book Archive

Back to School with Les McCann (Part 3)

Continued from Part Two… I make the (not at all original) observation that many American musical forms seem to get more respect in Europe than at home. “That’s all right,” says Les McCann. “Ninety percent of the stations are playing the same thing every day. It’s about playing that number-one. And it’s songs, not really

Back to School with Les McCann (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… Among the most celebrated releases in Les McCann‘s extensive catalog, Swiss Movement is his 1969 live collaboration with saxophonist Eddie Harris. The album was controversial on its release thanks to its inclusion of “Compared to What,” a tune with lyrics that remain as provocative today as they were thirty-five years ago.

Back to School with Les McCann (Part 1)

Invitation to Openness is not only the title of one of jazz great Les McCann‘s most celebrated albums (newly reissued; more on that later); it’s also the title of his new book of photography and essays. Throughout his storied career as a touring and recording jazz musician, McCann came face to face – in personal,

Book Review: Mavericks of Sound

There’s something endlessly fascinating about the creative process. And of course it’s not merely one process; it’s wholly unique for each individual. And because that’s true, conversations with those engage in creative output are often illuminating. David Ensminger clearly agrees: he’s compiled a book’s worth of his own conversations into a volume called Mavericks of

Book Review: Who Did it First?

Have you ever wandered into (or been drawn into) a conversation with a trivia master? Not to make outsized claims, but by some measures, I’m one of those guys. Many years ago – not long after the game Trivial Pursuit took off – I received as a gift a board game called Rock Trivia. But

Book Review: The Clash — The Only Band That Mattered

One of the exciting – and at the same time exceedingly frustrating – qualities of modern media is the disappearance of what we might call the gatekeeper. Time was, if you wanted to establish a platform for musical criticism (say, not unlike this blog), you had to go through channels. Those channels included editors and/or

Book Review: British Invasion

I’ve read countless books about The Beatles, about their fellow British Invasion (aka Beat Era) acts, and about the sixties from both musical and socio-cultural points of view. To say that the overall topic interests me is grand understatement. So I was intrigued when I learned of a new book called British Invasion: The Crosscurrents

Best of 2014: Books

Musoscribe isn’t strictly a music features, interviews and reviews blogzine; because I am constantly reading at least one book – and because as often as not, it’s a music-related book – I review several books each year. 2014 has been no exception (and there are three more on my desk right now for future review).

Book Review: 108 Rock Star Guitars

There have certainly been rock-related coffee table books before; some of the best and most notable ones include The Beatles Anthology. And among ones that focus more on imagery than text, Hipgnosis’ Storm Thorgerson has done some excellent ones. Among books that focus more on instruments, Andy Babiuk‘s peerless Beatles Gear is among the best.

Book Review: Led Zeppelin on Led Zeppelin

It’s often unfortunate when a writer with an axe to grind pens the history of one of music’s great historical figures. It borders on tragic when such a work – often with its own very narrow point of view – slips into popular consciousness as something approaching a definitive history. It happened with Albert Goldman‘s