Why was the ABC Impulse! album spine black and orange? How did Coletrane get to make so many albums? How come Mingues and so many otherr artists from so many other labels had one or two albums on this wonderful label?
Why where the labals different every few years? When did Shirley Scott............
For years, questions about Impulse! records were shrouded in mystrey, like myths from the distant past. Ashley Khan has answered many of these in this wonderful book. He brings together all the information about the biggest Impulse! gods to the one off artists that are buried in jazz distrographies. Khan tells the Impulse story cronologically, comprehensively. You get the overall narrative of the rise and diminishing of the label, and the little stories about the little artists you thought you would never hear. What happened to Dewey Johnson after he played on Coltrane's Assention. Who the hell WAS Dewey Johnson anyway?
Coltrane, Archie Shepp, Duke, Mingus--all our old friends are here. And you are going to make some new ones. (If you are not hip to Mel Brown's Chicken Fat album, you should be.) In the back of the book, you get a full listing of every album ever made on Impulse. Most of this is great music, and, bleleive me, there is enough to keep any collector spending and busy for a long time.
I don't agree with every conclusion Khan comes to (he makes it look like Impulse was about the avant gaurde exclusively, but the distography does not bare this out,) but his research and grasp of detail is just impecable, and you really do get that fly-on-the-wall feeling, as if your with Trane and Bob Thiele in Rudy Van Gelders studio in summer, 1965, recording the next masterpiece. Khan's writting is as viceral as it is accurate.
This book is a must, if you are an expert, or someone who knows nothing about jazz but is ready to find out