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The Birth of the Cool of Miles Davis and His Associates by Frank Tirro

The Birth of the Cool of Miles Davis and His Associates by Frank Tirro is one of the finest nonfiction books about the transition of jazz following World War 2. Technically, the sound of big band swing peaked and started its downslide in popularilty after the war.

There were many African-Americans who pioneered and pushed for the acceptance of a new sound, and that sound was bebop. This meant new explorations in music and its meter.

This is part of the acclaimed series titled CMS Sourcebooks in American History edited by Michael J. Budds of the University of Missouri - Columbia, and is listed as No. 5. Also with this fine book is a CD which gives the reader a listening approach to outstanding recorded examples. There are eighteen selections. Among these selections are found Bix Beiderbecke performing "In A Mist" (1927), Woody Herman, "Early Autumn" (1948), Dave Brubeck Octet, "Fugue on Bop Themes" (1956), Duke Ellington, "Chelsea Bridge" (1941), and Miles Daviss classic interpretation of Gershwin's "Summertime" (1958). A description of each song is given and the individual analysis is superb.

A lengthly and interesting suggested readings is found near the close of the book. The reader will delight in the information available for review and further research.

Discography and appendices are included. The book has ten chapters. Each chapter discusses key figures such as Bix Beiderbecke Stan Getz Miles Davis Dave Brubeck Billy Strayhorn Duke Ellington Claude Thornhill and Lennie Tristano.

Well-written this is a fine look at an important time in the musical history of jazz. As a sourcebook and highly enjoyable.

Highly recommended. A must reading experience for all listeners of jazz and those who enjoy the historical aspects of jazz history.

Additional Info

  • Book Title: The Birth of the Cool of Miles Davis and His Associates
  • Author: Frank Tirro
  • Publisher: Pendragon Press
  • Year Published: 2009
  • Book Type:: Non-Fiction
  • ISBN: 9781576471289
  • Rating: Four Stars
  • Number of Pages: 196
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