Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever

Farah Jasmine Griffin Salim Washington

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Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever

Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever By Farah Jasmine Griffin Salim Washington Clawing at the Limits of Cool Miles Davis John Coltrane and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever When the renowned trumpeter and bandleader Miles Davis chose the members of his quintet in he passed over well known respected saxophonists such as Sonny Rollins to pick out the young still un

  • Title: Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever
  • Author: Farah Jasmine Griffin Salim Washington
  • ISBN: 9780312327859
  • Page: 384
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever By Farah Jasmine Griffin Salim Washington When the renowned trumpeter and bandleader Miles Davis chose the members of his quintet in 1955, he passed over well known, respected saxophonists such as Sonny Rollins to pick out the young, still untested John Coltrane What might have seemed like a minor decision at the time would instead set the course not just for each of their careers but for jazz itself.Clawing at tWhen the renowned trumpeter and bandleader Miles Davis chose the members of his quintet in 1955, he passed over well known, respected saxophonists such as Sonny Rollins to pick out the young, still untested John Coltrane What might have seemed like a minor decision at the time would instead set the course not just for each of their careers but for jazz itself.Clawing at the Limits of Cool is the first book to focus on Davis and Coltrane s musical interaction and its historical context, on the ways they influenced each other and the tremendous impact they ve had on culture since then It chronicles the drama of their collaboration, from their initial historic partnership to the interlude of their breakup, during which each man made tremendous progress toward his personal artistic goals And it continues with the last leg of their journey together, a time when the Miles Davis group, featuring John Coltrane, forever changed the landscape of jazz.Authors Farah Jasmine Griffin and Salim Washington examine the profound implications that the Davis Coltrane collaboration would have for jazz and African American culture, drawing parallels to the changing standards of African American identity with their public personas and private difficulties With vastly different personal and musical styles, the two men could not have been different One exemplified the tough, closemouthed cool of the fifties while the other made the transition during this time from unfocused junkie to a religious pilgrim who would inspire others to pursue spiritual enlightenment in the coming decade.Their years together mark a watershed moment, and Clawing at the Limits of Cool draws on both cultural history and precise musical detail to illuminate the importance that their collaboration would have for jazz and American history as a whole.
    Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever By Farah Jasmine Griffin Salim Washington

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    One thought on “Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever

    1. keith koenigsberg on said:

      As one reviewer on said, both unreliable and uneccesary Read Porter on Coltrane, and read lots of others including Davis himself on Davis I myself found several errors of fact in this book, and I am no scholar, just an enthusiast There really is nothing to recommend this book over others, except its brevity Given that much of the info is wrong or misleading, and that the entire book has a bit too much emphasis on race such that one begins to wonder about the agenda of the author I would recommen [...]

    2. Bakari on said:

      I don t have a strong background in the history of jazz, but this book seems to be a good one for studying the history and influence of two jazz greats, Davis and Train I particularly like the second half of the book in which the authors devote extended interpretations and the cultural history of albums and single compositions, such as Milestones, Blue Train, Kind of Blue, A Love Supreme, Giant Steps, Round About Midnight The first half of the book delves into the personal background of the two [...]

    3. Jason on said:

      A pretty good overview of these two giants of jazz My previous knowledge of the biographies of Miles and Trane was mostly pieced together by pouring over the liner notes to scores of their albums and picking up tidbits here and there on the web, so it was great to finally read a decent history of their lives and work all in one place.The book is well written, and the biographical info is great Though a brilliant musician and seminal jazz figure, Miles the person is easily the less likeable of th [...]

    4. Andrew on said:

      There were parts of this book I liked a lot, but as a whole I was not as impressed With tighter editing and vigorous fact checking , it could have been really excellent.The good parts Interesting background on the families of Miles Davis and John Coltrane Both had grandparents with personal memories of the Reconstruction era South A similar focus on putting modern jazz in the context of contemporary culture, especially the civil rights movement Extended and musically informed discussions of sele [...]

    5. Vichmd on said:

      There is no dispute that Miles Davis and John Coltrane had a profound influence on jazz history in the post bebop era Thus, it should come as no surprise that a book about these two jazz giants is as much a lesson in jazz history as it is an examination into their artistry Clawing at the Limits excels as both an analysis of Davis and Coltrane s contributions to jazz, as well as a survey of post war jazz history.Fortunately, the authors provide just enough details of Davis and Coltrane s childhoo [...]

    6. Sarah on said:

      This book was a lot technical than I thought it would be That can be a good thing, but one must have knowledge of not only music terminology, but specifically, jazz terminology and the components of a jazz song The authors go into great detail in describing specific songs, some of which I was not familiar with I think I would ve enjoyed these passages if I had the CDs at my disposal to listen along with while I read I did, in fact, go out and get some of the recordings to listen to after the [...]

    7. Don on said:

      This book was very well reserached and very well written It was extremely techincal at times, which was fantastic for a musician, such as myself However, the long technical passages would be incomprehensible and even boring to someone who is not a musician While the book is very well written, it could have benefitted from better editing The authors often refer to musicians by only thier last names, and you often don t know whom they are talking about Powell on pianowhich Powell Bud or Richie Als [...]

    8. Dawn on said:

      I enjoyed the book, but it was probably a bit over my level, as I actually know very little about jazz, and pathetically little about music theory especially considering I played an instrument for 9 years So the technical discussions about music rather sailed over my head but has inspired me to attempt to teach myself music theory The historical discussions were rather comprehensible to me, and much interesting because comprehensible However, the authors have a tendency to jump around chronolo [...]

    9. Frank Taranto on said:

      A look at Miles Davis and John Coltrane together and seperately The book explores how they came together, influenced each other, and then went their seperate ways As a relative newcomer to Jazz, I found the information on their lives interesting.These were two distinct individuals who the book says blended their music together superlatively I will have to listen to what I can find where they play together.Some of the discussions on the music itself were very technical, and I know nothing about m [...]

    10. Greg on said:

      Coltrane s collaborative period with Miles Davis and its place in history is covered However this book looses me in conjecture and supposition Not really interested in what Coltrane might have been thinking per the author s idea of what might be the facts The writing is good and there are some valuable nuggets to be gleaned Perhaps the true jazz enthusiast that hungers for a new approach to the Coltrane Miles Davis period of collaboration will see it differently Either way, try your local librar [...]

    11. Happyreader on said:

      This short, very readable book covers so much mid century African American history, jazz history, jazz music theory with compelling portraits of Miles Davis, John Coltraine, and the musicians they played with It was so good that I put the book aside for a couple of weeks when I was in the last chapter because I didn t want it to end.

    12. Philip on said:

      I m not in love with this book As other reviewers have pointed out, there are definitely some inaccuracies This book has some nice anecdotes about Trane s time with Monk, but I have to take it with a grain of salt, considering some of the things the authors have gotten wrong.

    13. Rob Renteria on said:

      wowis is a great piece of american history.i got some very cool new insight for me on both miles and coltraneeven though someparts could get technical was a very easy and enlightening readch loveb

    14. Zachary on said:

      An otherwise insightful book unfortunately carelessly, even bogged down with arbitrariness.

    15. Thomas on said:

      A polemical view of Miles and his time But it did have some interesting biographical and historical information Good book for any Jazz fan, especially a fan of Miles Davis.

    16. Ryan on said:

      one of the most intriguing books I have read in years an education on two of the most prolific black minds of our time black nerds should celebrate this book.

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