Blowing the Blues: Fifty Years Playing the British Blues

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This is the autobiography of a master musician, the King of British blues saxophone. In the 60s and 70s Dick was the cornerstone of such seminal R&B bands as Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, the Graham Bond Organisation, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and Colosseum, paving the way for R&B-influenced rock groups like Fleetwood Mac, the Yardbirds, the Animals and the Rolling Stones.

With his pithy humour, Dick describes the revolutionary founding years of British R&B - his anecdotes about Ginger Baker, Alexis Korner, Charlie Watts and the unforgettable Graham Bond alone are worth the price. An extraordinarily entertaining book, Dick’s unrelentingly honest account of his musical career also reflects on what it takes to be a full time musician, and grapples with the racism and drug abuse endemic in the music industry.

In the back of the book is a CD featuring 25 minutes of previously unreleased tracks by Dick Heckstall-Smith, illustrating the sheer musical diversity of his work.

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About the author (2004)

Dick Heckstall-Smith was one of the first musicians to commute successfully between jazz and blues-rock. Known for his trademark playing with two saxes, he has always been a trailblazer with groundbreaking stints with Alexis Kornerrsquo;s Blues Incorporated, the Graham Bond Organization and more recently the likes of Julian Bahula in Electric Dream. He was for many years the most sought-after saxophonist on the London scene.

With a background as a professional theatre and blues musician, Pete Grant has been Dick Heckstall-Smith's friend and manager for the past three years. Pete's essay about Dick follows the maestro's original text: his achievements in the last 20 years; the musical highlights; why commercial potential remains unfulfilled.

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