“You should always have more books than you can read, so you always know that you don’t know everything”. – Umberto Eco

Biographies


Coltrane: The Story Of A Sound, by Ben Ratliff

Steve Lacy: Conversations, by Jason Weiss

Excerpt from “Conversations”
Steve Lacy in conversation with Kirk Silsbee on 26 March 1988 at the Club Catalina’s in Hollywood:

What’s your general attitude towards practice?

It’s what I was saying before about grappling: you have to really treat your instrument badly. You have to really beat on it. You have to hit on it and insist on certain things that it doesn’t want to deal with. You have to stay on some low notes until the instrument is crazy. Another thing I would like to recommend you is tight corner exercises where you limit what you’re working on to just one or two notes and you stay on it a long, long, long time. You take a half step and you play this half step for a while. Just go back and forth on this half step. If you keep it up for a while it starts to get very boring. When you get beyond the boredom, it starts to get interesting a little bit. If you stay on it after that, you get into the realm of hallucinations and there’s where the fun begins. There’s where the interval starts to get bigger and bigger and you start to get smaller and the interval gets bigger than you are. You’re a little person in this big interval, which is a half-step. It becomes a room and after an hour in this room, it’s like a trip. You have a rest and everything is transformed. Your ear is changed. A trip like that changes your whole life. Well, there’s a thousand trips like that possible. I would recommend that you start dealing with things like that if you’re interested in digging what can be dug out.

 

Jade Visions: The Life and Music of Scott Lafaro – Written by his sister Helene LaFaro-Fernandez

The majority of this book is about Scott’s life told by his sister as well as other people who worked with Scott, sharing their stories and memories of him. Very easy to read.

Miles Davis – The Definitive Biography, by Ian Carr
This was the first biography I bought, but for some reason I haven’t quite finished it yet. First half was great, but towards the end I lost concentration, perhaps because I was mostly interested in the stuff he did in the 50’s and 60’s.

Fiction / Facts and Wisdom

I got this really interesting book as a Christmas present from my mum. It’s called.
“The Art of Melody” by Arthur C. Edwards
It’s an old library book from Stamford Branch Library University of Connecticut.
I’m in chapter two at the moment, but let me say that it really sheds some light on how to think and what to consider when composing melodies. Wow.. it keeps me busy.

The Einstein Enigma, by José Rodrigues dos Santos
This was a very enjoyable read for my sake. A mixture of fiction and true scientific facts. Very interesting.

The Meaning of Things – Applying Philosophy To Life, by A. C. Grayling

An insightful and informative read. Covers the meaning of several topics such as Poverty, Capitalism, Greed, Morality and more –  Here are a few quotes from it.

´The meaning of things lies not in things themselves, but in our attitudes to them´. – Antoine De Saint-Exupéry

´That lies should be necessary to life is part and parcel of the terrible questionable character of existence´. – Nietzsche

Free Play – by Stephen Nachmanovitch

This is a very good book! Kind of opened up my mind to an extend – it’s full of great sayings, stories and quotes.
For my research methods module at Trinity Conservatoire I choose to reflect on a chapter from the book.

Effortless Mastery – by Kenny Werner

– Excellent good book for practising professionals and students of arts in music.