Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- “Bebop, Swing, and Bella Musica" ( book review)

A MUST!! Fascinating read of some of the players and people that make this music go round.

In this 383-page reference treasure, famous singers such as Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett are profiled along with lesser known but important contemporary improvisers such as Frank Catalano, Jerry Bergonzi, and Joey Calderazzo. The authors point to several examples of Sinatra’s and Bennett’s contribution to the civil rights movement as well as their commitment to playing a vital role in the integration of jazz.

Celebrating the Italian contribution to jazz are the stories of many Italian-American musicians whose talents and determinations have enriched one of America’s greatest art forms. This book profiles musicians such as Tony Bennett, Joe Lovano, Flip Phillips, Louis Prima, Frank Sinatra, and Lennie Tristano, and also features original interviews with Louie Bellson, Sam Butera, Buddy DeFranco, Johnny Frigo, Buddy Greco, and Bucky Pizzarelli—who, in the pursuits of their craft, survived the immigrant experience, the Great Depression, poverty, and other personal tragedies. As Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Joe Lovano said, “Jazz has a specific root— the African American experience—but it’s also about the branches of the tree. Jazz is about cultures coming together, inspiring each other, which is what makes it so beautiful.”

"What a joy to see so many musicians I've worked with receive their due. Dal Cerro and Witter have composed a chronicle of history, love, joy and music that started in countless Italian American homes. A great musical read!"  —Gene DiNovi, bebop pianist and composer

In their recent book “Bebop, Swing, and Bella Musica: Jazz and the Italian American Experience,” co-authors Bill Dal Cerro and David Anthony Witter document “the many cultural barriers Italian-American musicians faced in the pursuit of the American Dream.”  They also postulate that the importance of melody and harmony to those of Italian extraction make for a common bond in their interpretation in any music, be it opera, popular music, or jazz.

A perfect summer read- for the student of jazz and music who wants to get a broader picture of the depth of the magnitude of the music.Louie Bellson, Lennie Tristano, Tony Bennett,

Buddy DeFranco, Flip Phillips and Joe Lovano: These are just some of the
hundreds of musicians of Italian descent whose talents have enriched jazz.

But Bebop, Swing and Bella Musica is more than just a book about music, this book documents the cultural barriers which Italians faced in their pursuit of the American Dream. It also profiles musicians like Joe Marsala who played an active role in the integration of jazz music.
Bebop, Swing and Bella Musica features original, in-depth interviews with many artists who overcame poverty, illness and other personal tragedies. In the end, they drew strength from the musical traditions of their ancestors, bringing Italian passion to America’s greatest art form. 

Do check this out...Highly recommended. Tim Price - D'Addario Woodwinds blogger ;

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