Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz (英語) ハードカバー – 2011/6/24
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Fred Astaire: one of the great jazz artists of the twentieth century? Astaire is best known for his brilliant dancing in the movie musicals of the 1930s, but in "Music Makes Me," Todd Decker argues that Astaire s work as a dancer and choreographer particularly in the realm of tap dancingmade a significant contribution to the art of jazz. Decker examines the full range of Astaire s work in filmed and recorded media, from a 1926 recording with George Gershwin to his 1970 blues stylings on television, and analyzes Astaire s creative relationships with the greats, including George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, and Johnny Mercer. He also highlights Astaire s collaborations with African American musicians and his work with lesser known professionalsarrangers, musicians, dance directors, and performers."
"Mr. Decker digs deeply into Astaire's creative process, anatomizing what went into each production. . . . Illuminating, richly detailed analysis."--"Wall Street Journal"
"A worthy addition to the books that have been inspired by the genius of Fred Astaire."--"Reelzchannel Maltin On Movies"
"This book is a worthy resource for a much wider audience than its title suggests. . . . Highly Recommended."--"Choice"
"A worthy resource. . . . Highly Recommended."--"Choice"
"Fascinating. . . . Much in Decker's account of Astaire's musicianship and the range of this talents in Music Makes Me may come as a surprise."--"Times Literary Supplement (Tls)"
"Delving into production schedules, credit sheets, cast lists, and other studio paraphernalia, Decker gives us a good look at Astaire-related activity behind the scenes."--"New York Review of Books"
"A worthy resource. . . . Highly Recommended."--C. Wadsworth Walker"Choice" (12/01/2011)
"Illuminating. . . . There is something of an unabashed joy in watching and hearing Astaire's routines, and Decker's book reflects that joy."--Sarah Caissie Provost Clark University"Notes (Music Library Assoc)" (12/01/2012)
"Decker offers . . . fascinating observations to underscore the idea of Astaire as ardent listener and lover of all things 'jazz.'"--Jennifer R. Jenkins"Film & History" (11/23/2012)
A worthy resource. . . . Highly Recommended. --C. Wadsworth Walker"Choice" (12/01/2011)"
Illuminating. . . . There is something of an unabashed joy in watching and hearing Astaire s routines, and Decker s book reflects that joy. --Sarah Caissie Provost Clark University"Notes (Music Library Assoc)" (12/01/2012)"
Decker offers . . . fascinating observations to underscore the idea of Astaire as ardent listener and lover of all things jazz. --Jennifer R. Jenkins"Film & History" (11/23/2012)"
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Astaire, the second great Hollywood creation, was not handsome, was not gifted with a chest that stood out like a cliff, nor did her have the radiant eyes that wooed you just by opening them. Instead he danced. Boy did he ever! The greatest ever! But did you also know that he was superb jazz-man?
There is the electrifying scene near the end of "The Sky is The Limit," that sly, under-appreciated master-work, where Fred, who feels that he has just lost the love of his life but can do nothing about it, does his greatest solo dance (and arguably the greatest solo dance put on film) and tries to dance his way out of his love's life and dance into the uncertain future of looming combat. This dance, to the tune of the towering Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer tune "One For My Baby," has thrilled fans for years and is often captured on anthologies on dance or on Fred's career.
But the breakdown of this dance, this music, this moment, has never been captured with such-behind-the-scenes mastery as Todd Decker reveals here. I had thought that perhaps only me and a few others understood the significance of this film and this dance but after Decker's sublime analysis such thoughts were stilled. He gets into the arrangement of the music, the hotness of the playing and if you feel that the RKO orchestra nuclear swings like Basie or Henderson on this piece, you might not be far off and Decker tells us why, offering up surprise after surprise as he does so. But "Sky" is only one treat. There are tons of others and this book, with its judicious insights and greedy archeology, spellbinds from the opening pages.
Of the four great studies on Astaire--(My word what other stars, save a few--Cagney, Bogart, Mitchum--has even one great study based on their work let alone two!)--John Mueller, Stanley Green, Arlene Croce and Decker's--it is my opinion that "Music Makes Me" can easily take its place with the other three as a definitive work on the Master. That's saying a lot. I know the passion of Astaire fans (and they are right to have this passion) and many will still want to place Green's and Mueller's books at the top of their own lists. That's fine by me for those studies are certainly worthy. But Todd Decker has done something exceedingly fine with "Music Makes Me;" he gets at the hidden things beneath an epic production, coaxes them to the surface and unveils their power for all to see. Written with a real feel for verve Decker has placed into our hands another important, dominant, work on one of the greatest artists America ever produced.
Then there is this: Mueller, Green and Croce cover Astaire the dancer but the secret things of the music that lay beneath much of that dancing lies dormant in comparison to Decker's "Music Makes Me" which takes as a general theme that the Master was not only crazy-mad for jazz, but that he was, at core, a great jazzman in his own way! This is a new and thrilling take on Astaire and some will want to read Decker ALONGSIDE the Green and Mueller works.
But, make no mistake. "Music Makes Me" is also a fine stand alone study of Astaire and the music that moved him so powerfully. "Music Makes Me" deserves to become a standard by which future Astaire studies are judged.