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Basic Civitas Book 2006 / USA / Paperback
This title offers the ultimate insider's look at jazz, from the pre-eminent - and always controversial - jazz critic Stanley Crouch. Stanley Crouch - critic, contrarian, and always controversial firebrand - has been writing about jazz and jazz artists for over thirty years. From off-the-cuff reviews of fly-by-night musicians performing in out-of-the-way clubs for one night only, to laudatory obituaries for unheralded musicians, and intimate, warts-and-all portraits of jazz legends, to theoretical essays that deconstruct and demystify the art of jazz in terms of respect and awe: Crouch can make people think, he can make them angry, but he always makes them listen. Now, at last, his writings on jazz are gathered into one superb collection.
"Considering Genius" is the ultimate insider's look at jazz, the result of a lifetime of listening, playing, arguing and writing. In these thirty "writings on jazz", Crouch proves once again that he is the bull in the china shop of black intellectuals, and the philosopher king of a true American art form. He reminisces about his own introduction to the music that speaks as easily of the most low-down blues as of man's highest aspirations, and he looks to the future of the art form of back rooms and barrooms that can be "elevated" to the position of shining aesthetic order. He traces the twisting fortunes of Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Thelonius Monk, along with a number of other greats and near-greats. The thoughtful, provocative essays that helped define "jazz theory" are here, as well as the controversial columns for "The Village Voice" and "Jazz Times" that proved, in some cases, too hot for their original publishers to handle.