Synopses & Reviews
Writing in a passionate and streetwise style all his own, Nat Hentoff transports us into the diverse worlds of musicians that hold one thing in common: America. In over sixty pieces Hentoff has assembled a mosaic that creates a vivid picture of the music scene as it leaps into the twenty-first century. From sweeping surveys of the roots of American music to vivid assessments of individual performers (including John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Joe Williams, Doc Pomus, Duke Ellington, Willie Nelson, and many more) Hentoff demonstrates once again why he is lauded as "a critic par excellence" (Publishers Weekly). American Music Is compiles the best of his essays into a potent reader, collecting his most illuminating writing on a broad range of topics. For those who love jazz, blues, country, gospel, or folk, American Music Is provides eloquent and powerful insights. For those who love all of them, it is required reading.
"Few of today's music critics can recall chatting with jazz legends like Louis, Billie or Duke in their dressing rooms, and the rarity of hearing about those experiences may be the single greatest pleasure of reading a Hentoff column. The 'jazz master' has been reviewing the American music scene for half a century and brings that wealth of experience to the 60 recent columns gathered here. Although he devotes the lion's share of pages to his first love, jazz, he also covers the pioneers of blues, country and folk, delving into the experiences and rhythms of Willie Nelson, Charlie Parker and Bob Dylan, among many others. Aside from a pithy autobiographical introduction to the ensemble, the author does not situate the columns there are no publication dates or names. Despite this lack of context, fans will savor Hentoff's robust prose and his original window onto the world of American music." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Essays that create a vivid picture of the music scene as it leaps into the twenty-first century, including assessments of individual performers.
In over sixty dazzling pieces 'American Music Is' probes the core of greatness in American music. A paperback original.
Thank God for Nat, who places the soul of the musician above that of his art.--Dizzy Gillespie
About the Author
Nat Hentoff is the first Jazz critic every named a "Jazz Master" by the National Endowment for the Arts.