Archive for Items Categorized 'Music', only excerpts shown, click title for full entry.

Take Five, the Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond

by Doug Ramsey

A serious, thoughtful biography of a jazz saxophonist by a jazz critic and musician who knew his subject personally. This spells real insight, and, in fact, this book ought to be a model to all biographers.

Sticky Fingers

by Joe Hagan

At the best of times, Rolling Stone magazine was, and once more is, so much more than merely a chronicle of the music industry or popular culture. It showcased heavy-hitting political reporting and writers who would become literary luminaries. This masterful biography offers a look behind the curtain.

Maximum Volume, The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin

by Kenneth Womack

Still can’t enough of Beatles material? This book shows how important Martin’s contributions and collaborations were to the Beatles’ recorded music, and it shows his profound concern for both the music and for the band.

Collector’s Choice Music Catalogue, August 2017

by Joe Van Horn

Speedreaders is often unique in the material we review—and proud of it. Here is a music catalogue that may periodically come to your house. But we sometimes do more than a mere review; this essay is both informational and illuminating.

Do Not Sell at Any Price

by Amanda Petrusich

The title comes from a sticker that was affixed by their original or early subsequent owner to some 78 rpm records eventually acquired by hardcore collectors: Do not sell at any price. This becomes a ready symbol for the fervor and obsession of the collectors found in the book.

Vinyl Freak, Love Letters to a Dying Medium

by John Corbett

Although most music consumers today stream their favorites, there has been an uptick in the interest in vinyl. There too is a tremendous backlog of out-of-print vinyl, and not everything, believe it or not, is available on CD or streaming. This book takes a long look at this phenomenon.

Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy

by Mike Love and James S. Hirsch

Enough about Brian Wilson already! I am a Beach Boy too, a founding member! Attention must be paid! I am a wonderful person! Look at Me, Ma!

The Dylanologists, Adventures in the Land of Bob

by David Kinney

Now that Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize for Literature, the fans and enthusiasts portrayed in this book, many of them obsessive, are vindicated. David Kinney describes these folks with respect and sympathy.

Price Guide For The Beatles American Records

by Perry Cox and Frank Daniels

John Lennon, 1966: “We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first—rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity.” Fifty years later and considering the scope of this book, it just might go either way. Even if you don’t collect/trade Beatles records, you can still enjoy the book.

How To Listen To Jazz

by Ted Gioia

Think of this book as akin to attending a graduate course in jazz appreciation. Because this book covers the subject in more than a cursory, introductory manner, we hesitate to use the cliché “Jazz 101.” Think of this book as a syllabus and find out how to “register for class.”

Fifty Sides of The Beach Boys, The Songs That Tell Their Story

by Mark Dillon

The flow of Beach Boys material is seemingly endless. Released during their 50th anniversary year it offers 50 essays for 50 songs. What is amazing is the amount of documented information found in the book—and the fact that this is but one small wavelet of the ocean.

The Whole Maghilla

Music today is ubiquitous and the music lover is offered nearly infinite choice. Here is a look at the many, many possibilities—from reel-to-reel tape to Sirius Radio, and offers insight into how one can swim through it all—from Debussy to Janelle Monae.