the bits that zealous editors removed from earlier ones. Thus there is a remarkable uniformity about his work (something that has not escaped his critics).
Jazz is almost the ideal subject for bluffing as no one seems to know for certain how, where or why it all began. So read the first chapter and you’ll soon know more than most…