Mel Lewis (1929-1990) was born Melvin Sokoloff to Jewish Russian immigrants in Buffalo, New York. He first picked up his father's drumsticks at the age of two and at seventeen he was a full-time professional musician. The View from the Back of the Band is the first biography of this legendary jazz drummer. For over fifty years, Lewis provided the blueprint for how a drummer could subtly support any musical situation. While he made his name with Stan Kenton and Thad Jones, and with his band at the Village Vanguard, it was the hundreds of recordings that he made as a sideman and his ability to mentor young musicians that truly defined his career. Away from the drums, Lewis's passionate and outspoken personality made him one of jazz music's greatest characters. It is often through Lewis's own anecdotes, as well as many from the musicians who knew him best, that this book traces the career of one of the world's greatest drummers. Previously unpublished interviews, personal memoirs, photos, musical transcriptions, and a selected discography add to this comprehensive biography.
"While history holds a seemingly endless list of great drummers, any person interested in the history of jazz drumming will appreciate the life story of Mel Lewis. Having performed on a whopping 630 recordings, it's almost impossible that you've never heard his playing.This fantastic book by Chris Smith is a heartfelt look at the life and career of the great Mel Lewis. In fact, the book itself is as wide in scope as Lewis's career; and it traverses depth comparable to Lewis's playing. It is an extremely extensive Mel Lewis biography which will leave no reader unsatisfied."--"ProDrumBlog.com"
Series: North Texas Lives of Musician Series
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 24th October 2014
Publisher: University of North Texas Press,U.S.
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.8
Weight (kg): 0.68