READ PDF ì Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth Ð eBook or Kindle ePUB free

READ PDF ä Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth Ù Revelatory one of the most briskly revealing pieces of jazz biography that I ve read Richard Brody, The New Yorker When Billie Holiday first stepped into a recording studio in November , it marked the beginning of what is arguably the most remarkable and influential career in twentieth century popular music Her voice weathered countless shifts in popular taste, and today new reincarnations of her continue to arrive, most recently in the form of singers like Amy Winehouse and Adele Most of the writing on Holiday has focused on the tragic details of her life her prostitution at the age of fourteen, her heroin addiction and alcoholism, her series of abusive relationships or tried to correct the many fabrications of her autobiography But Billie Holiday strips away the myths and puts her music front and center, staying close to her artistry, her performance style, and the self she created and put on record and onstage Drawing on a vast amount of new material that has surfaced in the last decade, critically acclaimed jazz writer and musician John Szwed presents not just a biography, but a meditation on Billie Holiday s art and its relation to her life Along the way, he illuminates her influences, her uncanny voice and rhythmic genius, her signature songs including Strange Fruit and God Bless the Child and her enduring legacy as the greatest jazz singer of all time This book ended up being a biography based on an autobiography written while she was still alive It was interesting in a few parts, but it was very drawn out and slow in the majority of it To be honest, it left me wanting to go read her original autobiography rather than finishing this book I routinely found myself thinking that and feeling sad that I had so much of this book to dredge through to get to it If you re a Billy Holiday nut, it might be worth finding out a few new facts Otherwis This book ended up being a biography based on an autobiography written while she was still alive It was interesting in a few parts, but it was very drawn out and slow in the majority of it To be honest, it left me wanting to go read her original autobiography rather than finishing this book I routinely found myself thinking that and feeling sad that I had so much of this book to dredge through to get to it If you re a Billy Holiday nut, it might be worth finding out a few new facts Otherwise, skip it and read Lady Sings the Blues oops It was actually the paperback version I read, but that s okay When my brain clears from flu fog, I ll be back to writeabout this book, but for now, I really, really enjoyed reading it It offers a number of insights not only into Holiday as an individual but also into her somewhat controversialLady Sings the Blues, into her music, and into the history of those who came before her musically At the same time, the author is savvy enough to note that some secrets still linger about oops It was actually the paperback version I read, but that s okay When my brain clears from flu fog, I ll be back to writeabout this book, but for now, I really, really enjoyed reading it It offers a number of insights not only into Holiday as an individual but also into her somewhat controversialLady Sings the Blues, into her music, and into the history of those who came before her musically At the same time, the author is savvy enough to note that some secrets still linger about her life, so anyone looking for a tell all sort of thing won t get it here I have loved Holiday s music forever, so for me this was definitely a must readsoon The concept of The Musician and the Myth was very intriguing, as most bios take a rather conventional approach In the average book focusing on a performer you get a chronological look at their private lives with a a dutiful glance at his or her career, and almost always they use the career as a way to further understand the print self But what about the public self What about the persona she created, her unique approach to music That was something I wanted to read Unfortunately, some of t The concept of The Musician and the Myth was very intriguing, as most bios take a rather conventional approach In the average book focusing on a performer you get a chronological look at their private lives with a a dutiful glance at his or her career, and almost always they use the career as a way to further understand the print self But what about the public self What about the persona she created, her unique approach to music That was something I wanted to read Unfortunately, some of the challenges inherent to this approach stunted my full appreciation of the concept, and I finished it thinking I would have enjoyed it muchif I was not the mere appreciator of Holiday s work that I was, butof a true fan who already knew the basics of her life and had a comprehensive knowledge of her recording career Granted, it is very difficult to communicate fully the impact a singer can have on an audience, and the how of their achieving that It almost demands a poetic, emotional approach, the style of a fiction writer Szwed s writing, while objective and honest, is overtly scholastic and dispassionate at times When you are trying to communicate the feel of a song without actually being able to play it for someone, you ve got to pull out all the stops You have to bring the senses into it as if you were tempting someone with a meal they d never see, let alone taste Barring that, a guide for the reader on where to access the available recordings of the performances being covered, would have been a great addition Also, the structure of the book doesn t allow for a strong sense of a narrative arc Perhaps if Szwed had bookended the career focused parts with small sections on the beginning and end of her life it might have had a stronger sense of story, which even non fiction needs to contain The time line does get very confusing, and it was difficult for this reader to understand exactly where I was in the story, and in Holiday s career at times.The introduction, and the chapters on the myth of Billie Holiday, which explore the writing of her memoir, are where this book excels And it s very illuminating to read later about the world of female singers, black and white, before Holiday arrived on the scene It allowed me to understand how she was influenced, how she differed from those before her, and how she altered forever, the expectations and understanding of, not just female performers, but of jazz itself A must read not only for Billie Holiday fans, but for anyone with even a passing interest in musical history Well written and meticulously researched, the author, John Szwed director of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University knows his stuff, and disabuses the oft mistaken notion that Holiday was primarily a blues singer and not the masterful jazz singer that she actually was.He presents Holiday as an artist continually evolving, manipulating her voice and the musical notes she per A must read not only for Billie Holiday fans, but for anyone with even a passing interest in musical history Well written and meticulously researched, the author, John Szwed director of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University knows his stuff, and disabuses the oft mistaken notion that Holiday was primarily a blues singer and not the masterful jazz singer that she actually was.He presents Holiday as an artist continually evolving, manipulating her voice and the musical notes she performed in a way that has rarely, if ever, been seen by any singer before or since Rather than focusing on her tragic history, which by now is well known, Szwed showcases her music instead, her raw talent, and the history of many of the songs she is best known for Body and Soul , God Bless the Child , and Strange Fruit , among others The story of Strange Fruit in particular, a song about lynching during the Jim Crow era, is a fascinating read in its own right, particularly because Holiday first sang it publicly in 1939, decades before the Civil Rights movement Published in conjunction with Miss Holiday s 100th birthday, this book deserves a wide readership, if only to correct some of the misunderstandings surrounding one of our national treasures Highly recommended