Grant Green: Rediscovering the Forgotten Genuis of Jazz Guitar

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9780879305567: Grant Green: Rediscovering the Forgotten Genuis of Jazz Guitar

This biography celebrates the life and music of a jazz guitar genius whose legend continues to grow today. Best known as a session leader and sideman for Blue Note Records in the '60s - he played on nineteen Blue Note sessions in 1961 - Grant Green helped make jazz guitar playing its own art form. His aggressive, rhythmic tone was simultaneously fluid and eloquent, and he moved freely between traditional bop, blues, gospel, Latin, soul, pop-jazz, and funk. Hitting the spotlight at age 25, Green recorded 93 albums from the early '60s through the late '70s, both as a stellar sideman and a leader. He worked with dozens of jazz greats - Herbie Hancock, Stanley Turrentine, Art Blakey, and many others - but his overall contributions to jazz were sorely underrated during his lifetime. Today, his music is sampled by acid-jazz and hip-hop artists such as Public Enemy, Us[subscript 3], and A Tribe Called Quest, and several tribute albums have been recorded. This unique memoir honors Green's personal spirit and musical brilliance through the eyes of his family, close friends, fellow musicians, Blue Note Records staff, music critics, and loving fans of all kinds. This book also paints a revealing portrait of Green's lesser-known struggles with racial and religious barriers, failed marriages, drugs, and the declining health that led to his death in 1979 at age 43.

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Review:

During his 1960s prime, jazz guitarist Grant Green was overshadowed by rivals Wes Montgomery and George Benson, two immensely talented players who made successful forays into the pop world. But although Green passed away in 1979, the 1990s have seen a Grant Green renaissance, thanks to the birth of acid jazz, the reemergence of soul jazz, the jazz-reissue boom, and, most importantly, Green's distinctive guitar style--steeped in his R&B roots and boasting a clear, biting, soulful tone that makes him attractive to rock fans. When she met and later married Grant's youngest son, journalist Sharony Andrews Green stumbled into an admirable mission: to shed light on the life and music of her cult-favorite father-in-law. Green-the-author delivers an engaging, casual remembrance that adeptly balances many aspects of Green's life while never delving deeply into any of them. Green-the-guitarist lived in service to an uneasy triumvirate--music, Islam, and heroin--and the author, despite her ties to her subject, pulls no punches in detailing his drug habit and dark side. The book relies on heartfelt anecdotes from friends, family, musicians, and historians to tell his story and provide a clear and compelling picture of the mindset of a black jazz musician. We learn, for example, how many St. Louis jazzmen began to use heroin in admiration of Midwestern idols (and users) such as Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, and how Green himself yearned for a wider audience in the late 1960s and changed musical directions in search of it (only to be even more frustrated when it did not come). The easy-going, conversational writing style mostly makes for a warm, emotional memoir, though it loses sophistication when the focus moves toward the author and her biography process. Still, adding a comprehensive sessionography, Green offers a useful primer for a talented musician, opening the door for more thorough investigations of Grant Green's unique guitar technique and stylistic innovations. --Marc Greilsamer

From Library Journal:

Green, a novelist, journalist, and former daughter-in-law of her subject, offers an intimate portrait of the great jazz guitarist Grant Green. Interviewing his family and friends, she unearths the story of Green's childhood, his beginnings on guitar, his early musical success in St. Louis, and his conversion to the Muslim faith. She uses discussions with several jazz luminaries to trace Green's trek to New York, his rise to fame among the jazz cognoscenti, his prolific output for such labels as Blue Note, and his subsequent low-key career until his untimely death in 1979. Though she creates a sympathetic portrait, the author directly confronts Green's heroin habit, which led to erratic behavior and the neglect of his family. A well-written, richly illustrated book that will appeal to anyone interested in postwar jazz.ADavid P. Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Green, Sharony Andrews
Editorial: Backbeat Books (1999)
ISBN 10: 0879305568 ISBN 13: 9780879305567
Nuevos Tapa dura Cantidad: 2
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Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, Estados Unidos de America)
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Descripción Backbeat Books, 1999. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería P110879305568

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Green, Sharony Andrews
Editorial: Backbeat Books
ISBN 10: 0879305568 ISBN 13: 9780879305567
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Descripción Backbeat Books. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0879305568 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW6.0575762

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