Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Power Stronger Than Itself!

In an exciting, often astounding, work of original and powerfully deciphering scholarship, George E. Lewis has written one of the most important books on the subject of jazz in particular and American music in general. Rising to the challenges set forth in such masterworks as Harold Cruse's The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual and Eileen Southern's The Music of Black Americans, Mr. Lewis tells the story of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, an institution that has come to represent the cultural vanguard of international music for over forty years. Employing a mixture of oral histories from the musicians themselves, "front line" reportage and rare archival documents, many disclosed for the first time, Mr. Lewis weaves together a compelling, engrossing and frequently provocative narration of one of the most fascinating periods of history in the United States. In the tradition of "damn sure, telling it like it is", Mr. Lewis offers at times profound insight into the formative years of many our era's most significant composers, including such mercurial and often illusive personalities such as Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill and Anthony Braxton. With clarity and wit, hipness and humanity, Mr. Lewis also provides the much needed and invaluable context of the cultural revolutons taking place that surrounded and informed the often equally radical music of the 1960's and 70's. Bringing the story of the AACM up in to our 21st century, Mr. Lewis both strenghtens our roots and provides the fertile ground for the scholarship of tomorrow. A Power Stronger Than Itself: The Story of the AACM and American Experimental Music, is truly a book for the Ages.

No comments: