book review

Say No To The Devil | Book Review

Mar 6, 2017

The reader enters the early story lines of blindness and guitar greatness with questions.  In Say No to the Devil: The Life and Musical Genius of Rev. Gary Davis, author Ian Zack debunks the misleading claims that the blind musician had lye thrown in his eyes, or got in a fight, with this offering--blindness at birth is caused by gonorrhea in the pregnant mother. In the 1890s, quality pre-natal care provided a young black woman was a rarity.

Nina Simone Biography

Dec 24, 2016

The title of this life story, “What Happened, Miss Simone?” by Alan Light, is taken from a 1970 Maya Angelou quote speaking of her friend Nina Simone. Simone’s life was very complex--a story of potential unrealized and seeking an explanation. In this book you will find many causal attributes for her troubles—a very serious and neglectful travelling minister mother; a true love lost in adolescence never replaced; her own personality issues--depression and loneliness, etc. The book has strength for the testimonies of many who were close to her.

NBA's Bill Walton: "Back from the Dead" | Book Review

Oct 31, 2016

For teenager Bill Walton, the music (The Grateful Dead, Dylan, Neil Young, etc.) he was hearing and basketball he was playing became one. He explains, “. . .  guys start playing and figuring things out . . . It all rolls into one.  A wonderful thing about basketball is that on every one of your trips up or down the floor you have an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the outcome of the game. It’s the same with music.

Book Review: Travels with Epicurus

Jul 12, 2016

Imagine that you are 73 years old and your dentist recommends that your rapidly deteriorating dental condition is going to require either a denture or a series of dental implants.  

Given those options, if you're a writer, a humorist and an observer of life like Daniel Klein, you opt instead for a trip to the Greek island of Hydra in hopes of enjoying life.

Mingus Ahem! New biography reviewed

Apr 8, 2016

In this new biography, Better Git It in Your Soul, author Krin Gabbard expresses gratitude for the Mingus biographers who supplied him with much source material—Brian Priestly (1982), Gene Santoro (2000), and Sue Graham Mingus (2002). And thank you to Charles Mingus, the author of maybe the most sensational jazz memoir ever, Beneath the Underdog: His World as Composed by Mingus (1971). Adding to the instrumental music and his novelistic memoir, Charles also wrote poetry—not well-known, but equally stirring.

Pages