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Notes and Tones: Musician-to-Musician Interviews Paperback – August 22, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Exp Sub edition (August 22, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030680526X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306805264
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #577,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Arthur Taylor has drummed with Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and dozens of others. He has been called ”one of the great drummers to come out of the fertile Harlem bebop scene” (New York Times) and ”one of the best bandleaders living or dead” (Village Voice). His band, Taylor’s Wailers, has recorded several albums, and is based in New York City.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
A must have, some history in there!
Sexy Mofo
The fact that Taylor was friends and colleagues with the musicians he interviewed gives this book an intimate feel.
Mike Tarrani
A genuinely fascinating collection of interviews with some of the most important jazz figures of the 1950s-60s.
NewYorker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By john david astor on June 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Arthur Taylor, a most creative source of a force in the drumming world, has created a moving, startling, and lovely group of interviews of some of the most influential artists in jazz (Black Classical) music. Giants like; Thelonious Monk, Erroll Garner, Elvin Jones, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and so many others paint images of pointedness, beauty, intellect and feeling. The reader really gets an insight into the personalities and lives of these wonderful people that are the lineage of the only true American art form. I really recomend the book to anyone, from the person who has had one passing thought about jazz artists to those who dedicate their life to the art form, or any artform. This is, as they say, the real deal. I am humbled by Mr. Taylor's wonderful work and, in my own way, feel love for each of the unique artists that he interviews. Thank You Arthur!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By NewYorker on January 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
A genuinely fascinating collection of interviews with some of the most important jazz figures of the 1950s-60s. (It's worth the purchase price just for the goofy, entertaining exchange with Dexter Gordon which opens the book.) Not only do you get an unusually intimate sense of what some of these brilliant musicians were/are actually like in "real life," but the book is particularly interesting--and frank--about the subject of race, in the jazz world and beyond. If you love jazz, don't miss this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Erin Thompson on October 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
Notes and Tones is distinct in its highly synergistic dialogue. The fact that Arthur Taylor was a serious [Black] jazz drummer, with a familiar professional and personal relationship with many of the interviewees, resulted in wide ranging discussions marked by unguarded sincerity. Certain themes are touched upon numerous times [the Black Power movement & the need for jazz musicians to unite and practice cooperative economics], which while perhaps dating the book, nevertheless provide a telling contrast to the current state of affairs in the music world in general, and the social concerns of the U.S. Black community specifically. This clearly was a labor of love, and the insights shared by these iconic figures consistently inspire me to make the most of my time and efforts in whatever I'm pursuing, every time I read from the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael H. Childress on April 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arthur Taylor is well known to musicians and people who follow the music. There are 29 interviews of artists many of whom are innovators. This expanded edition contains more interviews than the first book, although i have not seen the former. I'm not sure that this book is still available. Mr Taylor mentions over 200 interviews; hopefully these are not lost and will be published by a music scholar like the incomparable Steve Coleman. There are candid discussions of the ever recurring police brutality and other racism, corruption of the music by imitators and the industry, and drugs. Many artists speak candidly, because they trust Mr Taylor. Readers will be excited to find that Mr Parker (Yardbird, Bird) was influenced by Don Byas, Buster Smith and Lester Young. It's interesting to note that in regard to Yardbird, Benny Golson (not interviewed) has said we were all moving that way. The book is a must for young musicians, because there are pathways elucidated that can allow the younger ones to follow the course of the innovators. By that, i mean contrary to what one often reads, steps in music don't occur in isolation and musicians learn from those who came before and contemporaries but also other instumentalists and vocalists. This music didn't come from the church, Jelly Roll or Louis individually. Although "jazz" music represented a departure from western music, it was not as far as some think, because the old masters, such as Beethoven, could improvise. Improvisation has been largely lost by "classical" musicians and seems to be disappearing among young "jazz" musicians. Yardbird excelled in improvisation. The musicians interviewed seem to be consistent in disregarding the comments of critics, something i learned years ago. The thing missing from the book is the other interviews; the book is not written in a novel style.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Aram on May 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a great collection of musician to musician interviews. I like the way the simple questions open up a dialogue that is honest and open ended. Interesting to keep in mind the time frame during which the questions were asked as well. Highly recommended.
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This collection of interviews is a treasure trove for curious musicians and music lovers, and students and researchers of African-America culture during the twentieth century.

For non-musicians a little about the author, Art Taylor, is in order. He was one of the most prolific and highly regarded drummers of his era. He was highly sought as a studio drummer and consequently appeared on a significant number of jazz albums recorded in the 1950s through 1960s. He was important enough to merit a place in Bert Korall's Drummin' Men: The Heartbeat of Jazz The Bebop Years.

The fact that Taylor was friends and colleagues with the musicians he interviewed gives this book an intimate feel. Each of the subjects come across as completely at ease and trusting, saying - perhaps - things that they would not tell other interviewers or journalists.

On the other hand, Taylor does not have a ready list of interview questions that will be consistently asked of all of the subjects. As such, it can be difficult to spot overarching patterns in views, as well as to spot contrasts between and among the musicians in this book. Personally, I love the way the interviews were conducted because Taylor's personal knowledge and friendship allowed him to elicit absolute truth and honesty.

Questions ranged from thoughts on other musicians to how some interviewees felt about the Beatles, to the use of electronic instruments in music. Regardless of the variety of questions that Taylor asked, one topic was constant throughout each session: race.
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