As Serious As Your Life: Black Music and the Free Jazz Revolution, 1957-1977

As Serious As Your Life: Black Music and the Free Jazz Revolution, 1957-1977

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Overview

In this classic account of the new black music of the 1960s and 70s, celebrated photographer and jazz historian Val Wilmer tells the story of how a generation of revolutionary musicians established black music as the true vanguard of American culture.

Placing the achievements of African-American artists such as Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and Sun Ra in their broader political and social context, Wilmer evokes an era of extraordinary innovation and experimentation that continues to inspire musicians today.

As vital now as when it was first published in 1977, As Serious As Your Life is the essential story of one of the most dynamic musical movements of the twentieth century.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781788160711
Publisher: Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
Publication date: 06/12/2018
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 247,536
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.75(h) x (d)

About the Author

Val Wilmer is an internationally acclaimed photographer, journalist, author and black music historian who has been documenting African-American music since 1959. In that time she has interviewed and photographed almost every significant figure in post-war jazz, blues and R&B, from Louis Armstrong and Thelonious Monk to Sun Ra and Albert Ayler via Muddy Waters and Aretha Franklin. As a photographer, her work features in the permanent collections of the British Library, the V&A Museum and the National Portrait Gallery; as a writer and historian, she has contributed to the Oxford Dictionary Of National Biography and the New Grove Dictionary Of Jazz. She lives in London.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Richard Williams



Author’s Prefatory Note



Introduction A State of Mind



PART ONE INNOVATORS AND INNOVATIONS



1 Great Black Music – From a Love Supreme to the Sex Machine



2 John Coltrane – A Love Supreme



3 Cecil Taylor – Eighty-Eight Tuned Drums



4 Ornette Coleman – The Art of the Improviser



5 Sun Ra – Pictures of Infinity



6 Albert Ayler – Spiritual Unity



7 The AACM – Chicago’s Alternative Society




PART TWO WHO ARE THE NEW MUSICIANS?



8 As Serious As Your Life




PART THREE GIVE THE DRUMMER SOME!



9 The Spirit Behind the Musicians



10 A Family of Rhythms




PART FOUR WOMAN’S ROLE



11 It Takes Two People to Confirm the Truth



12 ‘You Sound Good – for a Woman!’



PART FIVE THE CONSPIRACY AND SOME SOLUTIONS



13 Bill Dixon and the Jazz Composers Guild



14 Politics, the Media and Collectivism



15 Recording – Getting the Music Out There



16 Does the Music Have a Future?



Biographies
Bibliography
Acknowledgements
Index of Names

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