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As Serious As Your Life

Black Music and the Free Jazz Revolution, 1957–1977

Val Wilmer author


Publisher:Profile Books Ltd

Published:1st Mar '18

Should be back in stock very soon

As Serious As Your Life cover

An essential masterpiece of jazz history by renowned photographer and music historian, with a new foreword by Richard Williams

An essential masterpiece of jazz history by the renowned photographer and music historian, with a new foreword by Richard Williams.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.

This book saved me from giving up. Even though the jazz musicians Wilmer wrote about were mostly male, their approach to music making, their passion and their activism resonated with me and showed me a way to move forward musically -- Viv Albertine
The best of those books that found evidence of a black revolution or resurgence in the musical achievements of Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Albert Ayler and others * Guardian *
A very powerful and proud black book ... it sings the praise-song of the procreators of the new music and their direct descendants * Coda *
An exceptionally illuminating book on jazz now - and on music to come. Indeed, it's one of the relatively few indispensable books about America's classical music -- Nat Hentoff
A fascinating document, full of the energy of political struggle * Socialist Review *
A masterpiece of jazz history ... it charts the development of the new black music, delving deep into the lives, minds and politics of the people behind it * BBC Radio 3 *
Fascinating snapshot * The Wire *
A classic ... jam-packed with gems -- Cerys Matthews * BBC Radio 6Music *
A social history of the free jazz movement from its beginnings in the late 1950s ... as serious, and necessary, as ever * Village Voice *
One of the foremost chroniclers of African-American musical culture * Spectator *
One of the most important and exciting books ever written about jazz. It's essential * Stereogum *

ISBN: 9781788160711

Dimensions: 196mm x 126mm x 30mm

Weight: 240g

432 pages

Main - Classic Edition