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1 Hawthorne Music- Jazz Biography

Coltrane: The Story of a Sound

by

Coltrane: The Story of a Sound Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A major work about the great saxophonist — and about the state of jazz.

What was the essence of John Coltrane's achievement that makes him so prized forty years after his death? What was it about his improvising, his bands, his compositions, his place within his era of jazz that left so many musicians and listeners so powerfully drawn to him? What would a John Coltrane look like now — or are we looking for the wrong signs? The acclaimed jazz writer Ben Ratliff addresses these questions in Coltrane. First Ratliff tells the story of Coltrane's development, from his first recordings as a no-name navy bandsman to his last recordings as a near-saint, paying special attention to the last ten years of his life, which contained a remarkable series of breakthroughs in a nearly religious search for deeper expression.

In the book's second half, Ratliff traces another history: that of Coltrane's influence and legacy. This story begins in the mid-'50s and considers the reactions of musicians, critics, and others who paid attention, asking: Why does Coltrane signify so heavily in the basic identity of jazz?

Placing jazz among other art forms and American social history, and placing Coltrane not just among jazz musicians but among the greatest American artists, Ratliff tries to look for the sources of power in Coltrane's music — not just in matters of technique, composition, and musical concepts, but in the deeper frequencies of Coltrane's sound.

Review:

"'Ratliff, the jazz critic for the New York Times, isn't interested in simply retelling the biographical facts of John Coltrane's life. Instead, he analyzes how the saxophone player came to be regarded as 'the last major figure in the evolution of jazz,' tracing both the evolution of his playing style and the critical reception to it. The first half of this study concentrates on Coltrane's career, from his early days as a semianonymous sideman to his final, increasingly experimental recordings, while the second half explores the growth of Coltrane's legacy after his death. Ratliff has a keen sense of Coltrane's constantly changing sound, highlighting the collaborative nature of jazz by discussing the bands he played in as both sideman and leader. (One of the more intriguing asides is a suggestion that Coltrane's alleged LSD use might have inclined him toward a more cooperative mode of performance.) The consideration of Coltrane's shifting influence on jazz — and other modern musical forms — up to the present day is equally vigorous, refusing to rely on simple adulation. Always going past the legend to focus on the real-life stories and the actual recordings, Ratliff's assessment is a model for music criticism. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"

Review:

"No jazz musician ever worked harder to master his craft than John Coltrane. When appearing in nightclubs, he retreated to his dressing room to practice between sets. He played his saxophone until his lips bled, then studied philosophy, international music and the finer points of music theory to develop a fuller understanding of his art. So why did such an intellectual musician exert such a strong... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"This is popular, nontechnical music analysis at its best." Booklist

Review:

"Ratliff patiently explicates Coltrane's legend, writing in short, aphoristic bursts, often as elliptically as his subject played tenor saxophone, but never less than lucidly." New York Times

Synopsis:

A major work about the great saxophonist—and about the state of jazz.

What was the essence of John Coltranes achievement that makes him so prized forty years after his death? What was it about his improvising, his bands, his compositions, his place within his era of jazz that left so many musicians and listeners so powerfully drawn to him? What would a John Coltrane look like now—or are we looking for the wrong signs?
The acclaimed jazz writer Ben Ratliff addresses these questions in Coltrane. First Ratliff tells the story of Coltranes development, from his first recordings as a no-name navy bandsman to his last recordings as a near-saint, paying special attention to the last ten years of his life, which contained a remarkable series of breakthroughs in a nearly religious search for deeper expression. In the books second half, Ratliff traces another history: that of Coltranes influence and legacy. This story begins in the mid-50s and considers the reactions of musicians, critics, and others who paid attention, asking: Why does Coltrane signify so heavily in the basic identity of jazz?Placing jazz among other art forms and American social history, and placing Coltrane not just among jazz musicians but among the greatest American artists, Ratliff tries to look for the sources of power in Coltranes music—not just in matters of technique, composition, and musical concepts, but in the deeper frequencies of Coltranes sound.

Synopsis:

John Coltrane left an indelible mark on the world, but what was the essence of his achievement that makes him so prized forty years after his death? What were the factors that helped Coltrane become who he was? And what would a John Coltrane look like now--or are we looking for the wrong signs?

