Book: Derrick Bang/Vince Guaraldi


Derrick Bang, Vince Guaraldi at the Piano (McFarland) There was much more to Vince Guaraldi (1928-1976) than “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” and his “Peanuts” television sound tracks. Bang’s substantial biography covers the pianist and composer’s life from his pre-Cal Tjader days through success with the vibraphonist’s jazz and Latin groups, his own trio, his collaborations with Bola Sete and the Charlie Brown connection that made him famous. He captures the balance between Guaraldi’s serious … [Read more...]

Book: Riccardi On Armstrong


Ricky Riccardi, What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years (Pantheon). In the eulogy at Armstrong’s funeral in 1971, Fred Robbins said, “He was truly the only one of his kind, a titanic figure in his and our time, a veritable Picasso. A Stravinsky. A Casals. A Louis Armstrong.” Many of Armstrong’s critics charged that his artistic stature diminished after 1931, 1940, 1956…(pick a year). Riccardi’s meticulous research and engaging narrative put that notion to rest. … [Read more...]

Book: Telegraph Style Guide

Telegraph Guide

Simon Heffer, Philip Reynolds, The Telegraph Style Guide (Aurum). Whenever Rifftides has posted an Other Matters entry about language, our readers, a literate lot, have responded. This book, designed to keep the staff of the UK’s Telegraph newspapers on their toes, will appeal to those interested in correct usage—and in having a good chuckle. “Slammed is acceptable for a door,” it says, “but not as a metaphor for criticism.” “Very, Usually redundant.” Among the Telegraph’s banned words and … [Read more...]