Thursday, September 9, 2010

An intelligent attention

John Szwed is a highly regarded academic and writer. For almost 15 years he has been writing, fairly exclusively, about music - from an ethno-musicological point of view and also straight biography - some readers may be familiar with his scholarly, yet eminently readable books on Sun Ra, Miles Davis and Jelly Roll Morton - for which he won a Grammy award. Most recently, Szwed has turned his attentions to one of America's most important musical anthropologists - Alan Lomax. In, 'Alan Lomax: The man who recorded the world,' Szwed examines Lomax's legacy: from the early field recordings of rural music, to the 1930's/40's, when many of the artists he championed, both black and white, gained their greatest recognition. Written with authority, clarity and not without humour, Szwed's book is an entertaining account of an, at times, controversial figure, but, undoubtedly, an extraordinary one.

'American Folklife Centre'

'Association for Cultural Equity' is a wonderful site.

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