What our staff has to say: “A very good book about the scope of free jazz. The author being a music journalist has first hand accounts of viewing and interviewing the artists involved in the scene. This gives the book not just the history of but a oral run through of the artists involved. Helps redefine what free jazz is, not just as a genre but as a movement as a whole between the 60’s – 70’s. Would recommend as well for the photos included in the book taken by Val Wilmer herself.” – Jack
In this classic account of the new black music of the 1960s and 70s, celebrated photographer and jazz historian Val Wilmer tells the story of how a generation of revolutionary musicians established black music as the true vanguard of American culture. Placing the achievements of African-American artists such as Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and Sun Ra in their broader political and social context, Wilmer evokes an era of extraordinary innovation and experimentation that continues to inspire musicians today. As vital now as when it was first published in 1977, As Serious As Your Life is the essential story of one of the most dynamic musical movements of the twentieth century.