Customer Review

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Informative, Thorough, August 30, 2000
This review is from: Thinking in Jazz : The Infinite Art of Improvisation (Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology Series) (Paperback)
After reading this book, one must admit that Paul Berliner has done his homework, and since the subject is the mammoth topic of the improvised music language, that is no small task. In fact, he states in the opening notes that this work begun as far as the late seventies, and many noted jazz musicians were involved in the concept and contributed to the final product - sharing personal stories, historical notes and specially revising the music examples that contitute a large part of this book. Trying to put a concept such as improvisation in written form, and more than that, trying to organize it in a system that would be helpful to understand and cultivate the protocol represents an amazing challenge to the writer, and I would say that Paul Berliner's approach not only accomplished that, but turned what would be a rather sterile read into a wonderful book. Of course, there are minor complaints (and all of them are subjective, by the way - such an an underlying feeling that he favours sound over form, sometimes dismissing contributions made by non-jazz musicians to the history of improvised music - despite the author's previous work with traditional african music), but what he achieved at the end must be hailed. An *AMAZING* book that will keep aficionados entertained for years.
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