But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz by Geoff Dyer
In eight poetically charged vignettes, Geoff Dyer skilfully evokes the embattled lives of the players who shaped modern jazz. He draws on photos and anecdotes, but music is the driving force of But Beautiful and Dyer brings it to life in luminescent and wildly metaphoric prose that mirrors the quirks, eccentricity, and brilliance of each musician's style.
“Achingly gorgeous… evokes the lives of working musicians so that you taste the whiskey, smell the stubbed cigarettes, hear the gentle clicking of the valves, the coughs, and shuffling feet between studio takes.” Jonathan Lethem
“The only book about jazz that I recommend to my friends. It is a little gem.” Keith Jarrett
“Beautiful… An ingenious and brilliantly written book. Even readers not fascinated by jazz above other kinds of music are likely to find Mr Dyer too good a literary craftsman to put the book down… About as intricate a mixture of biographical essay and make-believe as is likely to be written.” New York Times
“But Beautiful is just that, a moving and highly original tribute to Black American music.” Bryan Ferry
“Swings Geoff Dyer straight into the front line of writers . . . whose books are imbued with the spirit and techniques of jazz . . . voices deep love and understanding of the musicians evoked with appropriate poetic image and sound effects.” Michael Horovitz, The Times
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