Sketches of Pain

By Cook, Richard | New Statesman (1996), February 7, 2000 | Go to article overview

Sketches of Pain


Cook, Richard, New Statesman (1996)


THE ESSENTIAL JAZZ RECORDS VOL 2: MODERNISM TO POSTMODERNISM

Max Harrison, Eric Thacker and Stuart Nicholson Mansell 889pp, [pounds]25

[pounds]20 at www.newstatesman.co.uk (+15% p&p)

Jazz writing is an essayist's art, an ideal medium for the cameo writer, with endless possibilities for the character sketch and the anecdotal remembrance. Big, galumphing narratives seldom tally with a culture that raced impetuously through its history and resources, to the point where a century of music seems like a babble of conflicting voices and developments.

Whitney Balliett, whose witty and urbane portraits have graced the pages of the New Yorker for decades, is the most famous exponent of this essayist style. But he has recently been eclipsed by Gary Giddins, in the Village Voice, one of the shrewdest journalist-critics of his day. Giddins's superlative Visions Of Jazz: the first century (Oxford, 1998) is a compelling journey through the music, combining musical insights with a canny placing of each figure within their, and our, world.

European writers, obliged to consider so much of jazz history at a geographical distance, have mostly taken a theoretician's view. While there have always been glimpses of visiting giants, most of us have had to experience American jazz through records, which has nurtured a school of armchair critics who often deal in absolutes, judging complex musical lives on the basis of what might only have been one day in a recording studio. If it had been an off day, too bad. This dense book is untroubled by such issues, although it does acknowledge that "recordings are simply what chanced to be preserved".

The book is defined largely by its senior author, Max Harrison. (The first volume, covering the pre-bebop era, was published in 1984 and compiled by Harrison, Charles Fox and Eric Thacker. The latter two have since died, although Thacker also contributed many of the entries in volume two). A baleful and somewhat frightening man, Harrison remains among the finest of all jazz critics. He brings a classical scholar's insight to music that has all too often been subject to either sensationalist reporting or bland approval. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Sketches of Pain
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.