Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mount TBR #12

I read this book for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge hosted over at My Reader’s Block from January 1 – December 31, 2017. The challenge is to read books that you already own.

American Singers: Twenty-seven Portraits in Song – Whitney Balliett

The author was the jazz critic for the New Yorker from 1954 to 2001. He wrote book reviews, profiles and unavoidable in the Seventies, lots of obituaries. The book was released in 1986 to wide acclaim since many of the singers were in the twilight of their careers and fans wanted to appreciate them and their work while the singers were still around. The highlights

There is also a piece on Alec Wilder, a lyrical and moving songwriter and composer. In daring to assemble such a collection, one can always quibble. Like, where’s Julia Lee? And Oxford University Press, where the hell is the index? Anything published by a university press has got to have an index.

These should be read as they were published: as stand-alone pieces, separated in time by at least a week. Otherwise, Balliett’s poetical metaphor-loving style cloys a little.

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