Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey by Peter Guralnick Download (read online) free eBook (PDF ePub Kindle)

Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey

Rock & roll, jazz, R&B, hip-hop: Without question, today’s most popular sounds owe an incalculable debt to that uniquely American musical creation — The Blues. But the powerful influence of the blues, with its dramatic, artful storytelling about the elemental experience of being alive, is found in the works of some of our most important literary voices as well.

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This volume — a companion to the groundbreaking seven-part documentary series “Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues” — represents a literary sampler every bit as vibrant and original and diverse as the films and music that inspired it. Included in this stunning collection are newly commissioned essays by David Halberstam, Hilton Als, Suzan-Lori Parks, Elmore Leonard, Luc Sante, John Edgar Wideman, and others; timeless archival pieces by the likes of Stanley Booth, Paul Oliver, and Mack McCormick; evocative color illustrations and rare vintage photography; illuminating and in-depth conversations and portraits of musicians, ranging from Robert Johnson and Bessie Smith to John Lee Hooker and Eric Clapton; lyrics of legendary blues compositions; personal essays by the series directors Martin Scorsese, Charles Burnett, Richard Pearce, Wim Wenders, Marc Levin, Mike Figgis, and Clint Eastwood; and excerpts from such literary masters as James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison, Eudora Welty and Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes and William Faulkner.

The result is a unique and timeless celebration of the blues, from writers and artists as esteemed and revered as the music that moved them. In these pages one not only reads about the blues, one hears them, feels them, lives them. “Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues” is more than atimeless collection of great writing to be savored and shared: it is an unforgettable initiation into the very essence of American music and culture.


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    Tom

    Dec 31, 2012

    rated it
    really liked it

    This companion book to the PBS series that aired in 2003 is a nice read even if you haven’t watched the documentaries. I watched the series in 2003, but didn’t pick up this book until ten years later. Luckily, my local library had the complete PBS series on DVD, so one by one, I checked each DVD out and read the correlating section in the book. This practice did open up the documentaries a little more.

    The book begins with a brief overview of the history of the blues. If you have read other blues

    The book begins with a brief overview of the history of the blues. If you have read other blues histories, you may want to skip this. It’s perfunctory and sheds no new light.

    Each documentary is represented by a collection of essays written especially for this book, and excerpts from other books about the blues, or even selections from non-blues books that are about the blues. Each section begins with an essay by the director.

    The book ends with a couple of essays on the future of the blues.

    I think I enjoyed watching the documentaries this way then I did 10 years ago. Then, I thought some of the docs were thin (still do), but I appreciated all of them a little more now than I did then. If you love the blues this is a good book to read, even if you haven’t seen the accompanying films.
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