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Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States [DVD]
Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States [DVD]
Dvd ~ Oliver Stone
Price: £13.20

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 7 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
An eye opener.


Jazz: The 1980s Resurgence
Jazz: The 1980s Resurgence
by Stuart Nicholson
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Press Reviews, 7 Nov 2012
`This is an outstanding book and its author a brilliant young man.' Max Harrison, Hampstead and Highgate Express

`A meticulous survey of the decade...covering hundreds of performers, the author delivers a series of concise, witty and opinionated snapshots, many of them appreciative, others almost comically blunt in their disapproval. Even when you disagree with him...you can't fault Nicholson for his enthusiasm, taste or intelligence'. Jazz Times (USA)

`There isn't another work that has reacted so swiftly to the bewildering eruption of new players, new recordings, recycled players and reissues...It'll be a while before anybody puts together a study of current jazz times with as much thoroughness and currency as Nicholson's.' John Fordham, Wire

`The Standard work on what happened in jazz during the 1980s. It is a thorough, painstaking piece of work.' Dave Gelly, Jazz Express

`Nicholson's book has the advantage of a wide-eared approach...it accurately treats jazz as a pliable, living tradition'. Downbeat (USA)

`Stuart Nicholson, a writer of sharp wit and a rare talent for assembling a powerful précis, has dug deep into his myriad-faceted subject and come up with a splendid work that is by no means just a catalogue of names, dates, places and sessions but a highly readable story...His prose style is engaging, almost conversational, exercising a facility for interpolating le mot/phrase juste, thereby packing a powerful punch into his anecdotes...There is, in truth, hardly a dull moment from foreword to index.' Crescendo

`One of the essentials of any jazz library.' Allyn Shipton, BBC Radio 4

`Stuart Nicholson's handsome new tome functions on many levels. It is a handy summation of times long past and times so recent as to be still shaping up. It is level headed both in its assessments of established reputations and hip young gun-slingers. Moreover, at the same time as it transmits dispassionate wisdom and historical fact, it drips enthusiasm...Buy this most rare, accessible and functional of jazz tomes immediately.' Glasgow Herald

`A logical book that needed to be written...Nicholson has an open-minded approach, his evaluations of recordings are intelligent and informative and his narrative flows smoothly from one musician to another...Nicholson's project achieves its goals and is highly recommended'. Scott Yanow, Jazziz (USA)

`An excellent analysis of the 1980s jazz and blues scene...highly recommended. It is exceptionally useful both as an informative updating and in helping to provide context on a very significant jazz decade.' Jazz UK

`It would be difficult to imagine a more balanced, coherent or well informed view of [jazz during the 1980s]...a volume that can be recommended as either a good read or a reference book.' The Music Magazine

`This is a most welcome and positively rare examination of jazz like it sounds today...the author's knowledge and opinions shine through the text.' Lancashire Evening Post

`An excellent analysis of the 1980s jazz and blues scene in which the almost overwhelming variety of musical directions is clearly and systematically sign posted...It is exceptionally useful both as an informative updating and in helping to provide context and perspective on a very significant jazz decade.' Jazz In

`Contains not a few felicities and much that stimulates.' Jazz Journal

`Jazz: The 1980s Resurgence offers an indispensable look at the most confused decade in the history of jazz...a wonderful resource...it should prove an invaluable tool for understanding where jazz came from and where it may be headed'. Schwann Spectrum (USA)

`An excellent chronicle of recent jazz history and may assist with understanding what is happening in jazz in the 1990s. Written towards the end of 1989, Nicholson has uncannily, and without the benefit of hindsight, succeeded in identifying the lasting personalities and styles from the confusion which typified the jazz world in the 1980s...Thoroughly recommended as a book providing a comprehensive overview of recent developments in jazz.' Greg Fisher, Jazz Views.com

`Nicholson, who has also written acclaimed biographies of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, is a superb critic, whose enthusiasm is always leavened with dry humour. And you won't find a better wide-angle portrait of the jazz world.' Amazon.com


Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography of the First Lady of Jazz
Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography of the First Lady of Jazz
by Nicholson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.86

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Press Reviews, 7 Nov 2012
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Ella Fitzgerald was nominated a `Notable Book of 1994' by The New York Times Review of Books

`In the words of Stuart Nicholson in Ella Fitzgerald, she disappears into the song, which makes biography a tricky enterprise. Mr. Nicholson does a very fine job with Ms. Fitzgerald. To his everlasting credit, he reveals the facts behind the copy forthrightly but never gloatingly. It was much harder than it seemed, becoming Ella Fitzgerald: finding the golden mean between girlish ebullience and matronly calm that suited her temperament but also became her shield.' Margo Jefferson, New York Times (USA)

`One of the best biographies of a jazz performer ever written.' Stage and Television Today

`Ella Fitzgerald is one of the very best biographies of any great American singer ever published.' Will Friedwald (author of Jazz Singing)

`One of the finest jazz nonfiction books concerning a female jazz vocalist.' JazzReview.com

`A biography of erudition and style...a model, not only of research but of musical insight.' Dave Gelly, Observer

`Nicholson is erudite and intelligent...a valuable addition to the jazz bookshelf.' Kirkus Reviews (USA)

`Nicholson is a jazz buff and a shrewd critic.' The Times

`Excellent...[Nicholson] avidly communicates the luminosity and swing of the Fitzgerald sound.' The Seattle Times (USA)

`When it comes to the music, Nicholson is right on.' Washington Post (USA)

`The first factually reliable account of Ms. Fitzgerald's life.' Wall Street Journal (USA)

`Recommended.' Library Journal (USA)

`That rarity among jazz biographies: a thoroughly researched and carefully considered study of an artist that is also a delightful read...On every page, really, the critically perceptive writer advances our understanding of the music and of the premier female interpreter of the popular song, not to mention an America filled with racial prejudice.' Downbeat (USA)

`A splendidly researched biography.' Leonard Feather, Jazz Times (USA)

`This is a well researched, gracefully written biography.' Booklist (USA)

`Meticulously researched...[and] most revealing, too. Just to state that this book is a full account of this splendid lady's life and times barely hints at the depth and detail which the indefatigable Nicholson has unearthed...A triumph!' Crescendo & Jazz Music

`[An] exhaustive biography...the result is a thorough, dispassionate account of [her] career.' Publishers Weekly (USA)

`Nicholson has composed a full narrative...that will fascinate jazz book junkies, fans of Ella and jazz historians in particular...The book excels as a detailed chronicle of her career triumphs with sensitive analyses of her style, sound and development...a boon to serious students of jazz.' Women's Review of Books (USA)

`Mr. Nicholson does a very fine job...with clear eyed intelligence.' New York Times (USA)

`This book is a labor of love...impressive.' Bookpage (USA)

`[Nicholson] proves uncommonly objective for a biographer.' Chicago Tribune (USA)

`[An] outstanding volume.' Max Harrison, Hampstead and Highgate Express and The International Association of Jazz Record Collectors Journal

`For accuracy and depth, Nicholson knock's spots off earlier attempts at Ella's biography.' Brian Priestly, The Wire

`This biography of Ella Fitzgerald undoubtedly places others well and truly in the shade... Altogether this is a very good, well researched, well written addition to the jazz bookshelf. Nicholson brings new life and perceptive insight to the life and career of one of the greatest singing talents the world has known.' Jazz Journal

`Nicholson's musical analysis is always enlightening, exploding a number of myths.' BBC Music Magazine

`Fondly detailing every hit and miss of her concert career, Nicholson pays harmonious variations on a deceptively simple theme'. The Mail on Sunday

`This is a well written, meticulously documented, honest book. The musical analyses thorough, intelligent, and carefully considered...most importantly, any reader, from those casually acquainted with Ella's work to those thoroughly immersed in it, will come away with a clearer image of the woman, her music and its significance.' Mississippi Rag (USA)

When Ella Fitzgerald appeared in paperback in the US in 1996, it was nominated a `Noteworthy Paperback' in The New York Times Review of Books `New & Noteworthy' collection.


Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
by Stuart Nicholson
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Press Reviews, 7 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Billie Holiday (Paperback)
Billie Holiday was nominated a ¡¥Notable Book of 1995¡¦ by
The New York Times Review of Books

¡¥Stuart Nicholson¡¦s Billie Holiday is intelligent [and] well written...His remarks are often original, putting order into her chaos by dissecting every artistic move...Where Mr. Nicholson excels is in describing song after song after song with their interjected cooings and adulatory supportings by this or that instrumental soloist¡¦.
Ned Rorem, (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1976).
The New York Times Review of Books

Billie Holiday was a finalist in the 1996 ARSC Awards for Excellence in Music Writing

¡¥The best biography of the star called Lady Day¡¦. Daily Express

¡¥Nicholson¡¦s hugely researched biography is the authoritative work on [Holiday]¡¦. Mojo

¡¥An exemplary biography¡¦. BBC Music Magazine

¡¥Nicholson¡¦s rendition of the life that gave rise to Billie Holiday¡¦s muse is wise and an appropriate backdrop to the Lady Day still embodied in those recordings between 1933 and 1959...The book is laid out in scholarly fashion...[his] genealogical work is impressive...[and his] description of Holiday¡¦s drug use sophisticated and thoughtful...This is a very professional biography and probably the standard for the future¡¦. Popular Music and Society (USA)

¡¥With perhaps more success than any other biographer so far, Nicholson illuminates complexities in [Holiday¡¦s] personality, her art and her times that made the singer a phenomenon of American culture. As good as he is in biographical detail, his greatest contribution is perspective on the singer¡¦s creative process¡¦. Jazz Times (USA)

¡¥[Nicholson¡¦s] knowledge of jazz is impressive and he writes about it in a way that will be accessible to the Lady¡¦s numerous fans¡¦. Sunday Times

¡¥Compulsive reading...[Nicholson] is at his best when describing and analysing her often very moving recorded performances¡¦. Sunday Telegraph

¡¥You¡¦d expect original research and intelligent conclusions from the author of the classic Ella Fitzgerald biography, and you get them in his biography of Billie Holiday¡¦. Time Out

¡¥In scholarship and musical insight this book equals the high standard of the same author¡¦s recent biography of Ella Fitzgerald. Anyone who does not already know the outline of Billie¡¦s story will find it equally compulsive reading, but even for those familiar with it there are quite a few surprises¡¦. Dave Gelly, The Observer

¡¥Thoroughly readable, linking nitty-gritty facts, gee-whiz flourishes and well evaluated opinion in a manner guaranteed to keep you flicking pages...make room in the library¡¦. Vox

¡¥Hooray! At long, long last we now have a biography of that incomparable, inimitable jazzlady Billie Holiday which is totally worthy of the subject, and a magnificent, gripping read at that! Stuart Nicholson...is a chronicler of uncommon merit and possesses a knowledge of the jazz tradition of impressive breadth and depth....I cannot envisage a better account of the life and times of a complex, ofttimes buffeted human being as this one. A brilliant, sensitive and sympathetically drawn portrait of..a jazz immortal.¡¦ Crescendo and Jazz Music

¡¥Some of the most trenchant splicings of musical analysis and anecdote ever applied to Holiday. This is a sober, detailed account, but at times it is inspired in its insights into just how and why Lady Day pulls those strings in your heart¡¦. John Fordham, Q Magazine

¡¥Nicholson¡¦s polished, just-the-facts approach to biography...is valuable when it comes to chronicling Billie Holiday¡¦s tumultuous life...We feel free to praise Nicholson for his precise and eloquent analysis of Holiday¡¦s incomparable music¡¦. Booklist (USA)

¡¥[Nicholson] has done his homework well and tells Billie¡¦s story{from wretched childhood to her later tragic excesses{with real feeling¡¦. Daily Telegraph

¡¥[A] sensitive, perceptive biography...[that] successfully portrays both the genius and the tragedy of Lady Day¡¦. Publishers Weekly (USA)