In this deftly written, riveting study, New York Times jazz critic Ben Ratliff answers these questions and examines the life of Coltrane, the acclaimed band leader and deeply spiritual man who changed the face of jazz music. Ratliff places jazz among other art forms and within the turbulence of American social history, and he places Coltrane not just among jazz musicians but among the greatest American artists.

About the Author

Ben Ratliff has been a jazz critic at The New York Times since 1996. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and their two sons. His New York Times Essential Library: Jazz was published in 2002.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374126063
Subtitle:
The Story of a Sound
Author:
Ratliff, Ben
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Subject:
General
Subject:
Jazz
Subject:
Jazz musicians
Subject:
Saxophonists.
Subject:
Genres & Styles - Jazz
Subject:
Composers & Musicians - Jazz
Subject:
People of Color
Subject:
cultural heritage
Subject:
Coltrane, John
Subject:
Jazz musicians -- United States.
Subject:
Composers
Subject:
Musicians
Subject:
Composers & Musicians
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20070918
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
2 Black-and-White Photographs/Notes/Sour
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9.95 x 5.81 x 1 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Jazz » Biographies

Coltrane: The Story of a Sound Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374126063 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'Ratliff, the jazz critic for the New York Times, isn't interested in simply retelling the biographical facts of John Coltrane's life. Instead, he analyzes how the saxophone player came to be regarded as 'the last major figure in the evolution of jazz,' tracing both the evolution of his playing style and the critical reception to it. The first half of this study concentrates on Coltrane's career, from his early days as a semianonymous sideman to his final, increasingly experimental recordings, while the second half explores the growth of Coltrane's legacy after his death. Ratliff has a keen sense of Coltrane's constantly changing sound, highlighting the collaborative nature of jazz by discussing the bands he played in as both sideman and leader. (One of the more intriguing asides is a suggestion that Coltrane's alleged LSD use might have inclined him toward a more cooperative mode of performance.) The consideration of Coltrane's shifting influence on jazz — and other modern musical forms — up to the present day is equally vigorous, refusing to rely on simple adulation. Always going past the legend to focus on the real-life stories and the actual recordings, Ratliff's assessment is a model for music criticism. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"
"Review" by , "This is popular, nontechnical music analysis at its best."
"Review" by , "Ratliff patiently explicates Coltrane's legend, writing in short, aphoristic bursts, often as elliptically as his subject played tenor saxophone, but never less than lucidly."
"Synopsis" by ,
A major work about the great saxophonist—and about the state of jazz.

What was the essence of John Coltranes achievement that makes him so prized forty years after his death? What was it about his improvising, his bands, his compositions, his place within his era of jazz that left so many musicians and listeners so powerfully drawn to him? What would a John Coltrane look like now—or are we looking for the wrong signs?
The acclaimed jazz writer Ben Ratliff addresses these questions in Coltrane. First Ratliff tells the story of Coltranes development, from his first recordings as a no-name navy bandsman to his last recordings as a near-saint, paying special attention to the last ten years of his life, which contained a remarkable series of breakthroughs in a nearly religious search for deeper expression. In the books second half, Ratliff traces another history: that of Coltranes influence and legacy. This story begins in the mid-50s and considers the reactions of musicians, critics, and others who paid attention, asking: Why does Coltrane signify so heavily in the basic identity of jazz?Placing jazz among other art forms and American social history, and placing Coltrane not just among jazz musicians but among the greatest American artists, Ratliff tries to look for the sources of power in Coltranes music—not just in matters of technique, composition, and musical concepts, but in the deeper frequencies of Coltranes sound.

"Synopsis" by ,

John Coltrane left an indelible mark on the world, but what was the essence of his achievement that makes him so prized forty years after his death? What were the factors that helped Coltrane become who he was? And what would a John Coltrane look like now--or are we looking for the wrong signs?

In this deftly written, riveting study, New York Times jazz critic Ben Ratliff answers these questions and examines the life of Coltrane, the acclaimed band leader and deeply spiritual man who changed the face of jazz music. Ratliff places jazz among other art forms and within the turbulence of American social history, and he places Coltrane not just among jazz musicians but among the greatest American artists.

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