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If It Swings, It's Music

The Autobiography of Hawai‘i’s Gabe Baltazar Jr.

Gabe Baltazar with Theo Garneau

Hawai‘i’s legendary jazz musician Gabe Baltazar Jr. has thrilled audiences since the late 1940s with his powerful and passionate playing. In this, the first book on his life and career, Gabe takes readers through the highs, lows, and in-betweens on the long road to becoming one of the very few Asian Americans who has achieved national and international acclaim as a jazz artist. 

Born in 1929 to a Japanese mother and Filipino father, Gabe was largely raised by his maternal grandparents, but at a young age his father, an accomplished musician, encouraged his son to take up the clarinet and saxophone. As a teenager during World War II, Gabe performed with the Royal Hawaiian Band and played weekend dances with Filipino swing bands. By the mid-1950s, he had established himself in the West Coast jazz scene, and in 1960 he became the lead alto saxophonist of the influential Stan Kenton Orchestra. Following a four-year stint with Kenton, Gabe worked as a valued studio musician in Los Angeles, where he recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Oliver Nelson, James Moody, and countless others. In 1969 he returned to Honolulu as assistant director for the Royal Hawaiian Band while taking center stage as Hawaiʻi’s premier jazz artist, a role he admirably fulfilled for over forty years. At 83, Gabe remains active in jazz education and continued to perform at home and abroad until 2010.

Gabe is one of a legion of Hawai‘i musicians who migrated to the Mainland after the war, yet his is the only detailed, firsthand account of that experience. As the quintessential musician’s musician, his reminiscences of working as a valued sideman and studio musician in the years when big bands were disappearing and studio orchestras were being replaced by synthesizers comprise a singular account of jazz in the last half of the twentieth century. His memorable encounters with some of the greatest names in jazz and popular entertainment will delight music fans, while readers of Hawai‘i and Asian-American life-writing will find in this work a fond record of days past told with humor and heart.

12 illus.

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Ignaz Friedman

Romantic Master Pianist

Allan Evans

Allan Evans's groundbreaking biography of Ignaz Friedman gives the reader the behind and the between of the life and career of this extraordinary pianist. Friedman's repertory emphasized the major works of Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, and Brahms, but he was perhaps best known for his interpretation of the Chopin mazurkas, which by all accounts he played with the same rhythmic nuance as their composer. Evans examines Friedman's life as a cultured Jewish musician from Poland; his studies in Leipzig and Vienna; his marriage to Manya Schidlowsky -- a Russian countess and relative of Tolstoy; and his performing career, teaching, and retirement in Australia.

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Il Trittico, Turandot, and Puccini's Late Style

Andrew Davis

Giacomo Puccini is one of the most frequently performed and best loved of all operatic composers. In Il Trittico, Turandot, and Puccini's Late Style, Andrew Davis takes on the subject of Puccini's last two works to better understand how the composer creates meaning through the juxtaposition of the conventional and the unfamiliar -- situating Puccini in past operatic traditions and modern European musical theater. Davis asserts that hearing Puccini's late works within the context of la solita forma allows listeners to interpret the composer's expressive strategies. He examines Puccini's compositional language, with insightful analyses of melody, orchestration, harmony, voice-leading, and rhythm and meter.

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In Her Own Words

Conversations with Composers in the United States

Jennifer Kelly

This collection of new interviews with twenty-five accomplished female composers substantially advances our knowledge of the work, experiences, compositional approaches, and musical intentions of a diverse group of creative individuals. With personal anecdotes and sometimes surprising intimacy and humor, these wide-ranging conversations represent the diversity of women composing music in the United States from the mid-twentieth century into the twenty-first. The composers work in a variety of genres including classical, jazz, multimedia, or collaborative forms for the stage, film, and video games. Their interviews illuminate questions about the status of women composers in America, the role of women in musical performance and education, the creative process and inspiration, the experiences and qualities that contemporary composers bring to their craft, and balancing creative and personal lives. Candidly sharing their experiences, advice, and views, these vibrant, thoughtful, and creative women open new perspectives on the prospects and possibilities of making music in a changing world.

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In Search of Alberto Guerrero

In Search of Alberto Guerrero is the first full biography of the influential Chilean-Canadian pianist and teacher (1886-1959), describing Guerrero’s long career as virtuoso recitalist, chamber music collaborator, concerto soloist, and teacher. Written by composer John Beckwith, who was a student of Guerrero, the book blends research and memoir to piece together the life of a man who once insisted he had no story.

Guerrero was part of the intellectual scene that introduced Chileans to Debussy, Ravel, Cyril Scott, Scriabin, and Schoenberg. He and his brother played an active role in founding the Sociedad Bach in Santiago. In 1918 Guerrero moved to Toronto, making the Hambourg Conservatory, and later the Toronto (now Royal) Conservatory, his new base. He soon became one of Canada’s most active pianists. In what was then a novel activity, he played regular radio recitals from the mid-1920s to the early 1950s. He was also deeply engaged with issues in piano pedagogy, and worked with young talents including Canada’s much-acclaimed Glenn Gould. But unlike the shadowy role Guerrero is assigned in Gould biographies, here he is given proper credit for his technical and aesthetic influence on the young Gould and on other notable musicians and composers.