¡¥This scholarly look at one of the giants of American music is a worthy complement and counterpoint to Holiday¡¦s own account¡¦. Library Journal (USA)

¡¥[Nicholson¡¦s] discussion of the musical side of Holiday¡¦s achievements is the book¡¦s most valuable contribution¡¦. Kirkus Reviews (USA)

¡¥Nicholson¡¦s study is first-rate¡¦. Choice (USA)

¡¥The legendary lady gets first class treatment from Nicholson...A captivating biography¡¦. Disc (USA)

¡¥By far the best and most important book ever written about Lady Day¡¦. The Blues News (USA)

¡¥A major new work which is certain to become the standard biography of the greatest jazz singer¡¦. Jazz UK

¡¥A great contribution...the book is wonderful on the arrival of drugs in her life, Nicholson has done terrific research. A very good book and a good read¡¦. Kaleidoscope, BBC Radio4

¡¥An excellent work by eminent jazz writer Stuart Nicholson...Holiday¡¦s relatively short life is so rich in musical stories it is refreshing to read a book about her which comfortably puts more sordid events in perspective and makes extensive accounts of the American jazz and swing scene so readable¡¦. Jazz Magazine International

¡¥Stuart Nicholson¡¦s book is most definitely one for the jazz enthusiast and my number one choice¡¦. Jazz Journal

¡¥Jazz fans and those who like good biographies will enjoy Billie Holiday by Stuart Nicholson¡¦. Feminist Bookstore News (USA)

¡¥Stuart Nicholson has a proven track record in jazz and blues, with superb biographies of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald to his credit, but he excels himself in this one¡Kif you know the songs already you¡¦ll play them again with new ears: if you don¡¦t, oh, what a voyage of discovery you¡¦ll have in store.¡¦ Irish Times

When Billie Holiday appeared in paperback in the US in 1997, it was twice nominated a ¡¥Noteworthy Paperback¡¦ in both The New York Times Review of Books summer and year end ¡¥New & Noteworthy¡¦ collections.


Jazz-Rock: A History
Jazz-Rock: A History
by Stuart Nicholson
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Press Reviews, 7 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Jazz-Rock: A History (Paperback)
Finalist for the 1999 ARSC Awards for Excellence in Music Writing

¡¥Author Stuart Nicholson has come up with just about everything you ever wanted to know about the post-bop fusion jazz era...well written and detailed, the book is the first to provide such a thorough view of jazz in the crossover decades¡¦. Los Angeles Times (USA)

¡¥Impeccable musical scholarship¡¦. Kirkus Reviews (USA)

¡¥Readable and entertaining¡¦. Independent on Sunday

¡¥Nicholson brings to his current subject the same degree of level headed scrutiny that characterises his early works. That he is well grounded in his material is obvious from his objective analysis of some hundreds of groups and some thousands of recordings. These well-knit and highly focussed discussions reveal not only a sincere interest in this once highly popular movement, but also Nicholson¡¦s distant remove from anything resembling the self-serving, inflated hyperbole of both the performers and their market obsessed recording companies¡¦. Jazz Times (USA)

¡¥Jazz-Rock supplies the background for this vibrant musical evolution as well as behind the scenes nuts and bolts of the music business where art and mass marketing often collide¡¦. Library Booknotes (USA)

¡¥It is one of the most interesting and well researched books on jazz of the last thirty years I have ever read¡¦. Space Coast Press (USA)

¡¥This book will take some time to digest. It ought to rock the mindset of many jazz fans world-wide¡¦. Jazzwise

¡¥A lively text¡¦. The Publisher

¡¥As a comprehensive overview his book succeeds¡¦. Publishers Weekly (USA)

¡¥Stuart Nicholson has gone about the task of writing the first major account of [jazz-rock] in his usual zealous, highly-informed fashion and brings an acute critical judgement rather than simply a fan¡¦s enthusiasm to the task¡¦. The List

