American Music Is

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Da Capo Press, Apr 24, 2009 - Music - 352 pages
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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.
 

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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 ... Read full review

Contents

IV
3
V
7
VI
12
VII
15
VIII
19
IX
24
X
28
XI
33
XLIII
161
XLV
167
XLVI
169
XLVII
173
XLVIII
178
XLIX
183
L
185
LI
189

XII
35
XIII
39
XIV
42
XV
46
XVI
51
XVII
53
XVIII
56
XIX
61
XX
65
XXI
69
XXII
73
XXIII
77
XXIV
82
XXV
86
XXVI
90
XXVII
94
XXVIII
98
XXIX
102
XXX
106
XXXI
110
XXXII
114
XXXIII
118
XXXIV
126
XXXV
130
XXXVII
135
XXXVIII
139
XXXIX
143
XL
148
XLI
153
XLII
157
LII
193
LIII
196
LIV
200
LV
203
LVI
207
LVII
209
LVIII
213
LX
218
LXI
222
LXII
226
LXIII
231
LXIV
235
LXV
241
LXVI
243
LXVII
247
LXVIII
251
LXIX
255
LXX
261
LXXI
263
LXXII
267
LXXIII
271
LXXIV
275
LXXV
280
LXXVI
284
LXXVII
288
LXXVIII
293
LXXIX
295
LXXX
300
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Page v - Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn.
Page xix - He wants life and music to be always in a state of becoming. He doesn't even like to write definitive endings to a piece. He'd often ask us to come up with ideas for closings, but when he'd settle on one of them, he'd keep fooling with it. He always likes to make the end of a song sound as if it's still going somewhere.

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About the author (2009)

Nat Hentoff is the first Jazz critic every named a "Jazz Master" by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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