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Innerviews - Music Without Borders [Kindle Edition]

Anil Prasad
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Twenty-four of the world's most renowned musicians share incredibly candid, in-depth thoughts on the joy and pain of the creative process, their careers and aspirations, conflicts and collaborations, and the realities of today's music business in Innerviews: Music Without Borders, the first book by acclaimed music journalist Anil Prasad.

Artists featured in the book include some of the greatest names in rock, jazz, world music, hip-hop, and electronica: Jon Anderson, Bjork, Bill Bruford, Martin Carthy, Stanley Clarke, Chuck D, Ani DiFranco, Bela Fleck, Michael Hedges, Jonas Hellborg, Zakir Hussain, Leo Kottke, Bill Laswell, John McLaughlin, Noa, David Sylvian, Tangerine Dream, David Torn, Ralph Towner, McCoy Tyner, Eberhard Weber, Chris Whitley, Victor Wooten, and Joe Zawinul. Wooten contributes a foreword to the book. Some of the evocative topics explored include:
  • Bjork on the chaos of her creative process
  • Stanley Clarke on saying no to Miles Davis
  • Chuck D on whats wrong with hip-hop today
  • Ani DiFranco on propelling democracy through music
  • Bela Fleck on journeying to Africa to discover the roots of the banjo
  • Bill Laswell on the drama of producing difficult artists
  • John McLaughlin on turning the tables on the jazz police
  • McCoy Tyner on the deification of John Coltrane
  • Tangerine Dream on electronica transcending technology
  • Joe Zawinul on inventing the original hip-hop beat
Prasad established Innerviews, the Internet's first and longest-running music magazine, in 1994. He is celebrated for his special ability to get his subjects to confide and reflect in ways they rarely do with other interviewers.

"Anil Prasad is like a great musician," says Victor Wooten. "The way he expresses himself through his own art - his writing - causes readers to feel inspired, as if we've learned about ourselves, as well as the subject of the interview."

"Prasad does splendid interviews with an amazing mix of musicians in Innerviews: Music Without Borders," says Vijay Iyer. "He takes the artists work seriously and meets it on its own terms, which is a sign of true generosity on his part."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1162 KB
  • Print Length: 315 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005G13HIU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #724,128 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Interviews with the finest Fusion Musicians 19 Aug. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Innerviews: Music Without Borders. Anil Prasad.
Abstract Logic books $19.95
from or
A fantastic collection of twentyfour absorbing interviews which will aid deep thought and spiritual growth. The grey cover perhaps not uplifting but the contents are an nourishing iridescent rainbow. Mixed metaphors are appropriate for genre mash up specialists like Joe Zawinul, Ani DeFranco, John McClaughlin, Zakir Hussain, McCoy Tyner, Bjork, Bill Bruford, Stanley Clarke, Bela Fleck, Eberhard Weber, Ralph Towner, Tangerine Dream among others. Miles's remix man Bill Laswell, not likely to be working in the diplomatic service any time soon but as he created Herbie Hancock's masterpiece `Rockit' he can say what he likes, which he did to Miles Davis when offered only half an album. Mr Prasad's Intelligent questions trigger thoughtful replies, after a useful introduction to each artists.
Although most people are talking about the spiritual aspects of their music there is a little technique and instrument talk. Bassist Eberhard Weber has the perfect answer for over ambitious composers who appear armed with parts full of demi-semiquavers in uneven time signatures, a cross between Spinal Tap's Jazz Odyssy and The Rite of Spring, generally music they couldn't sight read themselves. Mr Webber says, "Do you want me or do you want a bass player." Which saves a lot of time and trouble.
I thought I knew all about Joe Zawinul, as a total Weather Report completist. But then this protean master was one of the pioneers of fusion. His output is prodigious and he claims to have invented the hip hop beat on Sweetnighter 125th Street Congress and World Music itself. Listening again to examples given in the book I believe him to be right on both counts.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Respectable Yet Recycled Reading... 24 Sept. 2011
By 4-Legged Defender - Published on
Verified Purchase
[INNERVIEWS - Music Without Borders - Extraordinary Conversations with Extraordinary Musicians - By Anil Prasad - (2010)] Editor and publisher of Innerviews, the longest-running online music magazine, Anil Prasad has compiled some of his in-depth interviews with various musicians from a variety of musical genres into a book that makes for somewhat engaging reading. Surprisingly, I wasn't as thrilled with it as I thought I'd be, considering the hoopla surrounding the product details listed on Amazon, along with several reviews. The claims that he asks original, uncompromising, intimate questions that deviate from the usual derivative queries that dominate most publications ("Who are your influences?", "What kind of strings and amps are you currently using?", etc.) are true to a point but, after reading the book from cover to cover, his tendency to utilize practically the same set of questions over and over again, just tailored to each individual, becomes plainly evident, and usually culminate in an inquiry about the artists spiritual beliefs. This tendency becomes both predictable and annoying after the first ten to twelve interviews, particularly the spiritual inquiry - if it's one thing I don't want to hear, it's the religious beliefs an artist subscribes to; after all, these are musicians, not deities, and the separation of church and state holds true in music as well. I prefer my interviews with artists to strip the veneer off the facade and expose the individual underneath the mask, not give additional self-importance to the musician's promoted image. You may feel differently; after all, this is just another opinion. But I have been consuming these interviews for over 40 years and, hopefully, have cultured some refinement by now. And I expect the same from the interviewer as well.