¡¥Astute and honest¡¦. The Wire

¡¥Nicholson has the musical skills to write authoritatively¡Kand he writes with integrity and honesty¡KHe maintains that jazz-rock has been unfairly maligned by conservative jazz critics, but he also views the smooth-jazz phenomenon as the ultimate betrayal of the music's initial promise. Few jazz books are more balanced or more complete.¡¦ Weekly Wire, Nashville (USA)

¡¥This is the best book written on the history of jazz-rock-fusion. Nicholson writes in great detail about the emerging jazz/rock scene in the early/mid 60s { a period many writers overlook { skipping directly to 1969 and Bitches Brew. Another writer/historian from the UK; they really do their homework!¡¦ Steve Smith{Drum Talk (USA)

¡¥Nicholson has the musical skills to write authoritatively about the movement, and he writes with integrity and honesty¡Kfew jazz books are more balanced or more complete.¡¦ Nashville Scene

¡¥Nicholson must be praised for the high standard of writing throughout, which will continue to enhance his reputations as one of the best jazz-writers around.¡¦ Amazon.com

¡¥This is a wonderfully intelligent and comprehensive account ¡KThe importance of the book is not so much its well-researched background on each artist or group of artists, but more so the historical and social context of the music, and the identification of mutualistic influence between the bands.¡¦ Reviewcentre.com


A Portrait of Duke Ellington: Reminiscing in Tempo
A Portrait of Duke Ellington: Reminiscing in Tempo
by Stuart Nicholson
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Press Reviews UK and USA, 7 Nov 2012
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¡¥Nicholson has orchestrated the elements of the life and the voices that bear witness to them with a skill worthy of Ellington himself.¡¦ The Independent

¡¥A terrific rap.¡¦ The Times

¡¥Meticulous jazz-buff research. But it is also a vividly human document about one of the major musical figures of our century. By the end you feel that you, too, were his intimate friend.¡¦ The Mail on Sunday ¡V ¡¥Book of the Week¡¦

¡¥Despite the current avalanche of laudatory books and articles that amounts to an Ellington cottage industry, Mr. Nicholson¡¦s book takes a permanent place in the essential bibliography of America¡¦s greatest composer, one that will prove informative and delightful to neophytes and Ellington experts alike.¡¦ Grover Sales, The Washington Times (USA)

¡¥Nicholson has given Ellington a superb centennial gift.¡¦ Humphrey Carpenter, The Sunday Times

¡¥A magnificent piece of work¡KA Portrait of Duke Ellington is an ambitious, compelling and wonderfully realised exploration of a great man¡¦s life. The Duke deserved a handsome memorial on his centenary, and Stuart Nicholson provided it.¡¦ Yorkshire Post (Leeds)

¡¥I thoroughly enjoyed this¡Ksome of the juxtapositions are wonderfully skilled and beautifully telling¡KI found it a read where I could barely put it down.¡¦ Janet Ritterman, Director of the Royal College of Music { A Sound Read (BBC Radio 3)

¡¥This intimate, eminently readable biography¡Kwas assembled with love, respect and reverence without losing its sense of balance and accuracy¡Kpainted in full and vibrant hues, giving short shrift neither to Ellington¡¦s inestimable importance as a musician or his fascinating personality and character. Highest recommendation.¡¦ The San Diego Union Tribune (USA)

¡¥Nicholson successfully brings a humanness and warmth to America¡¦s finest composer in this centennial year of his birth¡Ka strong addition to other recent works on Ellington.¡¦ Library Journal (USA)

¡¥A genuinely innovative contribution to Ellington studies¡Kone of the most approachable and easily digestible ways to come to terms with the mythic proportions of this most inescapable figure.¡¦ Sunday Tribune (Dublin)

¡¥Buy this book.¡¦ The Irish Independent (Dublin)

¡¥Nicholson ensures his music comes across in all its life enhancing, irresistible freshness.¡¦ Literary Review (London)

¡¥Nicholson¡¦s book is not a conventional biography but instead a huge collage of quotations, as if he had been able posthumously to interview Ellington and his associates. It works well and throws up a good deal of new material¡Ka readable and revealing addition to the sizeable shelf of Ellington books.¡¦ The Sunday Telegraph

