Following on from Giant Steps, comes the second instalment in Kenny Mathieson’s series of jazz histories.
Cookin’ examines the birth and development of two of the key jazz styles of the post-war era, hard bop and its related offshoot, soul jazz. Hard bop was the most exciting jazz style of its day, and remains at the core of the modern jazz mainstream even now. It drew on the twin poles of bebop and the blues for its foundation, spiced up with gospel, Latin and rhythm and blues influences.
The book looks at the founding fathers of the form, Art Blakey and Horace Silver, and goes on to trace the music through its peak decade.
“Mathieson’s descriptions of what they brought to the bandstand and the recording studio are fondly graphic, in well-chosen phrases… It is extremely readable.”
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“With his sober prose and insightful retelling, Mathieson goes some way towards identifying a rarely discussed transitional phase in music history”
“Music lovers will enjoy this very readable introduction to the jazz masters of the post-War decades … Free of music theory jargon, the book gives detailed information on the artists’ styles, careers and often troubled lives.”
scotland On Sunday (on Giant Steps)
Kenny Mathieson is the author of Giant Steps: Bebop and the Creators of Modern Jazz 1945-1965 and Cookin’: Hard Bop and Soul Jazz 1954-65. He was born near Glasgow, and now lives in the Highlands of Scotland. He studied American and English literature at the University of East Anglia, graduating with a PhD in 1983. He has been a freelance writer since 1982, and writes on jazz, classical and folk music for several publications, as well as contributing to numerous reference books.