Boston-based jazz critic Bob Blumenthal's book has been mentioned in this blog before. John Garelick of The Boston Phoenix gave us an overview in yesterday's edition. Here's a smidge:
"To illustrate the historical slipperiness
of the meaning of jazz, Blumenthal recalls what bassist Christian
McBride said when asked whether Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon,” from the
1973 Head Hunters album, was jazz: 'It wasn’t then, but it is
now.' 'I thought that hit the nail on the head. At the time, it was a
real controversy — had Herbie Hancock sold out? But now, no one would
even question that ‘Chameleon’ is jazz.' Or he considers two recordings
from 1964. 'If you asked most jazz fans that year, ‘What is jazz?’,
they would have said John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. But if you asked a person on the street, they’d say Louis Armstrong’s ‘Hello Dolly.’ And they’d both be right!'"
Read all of The Long View.