Monday, January 13, 2014

Book Report #75 - Blue Note Records, the biography by Richard Cook

For the past few months I've been thick in discovering the Hard Bop era of jazz from the 1950's and 1960's.

I've been buying dozens of CDs mostly from Blue Note.  I've also been listening to loads of jazz radio programs, through the DAR.FM cloud-based recoding service and listening to them on my iPhone while delivering the mail. 

It didn't take long before I started to search out books on the subject of jazz.  I picked up this copy at a used record store in Nanaimo while visiting my parents last spring.

I finally dusted it off and tore through it at a pretty steady pace.

I found the book very informative, I made a few CD purchases just from reading it.

Ironically I found the book bogged down at times when long passages were devoted to describing specific recording sessions.  Of course the book would delve into this; that's what Blue Note did - produced records.  But I was more interested in how Blue Note fit into the history of jazz records and how it coped with the advent of R&B, free jazz and rock.

Every time my eyes started to glaze over Cook would switch gears from describing sessions to deals Blue Note made, industry milestones and stories of the lives of various artists.  Cook's ability to keep the story moving on all these fronts kept me turning pages.

This was an important book to me and I will keep it on the shelf along with my tiny vinyl collection and growing CD collection.

Recommended.

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