Guerrero left few written records, and documentation of his work by others is incomplete and often erroneous. Aiming for a fuller and more accurate account of this remarkably influential and well-loved man, Beckwith’s In Search of Alberto Guerrero gives an insider’s story of the Canadian classical music scene in mid-twentieth-century Toronto, and pays homage to the influential musician William Aide has called an “unsung progenitor.”

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Inside John Haynie's Studio

A Master Teacher's Lessons on Trumpet and Life

Essays by John James Haynie, Compiled and Edited by Anne Hardin

“This wonderful collection of essays is a treasure of insight into the mind and heart of one of our great American performers and teachers. If the Arban book is the trumpet player’s ‘Bible,’ then I’d have to say Inside John Haynie’s Studio is the trumpet teacher’s ‘Bible.’”–Ronald Romm, founder, Canadian Brass and Professor of Trumpet, University of Illinois “The essays in this remarkable volume go far beyond trumpet pedagogy, providing an exquisite portrait of the studio practices of one of the first full-time single-instrument wind faculty members in an American college or university setting. John’s concern for educating the whole person, not just cramming for the job market, emanates from every page. This book showcases a teaching career that has become legendary.”–James Scott, Dean of the College of Music, University of North Texas “The principle that pervades my entire educational philosophy did not come from education or psychology classes; it did not come from the many sermons preached by my Dad and hundreds of other pulpiteers. It came from John Haynie’s studio.”–Douglas Smith, Mildred and Ernest Hogan Professor of Music, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary “I read a book like this and I come out the other end asking, ‘Why didn’t I try this long before now?’ All hail to John Haynie and Anne Hardin.”– Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451

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It's the Cowboy Way!

The Amazing True Adventures of Riders In The Sky

Don Cusic

It's the Cowboy Way! tells the full story of the amazing true adventures of group members Ranger Doug, Woody Paul, Too Slim, and Joey "The CowPolka King" for the first time, from their first gigs at "Herr Harry's Phranks 'N' Steins," in Nashville, to their rise to the top of the Grammy heap. Since 1977, Riders In The Sky has faithfully tended a musical tradition kindled by singing cowboy legends, such as Gene Autry and the Sons Of The Pioneers. Throughout its long career, the group has branded the genre with its own mark, crafting a well-balanced mix of both classic and original western songs -- smooth harmony, hot licks, and comedy. Over the past quarter of a century, and more than 4,500 shows, 290 national TV appearances, 203 public radio shows, nearly 700 Grand Ole Opry appearances, 2.3 million miles on the road, two Grammy Awards, three television series, and 31 albums down the trail, a group that began with a commitment to carry on an American musical tradition has itself become a national treasure.

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The Italian Traditions and Puccini

Compositional Theory and Practice in Nineteenth-Century Opera

Nicholas Baragwanath

In this groundbreaking survey of the fundamentals, methods, and formulas that were taught at Italian music conservatories during the 19th century, Nicholas Baragwanath explores the compositional significance of tradition in Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Boito, and, most importantly, Puccini. Taking account of some 400 primary sources, Baragwanath explains the varying theories and practices of the period in light of current theoretical and analytical conceptions of this music. The Italian Traditions and Puccini offers a guide to an informed interpretation and appreciation of Italian opera by underscoring the proximity of archaic traditions to the music of Puccini.

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Jade Visions

The Life and Music of Scott LaFaro

Helene LaFaro-Fernandez

Jade Visions is the first biography of one of the twentieth century’s most influential jazz musicians, bassist Scott LaFaro. Best known for his landmark recordings with Bill Evans, LaFaro played bass a mere seven years before his life and career were tragically cut short by an automobile accident when he was only 25 years old. Told by his sister, this book uniquely combines family history with insight into LaFaro’s music by well-known jazz experts and musicians Gene Lees, Don Thompson, Jeff Campbell, Phil Palombi, Chuck Ralston, Barrie Kolstein, and Robert Wooley. Those interested in Bill Evans, the history of jazz, and the lives of working musicians of the time will appreciate this exploration of LaFaro’s life and music as well as the feeling they’ve been invited into the family circle as an intimate. “Fernandez’ insightful comments about her brother offer far more than jazz scholars have ever known about this significant and somewhat enigmatic figure in the history of jazz. All in all, a very complete portrait.”—Bill Milkowski, author of Jaco: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius

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Jascha Heifetz

Early Years in Russia

Translated and edited by Dario Sarlo and Alexandra Sarlo. Galina Kopytova

Notoriously reticent about his early years, violinist Jascha Heifetz famously reduced the story of his childhood to "Born in Russia. First lessons at 3. Debut in Russia at 7. Debut in Carnegie Hall at 17. That's all there is to say." Tracing his little-known upbringing, Jascha Heifetz: Early Years in Russia uncovers the events and experiences that shaped one of the modern era's most unique talents and enigmatic personalities. Using previously unstudied archival materials and interviews with family and friends, this biography explores Heifetz's meteoric rise in the Russian music world—from his first violin lessons with his father, to his studies at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with the well-known pedagogue Leopold Auer, to his tours throughout Russia and Europe. Spotlighting Auer’s close-knit circle of musicians, Galina Kopytova underscores the lives of artists in Russia’s "Silver Age"—an explosion of artistic activity amid the rapid social and political changes of the early 20th century.

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