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H R Gaines (London UK)

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Music Outside: Contemporary Jazz in Britain
Music Outside: Contemporary Jazz in Britain
by Roger Cotterrell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.99

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Key Book on British Music & Culture, 10 Jan. 2008
American Jazz has, with a few exceptions, stopped developing. It hasn't produced an figure of the calibre of Parker, Miles, Trane, Dolphy or Ornette for many years. Lots of American Jazz CDs sound like they could have been recorded anytime in the past 25, or even 40 years!
The focus is shifting to European Jazz, and that is where the individuality, the innovation and the interest lie. Each European country has been developing Jazz in ways which reflect its own cultural history, as well as building on the traditions of the music, while the USA has built on tradition, but, arguably, has ceased to develop the music.
"Music Outside" isn't just about changes in Jazz, it's about the development of British culture. Written primarily as an attack on the bastions of the British cultural establishment for its dismissive attitude to Jazz, it documents what was going on in the minds of those producing innovative music. Like no other, this book captures the moment in the development of British Jazz where the music had stopped being an imitation of the American and was setting out on new roads.
Ironically for a book called "Music Outside" it was written by a musician/author who was very much on the inside of the changes. Ian Carr is one of the finest (if not the finest) trumpeters Britain has produced, and a gifted composer (Check out "Old Heartland/Out of the Long Dark" on CD). He is also a fine author who was to go on to combine playing all over the world with a writing career including the groundbreaking musical biography of Miles Davis.
Writing in 1973, Carr investigates the lives, music, ambitions and disappointments of a range of innovative musicians struggling to take British Jazz forward. He is honest, blunt and incisive, and not afraid to tread on toes in his views about the music of his contemporaries. The book has been out of print and much sought-after for years, and Northway's new edition is very welcome.
For those of us old enough to remember the British Jazz scene of the late 60s and early 70s this book will bring it all back with renewed clarity. For younger fans or more recent converts it is an invaluable inside view of the period. I can think of few books about Jazz like it, and none at all about British Jazz. Roger Cotterrell's fine postscript examines the historical context in detail and looks at the subsequent careers of those featured in the book.
A unique insight into a pivotal moment in the development of British culture.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 11, 2010 2:17 PM GMT


Kind Of Blue
Kind Of Blue
Offered by thebookcommunity
Price: £40.18

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The DVD-Audio is absolutely stunning - a revelation!, 14 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Kind Of Blue (Audio CD)
This music needs no introduction. I've owned this album in one form or another since 1962, and thought I knew it inside out. I got this DualDisk version initially because it has a documentary also included. I just wasn't prepared for the extra insight and pleasure I got from this version of "Kind of Blue". If you can play 5-channel this is a must-have bargain, especially at the £9.99 I paid.
I bought the Hybrid SACD some time ago, but found the SACD layer was mastered at a very low level and was never happy with the sound.
In spite of what another reviewer says, there is definitely a high-res 5.1 DVD-A layer here - you need a TV display to access it (a nuisance but well worth it). On a 5 channel system this sounds far better than the SACD. The musicians become tangible: on "All Blues" Trane walks towards the mike as he begins his solo and the effect is startling. The three-dimensionality of the surround sound separates the instruments and makes the interplay of the musicians easier to understand. It's easier to follow lines and Bill Evans' role emerges in this mix like never before. I realised I had never before fully appreciated his Ravel-like solo on "Flamenco Sketches".
The documentary about the album is by Ashley Kahn and is interesting too.
I assure you the 5.1 DVD-Audio mix is a revelation. No matter how many times you've heard this music before, you'll get new pleasure from this version played on a decent multichannel system.
If you have a universal player the multichannel SACD of "Silent Way" is similarly rewarding.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 22, 2011 11:55 AM BST


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