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Carolyn Howard-Johnson reviews Miles Beyond


Miles Beyond: The Electri c Exploration of Miles Davis, 1967-1991

by Paul Tingen

Billboard Books, an imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications, 2001

ISBN: 0823083462

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Jazz, Anyone?

Everyone knows of Miles Davis.  Most everyone thinks they love something about Miles Davis's sound--at least one period or another.  This book may be for these followers of celebrity. It may please music lovers.  But it is not written for the casual Miles Davis observer.  These toe-tappers, too, may find something to love but Paul Tingen, author of Miles Beyond, certainly had another reader in mind when he wrote this book.


Miles Beyond, published by the Watson-Guptill Publications imprint that specializes in books about celebrities and related subjects, is aimed not as the seamy side of this jazz musician's life nor is it intended for readers who seek a quick overview. This book looks at a little known aspect of Miles Davis's career, the time in the 70s when he explored electric music. A reader will find his philosophy and some of his trials here but the material focuses on Miles and his music.  Indeed, it seems to recognize that the two are inseparable. 


A serious work, Miles Beyond includes photos, a bibliography, a discography, a sessionography (I told you the book is about his music!) and an index worthy of its name. Real fans, jazz aficionados and those who study our culture and how it is affected by music will find what they want and need here.  Others may be in for a surprise that will delight them, or not. This is not a book for dabblers.  It is a story--told with feeling--for people who love and want to know more about jazz.




(Carolyn Howard-Johnson's first novel, This is the Place, has won eight awards. Her newly released Harkening, a collection of stories, has won three. Her practical and detailed how-to book on promotion, THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER: HOW TO DO WHAT YOU'RE PUBLISHER WON'T, is available as an  e-book at and as a paperback at  online bookstores.

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