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Miles, Ornette, Cecil: Jazz Beyond Jazz 1st Edition

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415967143
ISBN-10: 0415967147
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Editorial Reviews


" indespensable resource." --Andy Hamilton, The Wire

"I learned so much from Miles Ornette Cecil: Jazz Beyond Jazz. It's really reporting, as well as listening. This is jazz from the inside - an essential book, not only for new listeners but for historians of jazz now, and in the future. We hear the musicians speak, informing the author - and us - thereby adding to how much more of the music we come to hear." --Nat Hentoff, writer, Jazz Times, Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal

"Howard Mandel assumes many roles here -- elucidating critic and devoted fan, knowledgeable listener and Boswellian acolyte, evangelist and champion of the avant garde -- all taken on with infectious enthusiasm." --George Kanzler, JazzTimes

"The most impressive aspect of the book is [Mandel's] writing: honest and evocative, flavorful and generous, enthusiastic and thought-provoking." --Art Lange, Jazz Notes



About the Author

Howard Mandel is an award-winning journalist who has published articles in Down Beat, The Village Voice, and The Wire, among many other publications internationally. A longtime arts-segment producer for National Public Radio and adjunct associate professor at New York University, he is also the president of the Jazz Journalists Association and the author of Future Jazz, published by Oxford University Press. Further details on Mandel and his work are available at


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (November 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415967147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415967143
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a Chicago-born and New York-based writer: author of two books about jazz (Miles Ornette Cecil: Jazz Beyond Jazz and Future Jazz) and senior editor of the Billboard Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz and Blues. I've been an arts journalist for more than thirty years, working on newspapers, magazines and websites, and appearing on tv and radio. I teach at New York University and elsewhere and I'm president of the Jazz Journalists Association. I blog at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Lynch on October 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
BY KEVIN LYNCH Ornette Coleman once called his music "The Shape of Jazz to Come. " Mandel calls it "Jazz beyond Jazz," music from a land where individuals chase their dreams and destiny, one reason why it begat an art form expressing that freedom.
And yet one of them, Cecil Taylor, says "there is no such thing as freedom, only preparation." He invokes an American boy scout motto! So in Mandel's excellent book we see three artists prepare for life's possibilities in his special way. Mandel, a superb writer and the President of the Jazz Journalist Association, explains these men as what critic Albert Murray called "Omni-Americans," who "want to claim and/or partake of everything available and relevant to their present nationality, more than their racial and ethnic ancestry." This aesthetic embraces an omnivorously eloquent Americanness. Mandel quotes Gerald Early: Miles was "enormously inventive, snappishly opportunistic and yet surprisingly principled in the simple act of making a living in a dying art, that is dying as an art form with a large audience."
Miles' limpid trumpet could melt your heart with future dreams which arguably arrive with "Bitches Brew," the surreal studio pastiche of sinuous polyrhythms which used "a street-savvy, pan global and well-capitalized slanguage, right for the present and maybe the future... What was always compelling was his personal line, variously wary, bold, romantic, wry, base and candid."
Pulitzer Prize winning Ornette Coleman's intellectual quirkiness and integrity radiate the dancing cubism of his "harmolodic" concept of equalizing melody, rhythm and harmony.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. Horton on July 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most perceptive, thought provoking and humane books I have ever read about the music I love. The section on Ornette Coleman was particularly rewarding and articulated the relationship between Ornette's verbal and musical language in a way that gave me new insights into his harmolodic theory as a means of thinking about life and human existence as much as (maybe more than) a way of thinking about sound and music. Ornette's music encapsulates everything that it is to be human, and Howard Mandel's book elucidated these connections in a most intellectually elegant way. (And the sections on Miles and Cecil are highly enlightening too, of course.)
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Meade on January 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Mr Mandel has accomplished the hardy task of reviewing, organizing, and analysing the progressive jazz world--its accomplishments, or not--of the past 50 years. Highly readable and quite well written. Never overly dense nor overly technical, it provides an access to a better understanding of this music. There's a nice balance between the author's study, interviews, and anecdotes. Each and every jazz fan will discover certain recording gems that he or she has overlooked. A must for the progressive jazz aficionado.

Mainstream jazzers--that may be baffled by this music--may find in this book the needed keys to open new doors.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bear on April 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is well written and researched. It is worth reading by anyone that is interested in the "new music". Excellent descriptions of recordings and artists.
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