Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues
A Musical JourneyBook - 2003
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.
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 a timeless collection of great writing to be savored and shared: it is an unforgettable initiation into the very essence of American music and culture.