The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records

Ashley Kahn, Author . Norton $29.95 (338p) ISBN 978-0-393-05879-6

Noted jazz writer Kahn follows up his in-depth account of the making of jazz legend John Coltrane's most famous album, A Love Supreme , with a history of the record label Coltrane ushered into jazz history. Always a corporate entity (though it changed hands several times between its inception in 1961 and the present), Impulse! was founded by legendary jazz producer Creed Taylor as an imprint of ABC-Paramount records. During Taylor's short stint as label head (before being recruited to overhaul Verve Records), he signed Impulse!'s first exclusive artist, Coltrane, who, through his endless musical questing, recommendations of other artists and status as the label's bestseller, would define Impulse!'s sound and proclivity toward the avant-garde. Taylor's successor, Bob Thiele, was the major driving force at Impulse!, however, supporting Coltrane through his prolific, often confounding musical experiments and producing records by such other influential artists as Archie Shepp, McCoy Tyner and Pharoah Sanders. Kahn mingles engaging stories of corporate politics with insider accounts of music-making and anecdotal takes on particular albums. His history of Impulse! is also the story of the genesis of an American art form and the evolution of the record industry through the tumultuous 1960s—and will compel readers to seek out this label's masterful albums. Photos. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/27/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
Paperback - 338 pages - 978-0-393-33071-7
Open Ebook - 978-0-393-08288-3
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