Listen to This - Alex Ross

Alex Ross, The New Yorker’s classical-music critic, wants to break down musical barriers. In a new essay in LISTEN TO THIS (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27), he traces the chaconne’s and the lamento’s descending bass line across the ages, ending with blues and rock standards. His collection ranges from explorations of Mozart, Brahms, and Schubert to profiles of Björk and Radiohead, and heartfelt appreciations of the voices of Marian Anderson, Frank Sinatra, and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. After The Rest is Noise, his musical history of the 20th century, Ross collects some of his best pieces here: expeditions to China, Alaska, and the Marlboro Festival; following the St. Lawrence Quartet and Bob Dylan on the road; and essays on changing technology, and the plight of our music education (with some hopeful exceptions). Ross also has a great discography at the end (and audio and video examples on his blogs).

Listen to This By Alex Ross Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312610685
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - October 25th, 2011

A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers - Will Friedwald

Will Friedwald has been writing about jazz for thirty years, specializing in the art of song—in the Wall Street Journal; in “500 or so” CD liner notes, and in books about jazz standards and vocalists (Stardust Memories and Sinatra!  The Song is  You, among them). Now comes his magnum opus: A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS (Pantheon, $45). On Broadway stages, in clubs, lounges, and cabarets, even rock ’n’ roll arenas; in the movies, on radio, and on obscure albums, Friedwald listens to singers, and has opinions to spare. The big names are here in these 800 pages (Armstrong, Crosby, Fitzgerald, Sinatra); but it’s coming across the lesser known, the little known, and the almost forgotten that brings true pleasure in discovery.

Jazz - Herman Leonard

Herman Leonard, one of the great jazz photographers, died earlier this year. In the course of his diverse career he apprenticed with Yusef Karsh, was personal photographer for Marlon Brando, and had his work exhibited around the world. JAZZ (Bloomsbury, $65) presents some of his best photos, ranging from the golden age of the music, through the 1960s, and even into the 1990s. The usual suspects are here: Dizzy, Miles, Pops, and the iconic image of Billie Holiday at the microphone in 1949, as well as a shot of her in her kitchen with her dog. There’s Dizzy Gillespie hugging a bashful Ella Fitzgerald. It’s mesmerizing to see these men and women in the flush of youth and then, a few pages later, to see how the decades have marked them. These are photographs you’ll see new things in each time you look at them. Sit back, put on Kind of Blue, and revel in a little jazz history.