What struck me as unexpected were some of my favorite interviews within these pages - some by artists whose musical catalog I'd shy away from; not because they make foul or rancid music, just music I personally don't care for, for whatever reasons (again, this is an opinion). My absolute favorite was Chuck D from Public Enemy, who provided the most historically interesting comments regarding rap and black musical culture - this guy really has something to say, and never sugar coats his beliefs one iota. For me, his was the most interesting elucidation within. Bravo. Also of peculiar interest were the commentaries by Ani DeFranco, Leo Kottke (and I don't own one of their cd's, but saw Kottke open for King Crimson in 1973 when I was a kid), Bjork, Michael Hedges and Eberhard Weber. Head-turning stuff for sure.

Artists whose interviews I had high expectations for didn't fail to delight - Bill Laswell, Zakir Hussain, David Sylvian, Jonas Hellborg, David Torn, McCoy Tyner, John McLaughlin and Joe Zawinul provided monster reading. Bill Bruford, who's known for being extremely hostile towards interviewers yet manages to steer all interviews into a pompous 'more of the same' style response, again states little of importance (read his biography for further proof), and Jon Anderson's answers are rudimentary for a guy who's fronted one of prog rock's most challenging bands - he's never as deep as he thinks he is, IMO. By his own declaration, he's a by-product of the hippie era (not that I have anything against hippies, unless you're still living like one 40 years later) and some of his ideologies seem naive. Nothing really new here.

Some of these interviews are a bit dated, going back to the late 90's while tacking on more recent verbiage to flesh things out, and a few are simply boring, though this is no fault of Prasad, some musicians (and I'm being kind) simply don't have much to say. As a whole, I found the book interesting but not thoroughly engaging - maybe I'm jaded or cynical or both, but was anticipating a bit more. I would still recommend it for the most part, just don't expect to get your socks knocked off. But it does benefit from a well-rounded collection of artists from diverse genres, each with a different grasp on what they do and how they go about doing it. If you enjoy these types of books, search out 'Rockers, Jazzbos and Visionaries' by Bill Milkowski for another informative, illuminating study of great artists. 3 ½ stars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic. This guy understands musicians 10 Nov. 2010
By It's Me, - Published on
Frank Zappa may have been the one to say "Talking about music is like dancing about architecture." To some extent, that's true. But I've always enjoyed reading musicians' thoughts about works that I like to hear. Unfortunately, so much of what we can read about music gets filtered through critics. Frankly, I don't really care what Christgau or Lester Bangs think about my favorite works. I already know what touches my heart. It's been said in other reviews that Anil Prasad knows how to submerge his ego and let the musicians carry the conversation. Thats true to some degree, but the real genius behind this collection of interviews in preparation. More than any other interviewer I've ever read, Anil Prasad asks the questions that I think about when hearing the music. You won't find another book with a higher music-to-BS quotient anywhere. This is a focused version of Prasad's wonderful website ([...]). The book also includes content (some of it new!) that was not in the website interviews. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anil Prasad's Innerviews - Insights on Musicians & Their Works 28 Nov. 2010
By wajobu - Published on
Verified Purchase
Victor Wooten's Foreward and Anil Prasad's Introduction to Innerviews echo exactly my own feelings on why I like this book and Anil's website (.org) of the same name. I want to know more about why and how musicians create their works and where they see themselves in a greater context. While the interviews are with (in many cases) celebrities in the music world, the questions asked and insights gained go far beyond the fame and seek artistic connections, influences and a depth of understanding that makes listening to music all the more rewarding. I have long since given up on most of the mainstream music press yet I find myself turning often to Anil's website (and now book) for musicians whose careers I have followed for many years as well as emerging talents. Excellent!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating musicians, excellent interviews 23 Dec. 2010
By John Neumann - Published on
Verified Purchase
I'm about 2/3 of the way through this right now. I read a little every night at bed time. I'm a prog fan (the more well-known groups like Yes, Crimson, Genesis etc.) going way back, and have some interest in world music and more improvisational music like jazz, though I'm not as knowledgeable about it. I will definitely go through this again chapter by chapter, and look for some of the recordings I read about.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and insightful 11 Oct. 2010
By Robin Slick - Published on
Innerviews debuted as an online experiment in 1994 as a way for author Anil Prasad to integrate his love of music with what was then a new and exciting medium - the internet. As Anil himself states in the forward, "Little did I know what would unfold soon after." Since initially preparing a review of this book, I've learned that Prasad has a Master's degree in journalism from the best journalism school in the country. This does not surprise me. Innerviews is a musicologist or even casual music fan will be able to put this book down once they start reading, and even more importantly, the contents will have them revisiting their album collections and even ordering music from the eclectic list of musicians interviewed. Prasad asks provocative, quirky questions that bring out the best in his subjects, whether it be Bjork or Victor Wooten, both of whom interestingly discuss their respective spirituality and how it plays into their music. It is also touching to read interviews of players no longer with us - Chris Whitley and Joe Zawinul, for example, and to read Joe's story and his reply regarding his own mortality will bring tears to your eyes. When Prasad closes out his forward in this book, he says, "By far the most important thing to emerge from Innerviews is the network of friendships that has evolved and endured since it debuted...I consider each and every Innerviews reader a kindred spirit."

He is correct. We are, and you will be, too. A must read for anyone who loves "real" music and wants to take a peek into the deeply personal process behind the scenes.
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