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The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Noted jazz writer Kahn follows up his in-depth account of the making of jazz legend John Coltrane's most famous album, A Love Supreme, with a history of the record label Coltrane ushered into jazz history. Always a corporate entity (though it changed hands several times between its inception in 1961 and the present), Impulse! was founded by legendary jazz producer Creed Taylor as an imprint of ABC-Paramount records. During Taylor's short stint as label head (before being recruited to overhaul Verve Records), he signed Impulse!'s first exclusive artist, Coltrane, who, through his endless musical questing, recommendations of other artists and status as the label's bestseller, would define Impulse!'s sound and proclivity toward the avant-garde. Taylor's successor, Bob Thiele, was the major driving force at Impulse!, however, supporting Coltrane through his prolific, often confounding musical experiments and producing records by such other influential artists as Archie Shepp, McCoy Tyner and Pharoah Sanders. Kahn mingles engaging stories of corporate politics with insider accounts of music-making and anecdotal takes on particular albums. His history of Impulse! is also the story of the genesis of an American art form and the evolution of the record industry through the tumultuous 1960s—and will compel readers to seek out this label's masterful albums. Photos. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Kahn follows the excellent Kind of Blue (2000) and A Love Supreme (2002), on, respectively, Miles Davis' and John Coltrane's most popular albums, with a history of the record label that, dominating the 1960s, blazed trails for jazz thereafter. Lasting from 1961 to 1977, Impulse Records started big with career-best albums by Ray Charles, Gil Evans, and Oliver Nelson and stayed big thanks to the astonishingly popular avant-garde music of John Coltrane, until and beyond his 1967 death. If "suits" at parent company ABC Paramount started it and remained largely sympathetic, Impulse owed its unprecedented success to original producer Bob Thiele, who let musicians choose their repertoire and play it as they wished, and to terrific packaging: gatefold covers, a distinctive orange-and-black ground-color scheme, superb performance photography. Depending heavily on interviews, mostly original, with virtually everyone of significance before and behind the microphones, as well as the written record, Kahn genially traces the company's passage, interspersing two- to three-page sidebars on dozens of particular albums and freighting the pages with graphics. A jazz lover's delight. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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A TRUE EXCELLENT SUPERIOR MUSICIAN, CRAFTMEN, COMPOSER = JOHN COLTRANE*