Barry Zaslow

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PREMIUM

Punks in Peoria: Making a Scene in the American Heartland

This title will interest punk devotees, or readers interested in the intersection of music and sociology in America from rock and roll’s emergence to the present.
PREMIUM

Driven: Rush in the ’90s and “In the End.”

This third installment’s heartfelt exploration of the hobbies, obsessions, and families of the members of Rush more than compensates for missing some of the sparkle evident in the first two volumes. Popoff is to be congratulated for this herculean effort.
PREMIUM

The Lady Swings: Memoirs of a Jazz Drummer

Dodgion’s pull-no-punches style and determination in the face of daunting situations bring an obscure figure to vivid life. The title should appeal to jazz aficionados, who will recognize many of the musicians with whom she played, as well as those interested in ways in which women have flourished in the creative arts.
PREMIUM

Always a Song: Singers, Songwriters, Sinners, and Saints—My Story of the Folk Music Revival

Folk music aficionados will feel nostalgic at Harper’s reminiscences, and those with an interest in the sociology of the times will appreciate her clear-eyed observations.

Mike Nichols: A Life

A compelling storyteller, Harris sweeps readers up into the whirlwind of Nichols's life. Likely to become the definitive book about Nichols, Harris's exhaustive take should have widespread appeal, especially given the dearth of currently available literature about this important and influential entertainment icon.

 

In an earlier version of this review, LJ listed the author as Hermione Lee. We regret the error.

PREMIUM

This Is Bop: Jon Hendricks and the Art of Vocal Jazz

This evocative work conveys the challenges and successes Hendricks experienced and make for an affecting, well-rounded portrait of an underappreciated jazz artist who is ripe for rediscovery.
PREMIUM

Beethoven: A Political Artist in Revolutionary Times

Kinderman’s exhaustive scholarship and fluid style combine with up-to-date references to issues such as systemic repression and other provocative topics, which should resonate with both academics and informed general readers.
PREMIUM

Sonic Boom: The Impossible Rise of Warner Bros. Records, from Hendrix to Fleetwood Mac to Madonna to Prince

Carlin’s spring-loaded narrative keeps the reader involved, and characterizing the empathetic side of some of the outsize personalities humanizes the Warner mythos. Record label books abound, but there has been little available about Warner itself or its sister companies since Warren Zanes’s Revolutions in Sound; Carlin’s title admirably fills that gap.
PREMIUM

Bluegrass Ambassadors: The McLain Family Band in Appalachia and the World

Jenkins brings renewed focus to an important and influential, if possibly overlooked group from the heyday of bluegrass performance. One might wish for a more dispassionate gaze than his almost universal approbation of their musical contributions, but this is a small quibble in an excellent effort brimming with infectious joy, a signature of the McLain Family Band.
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