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XA special selection of disc guides and discographies, music history, record art books, graphic novels, and some nicely-priced remainders!



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✨✧ A Alyce Claerbaut/David SchlesingerStrayhorn – An Illustrated Life (hardcover) ... Book
Bolden, 2015. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A beautiful tribute to one of the greatest composers of the 20th Century – Duke Ellington's longtime musical partner, the mighty Billy Strayhorn! The book presents Billy's life and music in a really great format – using songs as sidebars amidst the larger text – which is then illustrated with a huge amount of beautiful oversized photos, reproductions of scores, and other great images! There's also additional sidebars on Strayhorn from jazz peers who include Clark Terry, Nancy Wilson, Lena Horne, and many others – and the book has this wonderfully vivid approach that really does the creative genius as much justice on the page as he's gotten on record. 196 pages, hardcover, and filled with great images! Book

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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ John SzwedBillie Holiday – The Musician & The Myth (hardcover) ... Book
Viking, 2015. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
John Szwed has given us pivotal books on Miles Davis and Sun Ra – and this time around, he's turning his eye to the life and music of Billie Holiday – offering up a very fresh vision of the oft-told tale of the singer and her career! As the title might imply, Szwed gets past the myth that so often surrounds Holiday's tragic life, and really looks at the singer and her groundbreaking approach to her music – almost looking at things from a technical perspective instead of a personal one – but while also addressing some of the overwrought cliches that have crept into a mainstream understanding of her recordings. There's still plenty of jazz history and biography in the mix – but Szwed almost chooses to start anew with the story, and in doing so, present us with one of the most compelling accounts of Billie and her music to date. 230 pages, hardcover. Book

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