Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth by John Szwed helps readers understand and appreciate Holiday’s unconventional approach to singing, distinctive vocals, and controversial song choices.
Classic Material: The Hip-Hop Album Guide by Oliver Wang taps into the progression of hip-hop with constructed criticism of classic albums that elevated the game.
Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington by Terry Teachout is an engaging biography of an accomplished composer, renowned bandleader, and skillful pianist whose obsessions included music, food, and women.
Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America by Greg Tate is packed with the author’s ingenious criticisms ranging from music (jazz, funk, punk-rock, and hip-hop) to book to film.
Flyboy 2 by Greg Tate features a collection of Tate’s influential and critical essays in the past 30 years.
The History of Jazz by Ted Gioia is a must-read for anyone who is interested in the fascinating story of jazz.
I Hate Myself and Want to Die: The 52 Most Depressing Songs You’ve Ever Heard by Tom Reynolds is depressingly hilarious because of the author’s wit, incisive, heartless, and sometimes silly criticisms.
It’s About That Time: Miles Davis On and Off Record by Richard Cook, which begins with Birth of the Cool and ends with posthumous Doo Bop, is ingenious assessment of Miles’s music and life based on his albums.
The Last Miles by George Cole is a 450-page analysis that covers every track from The Man With The Horn all the way up to Doo-Bop.
Miles Beyond: The Electric Explorations of Miles Davis, 1967-1991 by Paul Tingen is an insightful read on Davis’s electric journey from 1967-1991.
The New York Times Essential Library: Jazz: A Critic’s Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings by Ben Ratliff is a pleasurable read for both jazz novices and aficionados.
Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout unfolds of the controversy of Armstrong’s old-fashioned way of mixing high art with low comedy and the dark side behind his clowning face.
Running the Voodoo Down: The Electric Music of Miles Davis by Philip Freeman is a detailed analysis of Davis’s fusion albums.
So What: The Life of Miles Davis by John Szwed is a well-researched and thoughtful biography of Davis.
Trịnh Công Sơn (1939 – 2001) Cuộc Đời, Âm Nhạc, Thơ, Hội Họa & Suy Tưởng is a collection of essays on the life and work of one of the greatest Vietnamese songwriters written by his closed friends and confidants around the world.