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Music and the Creative Spirit: Innovators in Jazz, Improvisation, and the Avant Garde (Studies in Jazz) Paperback – July 27, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Jazz (Book 52)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Scarecrow Press (July 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810852845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810852846
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,379,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Lloyd Peterson brought a lifetime of loving jazz-its offshoots, and music of all sorts-to bear on his Music And The Creative Spirit. His earnest desire to understand its motivating spirit radiates from the questions he poses to the 41 musicians interviewed in the book like a neon sign on a dark night....invaluable. (Downbeat Magazine, February 2007)

A fascinating book. (Earshot Jazz, July 2006)

I found all of the interviews to be illuminating and incisive...Bravo to Lloyd Peterson for his hard work and the great outcome....Highly Recommended! (Downtown Music Gallery)

[A] wonderfully rich collection of interviews...Highly recommended for any students of the relationship between creativity and society. (Reclaim The Media)

This book goes a long way to opening up the door for people to better understand the artists, and therefore, to hopefully better understand the music and develop a deeper appreciation from some of the most brilliant musicians creating today. (Jazzto.Ca)

Adds insight to a musical activity that is many times overlooked, but arguably crucial to all music regardless of style, genre, or era. It captures moments in time that, like an improvisation, are lost once they are played. (CAML Review, vol 35, no 1)

Focusing on music innovators, this book contains interviews with 41 jazz artists who discuss their ideas about music, gender, audiences, composition and inspiration, musical and social influences, philosophy, teaching students, improvisation, and other subjects. Artists interviewed include Regina Carter, Marilyn Crispell, Bill Frisell, Christian McBride, Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny, Joshua Redman, Maria Schneider, and Derek Bailey. Some b&w photos are incorporated. There is no bibliography. Peterson is a contributor to Downbeat and Earshot magazines. (Reference and Research Book News, November 2006)

What makes the book work is that the different answers to the same question often add up to an understanding that transcends any individual response and, consequently, succeeds at getting closer to the heart of the matter....Peterson has created a wonderfully unbiased exploration of what it is to make music. Because it's a series of interviews it's a book that you can read in dribs and drabs; but by the time you've read the last interview...you'll have a greater insight into what the process is. And, perhaps, a more open mind to check out areas to which you've yet to be exposed. For that alone Music and the Creative Spirit is a resounding success. (All About Jazz)

It provides important material...Thanks to Lloyd Peterson, these particular artists got the opportunity to define their music, so it was all worth it. (Jazz Notes, Vol. 18, No. 2)

An interesting study... (Music Works)

Elicits frank, fascinating answers. Music and the Creative Spirit is unfiltered, gut-level jazz oral history....penetrating... (JazzTimes Magazine, Vol. 37, No. 6 (July/August 2007))

One of the best and most complete portraits on the state of jazz as it really is right now that has come along in, well....ever. (Pat Metheny, PatMetheny.com - "Pat Recommends")

At Peterson's urging, the musicians tackle all the favourite esthetic questions. Peterson is certainly steeped in the issues and his interviewees respond with great candor. (Peter Hum Jazzblog.Ca On The Ottawa Citizen Website, April 18 2009)

About the Author

Lloyd Peterson is a contributor to Downbeat and Earshot magazines.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is such an uplifting, intelligently written book full of deeply probing interviews with our music brothers and sisters who have dedicated their (often underpaid) life's work to making real music, not delivering product.

Whenever I feel dejected about my ability to continue to believe in the power of creative music playing, I read a chapter, and feel invigorated. Despite the ungodly high price of this book, it is strongly recommended for very musician in doubt about his/her role in the pursuit of creating music- whether as occasional amateur, or as a 'lifer'.
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Music and the Creative Spirit is exactly what I was looking for. Different artists discussing similar questions with a nod towards the modern/current culture they work and live in.
This is not for anyone looking strictly into the past. This is about the musics that grew out of the 60's free/avant garde movement and more modern mainstream playing of the same era.
As a professor of music I found this book to be a great source of information for young students who want to try and understand how these artists "think" about their music.
It is an interesting read and an informative one.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By donna on June 19, 2009
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I bought this expensive book on the recommendation of Pat Metheny (on his website), who is one of the interview subjects in the book.

I have found the book disappointing and frustrating. I guess I was hoping/expecting the musicians interviewed to be asked and respond to questions about learning and playing music, but there is very little of this. Instead the author endeavors to keep the conversation on the cultural and sociological status of jazz in contemporary culture. There is very little about music or musicianship, though occasionally one of the artists will mention these things in spite of the interviewers sociologically oriented questions. Often the musicians are being asked questions that are really outside the sphere of music, and call for cultural criticism.

Some of the artists interviewed do have opinions about the broader cultural and sociological background milieu in which jazz is performed and thus are able to discuss these matters intelligently with the interviewer.

If your interest is in the current status of jazz in contemporary culture, this is the book for you. If your interest is in the music that the interview subjects play, you will not find much here.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Gagne on February 3, 2007
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This book is very inspiring. The words of these phenomenol musicians speaks to inspiration and muse, cultural influences, and living in general. Most of the musicians here are jazz players, but their life experiences speak to improvisation, ideas, and the heart of music in any genre. Any contemporary musician especially would find this a rich resource.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Not A. Rockstar on October 15, 2008
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The words of these great musicians/innovators/players really ring true and will both inspire you and get you thinking. Highly recommended. I am probably going to buy a few and give them as gifts.
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