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Cats Of Any Color: Jazz, Black And White download epub

by Gene Lees


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In a series of candid interviews with jazz players, composers, and critics, Gene Lees explores racism in the past and present of jazz-both the white racism that for decades ghettoized black musicians and their music.

In a series of candid interviews with jazz players, composers, and critics, Gene Lees explores racism in the past and present of jazz-both the white racism that for decades ghettoized black musicians and their music.

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Lees is the glowing jewel of jazz for his understanding of it for his writing about i. Dizzy Gillespie. In a series of candid interviews with jazz players, composers, and critics, Gene Lees explores racism in the past and present of jazz—both the white racism that for decades ghettoized black musicians and their music, and the prejudice that Lees documents of some black musicians against their white counterparts.

It's no crime for cats of any color.

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Lees briefly returned to Canada in the early 1970s and recorded the LP Bridges: Gene Lees Sings the Gene Lees Songbook on Kanata Records, a Toronto company of. .Cats of Any Color: Jazz Black and White (1994), ISBN 978-0-19-508448-1.

Lees briefly returned to Canada in the early 1970s and recorded the LP Bridges: Gene Lees Sings the Gene Lees Songbook on Kanata Records, a Toronto company of which he became president from 1971 to 1974. Lees released a second album in 1998, Gene Lees Sings Gene Lees and recorded Leaves on the Water.

This book is a collection of essays, some of which appeared earlier in Jazzletter, a publication authored by prominent jazz journalist Gene Lees. Like previous anthologies of Lees’ work, this collection is gathered around a central theme-in this case, racism. It is a deeply insightful and moving book. While Canada, where Lees grew up as a white male, is not free of racism, and while Lees was aware of racism in America, his first chapter deals with his shock in encountering blatant racism on his arrival in Louisville, Kentucky. It is an extremely touching story.

Jazz Black and White. Jazz Black and White. It was none other than Louis Armstrong who said, & people who make the restrictions, they don't know nothing about music. It's no crime for cats of any colour to get together and blow. Singers and the Song II. Gene Lees.

In a series of candid interviews with jazz players, composers, and critics, Gene Lees explores racism in the past and present of jazz—both the white racism that for decades ghettoized black musicians and their music, and the prejudice that Lees documents of some black musicians against their white counterparts. With subjects ranging from Horace Silver to Dave Brubeck to Red Rodney, and a new introduction analyzing recent developments, Cats of Any Color chronicles jazz as a multiethnic art.

Comments: (5)

Djang
The book has many chapters, each one of which is a very well written vignette about a jazz great. I bought it because an article I read quoted this book's notes about the one-of-a-kind bassist, Red Mitchell. The book is fun. It is possible to read some of it but you should read it all, You'll like every chapter, even if you aren't a real jazz lover.
JoJoshura
very good, personal book by the late Gene Lees. Articulate, polemical . He makes it very clear that he doesn't like Wynton Marsalis, Stanley Crouch etc and that whole jazz history narrative they promoted. Recommended for hard-core jazz mavens.
MOQ
Excellent history and knowledge of jazz greats.
Arcanefire
Gene Lees' bok had its genesis as a series of articles nominally written around a common theme, that of race and jazz. The're no real narrative structure here; some of the pieces are narratives, some more essays and some are just rememberances that sort of meander here and there.
They're very readable, although I do get a little annoyed at times by Lees' short, punchy newspaper style, with two and three word sentances and one-sentance paragraphs. It's a technique that is best used very sparingly. Lees does do a superb job of recreating conversations, showing that he has a marvelous ear for the rhythms and conventions of spoken English.
The unifying theme through all these pieces is Gene Lees' concern with the role race played in jazz, whether the early racism that kept Black jazz musicians out of the limelight, or the contemporary racism of people like Stanley Crouch who proclaim jazz to be Black music. What puts Lees' essays a cut above others who have written on this topic is that he goes beyond the simple enumerating of players and their opinions; he has a real musicologist's interest in the history of jazz and popular music.
One piece, an extended profile and interview Dominique d Lerma is devoted to breaking the stereotypes of the earliest jazz music. If you watched Ken Burns' history of jazz you could be forgiven for thinking that jazz came from ill-educated, poor Southern blacks. de Lerma emphasizes, for example, the role of conservatory-trained Black musicians who integrated the harmonies of the European composers they studied into the popular music of the times, and the role of the great Black music publisher W. C. Handy in popularizing this music.
The last essay is specifically devoted to Wynton Marsalis, a man with marvelous technique and shallow opinions, who refuses to admit that any white musician has contributed anything to jazz, thus bringing the debate full circle. Marsalis is a trumpter with a brilliant classical technique who unfortunately has been elevated in recent years to the position of being the modern savior of jazz by the efforts of Burns and Stanley Crouch despite his not having much of anything original since his early days as an up-and-comer with Art Blakey's band. Unfortunately he has come to be viewed as a major figure and authority in jazz by outsiders, despite being generally ignired as disparaged by most jazzers.
The real pity of attitudes like Marsalis' is that they lose sight of the fact that while Jazz certainly had its origins in Black musicians, it has always been as much an American music form as a Black form, and that today it is an international form that transcends boundries of either race or color. The greatest musicians have always ignored artificial boundries, and many of the great bands of the post WW-II always included musicians of all races. It takes nothing away from Ray Brown to say he was influenced by Scott LaFaro, or that Miles Davis was strongly influenced by his close association with Gil Evans. (Miles, responding to a comment by Marsalis that Miles was never Marsalis' idol, reportedly told him "without me, you'd be all 'Flight of the Bumblebee'")
For that matter, in the end it becomes ridiculous to talk about race. Horace Silver, as Lees notes in one interview, Black, Native American, and Portuguese ancestors; his father spoke Portuguese. Does that make him a white musician? A Black one? A European? Charles Mingus had a similarly mixed ancestry. Does the fact the he was perhaps a quarter African make him less Black in the eyes of Marsalis, and thus less of a musician?
There's a lot in this book to think about long after you put it down. As you might be able to tell from reading the above, I'm still thinking about it.
Katishi
Gene Lees has steadily built a reputation as one of the finest of all writers on jazz. This intelligent, thoughtful, and insightful look at current attitudes on the part of jazz musicians towards race and racial bias is firmly grounded in historical research without being pedantic. Part of the success of this book comes from its organization -- many of the chapters are profiles of musicians and musical scholars which are incidentally used to illustrate the issues under consideration.
Whether or not one finally agrees with Lees' premise -- that we have reentered a period of "reverse racism" in jazz -- the quality of the interviews and interviewees makes this an important book, and a wonderful read in the process.
Cats Of Any Color: Jazz, Black And White download epub
Music
Author: Gene Lees
ISBN: 0306809508
Category: Arts & Photography
Subcategory: Music
Language: English
Publisher: Da Capo Press (January 9, 2001)
Pages: 304 pages