Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, and Cecil Taylor revolutionized music from the end of the twentieth century into the twenty-first, expanding on jazz traditions with distinctly new concepts of composition, improvisation, instrumentation, and performance. They remain figures of controversy due to their border-crossing processes. Miles, Ornette, Cecil is the first book to connect these three icons of the avant-garde, examining why they are lionized by some critics and reviled by others, while influencing musicians across such divides as genre, geography, and racial and ethnic backgrounds. Mandel offers fresh insights into their careers from interviews with all three artists and many of their significant collaborators, as well as a thorough overview of earlier interpretations of their work.
"…an indespensable resource." --Andy Hamilton, The Wire
"I learned so much from Miles Ornette Cecil: Jazz Beyond Jazz. It's really reporting, as well as listening. This is jazz from the inside - an essential book, not only for new listeners but for historians of jazz now, and in the future. We hear the musicians speak, informing the author - and us - thereby adding to how much more of the music we come to hear." --Nat Hentoff, writer, Jazz Times, Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal
"Howard Mandel assumes many roles here -- elucidating critic and devoted fan, knowledgeable listener and Boswellian acolyte, evangelist and champion of the avant garde -- all taken on with infectious enthusiasm." --George Kanzler, JazzTimes
"The most impressive aspect of the book is [Mandel's] writing: honest and evocative, flavorful and generous, enthusiastic and thought-provoking." --Art Lange, Jazz Notes