¡¥Done with great skill and love, it¡¦s seamless and wonderfully immediate¡Kbeautifully done and such a wonderful story.¡¦ Howard Brenton, playwright and author { A Sound Read (BBC Radio 3)

¡¥A fascinating everything-including-the-kitchen-sink biography¡Kthoroughly researched, highly readable and full of unusual miscellany.¡¦ The Boston Globe (USA)

¡¥What more does anyone really need to know?¡¦ The Atlantic (USA)

¡¥Like the Ellington suite for which it is named, Stuart Nicholson¡¦s copiously researched appreciation of Duke Ellington¡¦s life and art is a work of unobtrusive joy.¡¦ Newsday (USA)

¡¥This affectionate but honest portrait doesn¡¦t shy from Ellington¡¦s earthy sensuality, his superstition, drinking, gambling and use of crude language¡Kand thanks to Nicholson¡¦s sensitive editing, it preserves all of it¡¦s speakers¡¦ dignity and humanity. There is no meanness or smallness anywhere in this portrait.¡¦ The Christian Science Monitor (USA)

¡¥Rich in personal anecdote and period detail¡KNicholson¡¦s prodigious archival research and his thoughtful orchestration of source material let him combine accessibility with scholarly authority. The book¡¦s title comes from a 1934 number Ellington penned to mourn the death of his mother; it sums up the sweetly nostalgic mood this richly detailed biography creates.¡¦ Publishers Weekly (USA)

¡¥One of the most enjoyable and riveting books on the subject you¡¦ll ever read.¡¦ Jazz Journal International (London)

¡¥Parts of the Ellington personality remain in the shadows because no one was ever allowed to get too close. But in these pages Stuart Nicholson comes as near as anyone has ever done.¡¦ The Herald (Glasgow)

¡¥Told in the language of jazz musicians, this delightful biography hits all the high notes.¡¦ The Sunday Times (Summer Reading List { ¡¥This year¡¦s best titles to choose from when packing for the holidays.¡¦)

¡¥Books like these are worth twice any pundit¡¦s fusty revisions of jazz history.¡¦ Evening Standard (London)

¡¥Deserves ongoing mention and recommendation as an outstanding celebration of the jazz figure¡¦s life and times.¡¦ The Bookwatch (USA)

¡¥A classic.¡¦ Jazz UK

¡¥Nicholson¡Kis a serious jazz historian and a gifted writer.¡¦ Jazz Notes (USA)

¡¥This volume is a welcome addition to the growing canon¡Kit provides more personal insight into the man than any other currently available work.¡¦ Choice (USA)

¡¥A success.¡¦ Ellingtonia: The Newsletter of the Duke Ellington Society (USA)

¡¥His affectionate but honest portrait doesn¡¦t shy away from Ellington¡¦s earthy sensuality, his superstition, drinking, gambling, and use of crude language¡Kthanks to Nicholson's sensitive editing, it preserves all of its speakers' dignity and humanity. There is no meanness or smallness anywhere in this portrait.¡¦ The Black History Project (USA)

Praise For the Pan Paperback (UK):

¡¥Bursting with anecdotal exuberance, this innovative biography is comprised of intimate first hand reminiscences.¡¦ The Sunday Telegraph

¡¥Nicholson¡¦s decision to use the fashionable ¡§collage¡¨ style of biography, pioneered by George Plimpton in his life of Truman Capote, is triumphantly vindicated.¡¦ The Sunday Times

¡¥Nicholson has produced a life that is a worthy companion to Ellington¡¦s incomparable music.¡¦ The Independent

¡¥The research is astonishing, the editing immaculate¡KEllington comes to life before our eyes¡Kif this knowledgeable retelling doesn¡¦t send you scuttling to the jazz section of your local recorded music emporium, nothing will.¡¦ Irish Times

¡¥Stuart Nicholson¡¦s innovative and chunky biography makes for compelling reading.¡¦ Straight No Chaser


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