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This review is from: Jazz-fusion: Blue Notes and Purple Haze (Paperback)
This book is an introduction to Jazz-Fusion written from the perspective from a LISTENER (rather than a professional music critic, or journalist, or biographer). And clearly he is a knowledgable and enthusiastic fan. And clearly no novice at writing.
While I'm a confirmed fan of jazz rock/jazz fusion, I still found much to enjoy in this book. As a concise introduction, it is admirable - if occasionally containing the odd factual error (one that sticks in my mind, oddly enough, is the claim that Tom Scott wrote the music for the tv series THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO; as far as I recall he didn't - it was primarily Patrick Williams who scored the series, and Williams certainly composed that memorable theme).
But that's a nit-pick.
Other than that, I'd recommend the book to any listeners of this genre of music and to those who are new to it but want to know more. It's immensely readable (I finished the book over the space of a couple of nights) and while confirmed fans of the genre won't necessarily agree with all the author's viewpoints - music is a subjective subject after all! - they'll certainly be in sympathy with most of them.
Look out for Mr Trethewey's other books, which focus on particular artists within the jazz-fusion universe. I've read his book on Herbie Hancock (shamefully neglected in terms of written analysis)and I have his books on Miles Davis and John McLaughlin yet to read. (I'm undecided on the Metheny book as I'm not a natural Metheny fan;maybe I should check him out?!) Imagine reading a book of liner notes about each of your facvourite artists albums and that goes a long way to describing the perspective of these books. A listener's perspective.
And I'm especially looking forward to the book on Weather Report: ELECTRIC RED which is forthcoming next year and which is available for pre-order on Amazon.