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Living With Music: Ralph Ellison's Jazz Writings

by Ellison, Ralph

  • ISBN: 9780679640349
  • ISBN10: 0679640347

Living With Music: Ralph Ellison's Jazz Writings

by Ellison, Ralph

  • List Price: $19.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Edition: 2001
  • Publisher: Modern Library
  • Publish date: 12/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780679640349
  • ISBN10: 0679640347
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Description: Before Ralph Ellison -- one of the greatest American authors of the 20th Century -- was a writer, he was a musician and a student of jazz. For Ellison, music was an integral aspect of life. In the impassioned title essay of this first-ever collection of the author's jazz writings, Ellison explains:

"In those days it was either live with music or die with noise, and we chose rather desperately to live.... These jazzmen, many of them now world-famous, lived for and with music intensely. Their driving motivation was neither music nor fame, but the will to achieve the most eloquent expression of idea-emotions through the technical mastery of their instruments... I had learned too that the end of all this discipline and technical mastery was the desire to express an affirmative way of life through its musical tradition".

For readers who think they know Ellison's work, this book, with it's exuberant prose, searing insights and unique portraits of jazz legends will be a revelation, and for jazz fans it will be a godsend. Selections compiled by jazz and Ellison authority Robert O'Meally include the celebrated "Homage to Duke Ellington on his Birthday", "The Golden Age, Time Past", "On Bird, Bird-Watching, and Jazz", letters to Albert Murray about Louis Armstrong, O'Meally's 1976 interview with Ellison, and the brilliant autobiographical piece "Music and Writing". With "Living with Music", readers will see first-hand the resounding and profound influence that jazz and Ralph Ellison have had on twentieth century American culture.

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