Jazz music, as is also the case with the old down-home spirituals, gospel and jubilee songs, jumps, shouts and moans, is essentially an American vernacular or idiomatic modification of musical conventions imported from Europe, beginning back during the time of the early settlers of the original colonies.
Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues By Elijah Wald (Amistad, 342 pp., $24.95) Robert Johnson: Lost and Found By Barry Lee Pearson and Bill McCulloch (University of Illinois Press, 142 pp., $24.95) Martin Scorcese Presents the Blues: A Musical Journey Edited by Peter Guralnick, Robert Santelli, Holly George-Warren, Christopher John Farley (Amistad, 287 pp., $27.95) The legend is known to any blues fan: he was an eager kid sitting at the feet of his musical idols, borrowing the guitar he could scarcely play and generally making a nuisance of himself.
There came a time when Louis Armstrong decided that his importance as a musician and his status as a worldwide American entertainer were of such magnitude that he should produce his own documentation of his career. The first of those efforts was published in 1936, when Armstrong himself was not yet thirty-six years old. Its title was Swing That Music. No collaborator, editor, or ghostwriter was identified, not even when the book was re-issued fifty-five years later.
The ballad of Tammy Wynette.
Those were Newsweek's words, not Hillary Clinton's. But a similar sentiment expressed by the wife of Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was enough to inspire Wynette to write the now-famous screed she sent to many news organizations after Mrs.
I. My dream was to become Frank Sinatra. I loved his phrasing, especially when he was very young and pure….
Going to Woodstock was interesting. Getting out of there was ecstasy. Four of us set out on the morning of Friday. August 16. 1969--me, fresh out of the Navy; my college friend Phil; and our girlfriends, Karen and Mary. We had spent Thursday night at my sister's farm in Rockland County, not too far from where the festival was to be held. She and her husband wanted to come with us, but they had a small child and decided to stay home. They waved goodbye to us from their porch as we pulled out in Phil's beat-up Volkswagen bug. We knew we were in for an adventure of some sort. Why did we go?
“Blood on the Tracks” by Bob Dylan (Columbia Records; $6.98) Despite the blood he finds in his history and ours, despite the undistinguished music backing him, Dylan, his imagination and his voice are all in control again as they haven’t been so fully since “Blonde on Blonde” in 1966. And we can therefore expect “Blood on the Tracks” to flash the shape of the ‘70s as richly as his electric albums of the mid-‘60s voiced their own weird and wired days.