Music and the Creative Spirit

Music and the Creative Spirit: Innovators in Jazz, Improvisation, and the Avant Garde
by Lloyd Peterson [Scarecrow]

Seattle-based Jazz critic Lloyd Peterson's first book is wonderfully rich collection of interviews with a range of performers on the contemporary international creative jazz scene, including William Parker, Susie Ibarra, Marilyn Crispell, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell and others. Like the very few other good English-language collections on creative and improvised music (Derek Bailey's Improvisation, John Zorn's Arcana), Music and the Creative Spirit lets musicians' own concerns and connections take center stage. Peterson's creative questions produce rich, drifting conversations on US foreign policy, race and class, and the history of jazz in the US and Europe, but always returning to thoughtful consideration of the essence and significance of creative performance. Peterson also puts some of the same questions to artist after artist – a device which makes it easy to spot commonalities and contrasts among different musicians' approaches to their craft. With artists arranged alphabetically, the book leaves it up to readers to make their own connections among artists. Highly recommended for any students of the relationship between creativity and society. -jl

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