Books | The Music Trust

Awakening: Four Lives in Art

Eileen Chanin, Steven Miller
Biography, Books
Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2015. 229pp. Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 74305 365 2
Reviewed by , February 1st, 2016

Four inspiring women, though not exactly household names today, are given some much-deserved attention in this engrossing publication. Dora Ohlfsen, Louise Dyer, Clarice Zander and Mary Cecil Allen, born in Australia in the second half of the nineteenth century, all achieved prominence in areas that were often regarded as the exclusive province of males. These… continue reading »

Beyond Black and White – My Life in Music

Roger Woodward
Biography, Books
Sydney: HarperCollinsPublishers Australia Pty Limited, 2014. 609pp ABC Books under licence.
ISBN: 978 0 7333 2303
Reviewed by , June 1st, 2015

In contrast with the austere black and white dust jacket, the first thing one sees when opening this book is the vividly coloured endpaper, painted by the nine year old author; such talent would surely lead to a future as a visual artist. Soon it becomes clear, however, that he was headed for a career… continue reading »

Collaborative Creative Thought and Practice in Music

Margaret S. Barrett, editor
Books, Musicology
Farnham, England: Ashgate Publishing, 2015. 326pp. Also in ebook PDF, ebook ePUB.
ISBN: 978-1-4724-1584-4 (hbk)
Reviewed by , September 1st, 2015

Issues to do with both collaborative activity and creativity are of real interest and concern at this point in time. Not because either of these things are in any way new aspects of human activity, but because changes in social structures and mediating technologies seem to be altering both the mechanisms by which we collaborate… continue reading »

Creating Cities

Marcus Westbury
Books, Cultural Policy
Melbourne: Niche Press, 2015. 192 pp. Paperback
ISBN: 9780992568740
Reviewed by , March 3rd, 2016

The story of Australia’s most famous urban ‘intervention’ that provides a different model and scale of state-cultural industry relationships. The literature on the ‘creative’ or ‘cultural’ city is now substantial, driven by scholarly interest in how artistic creativity becomes embedded (or not) within cityscapes; and city administrators looking to cultural practices for urban regeneration, competitive… continue reading »

Earth Dances: music in search of the primitive

Andrew Ford
Books, Music Criticism
Black Inc., Collingwood, Victoria, 2015. 242pp.
ISBN 9781863957120 (paperback)
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2015

Besides being a prominent composer and radio presenter, Andrew Ford has written nine books, many of which seem to be spin-offs of his work as a broadcaster. In this role Ford consumes a wide variety of contemporary musical styles and interacts personally with major figures in the world of music. Earth Dances consists principally of… continue reading »

Encounters: musical meetings between Australia and China

Edited by Nicholas Ng. Authors: Wang Zhengting, Aline Scott-Maxwell, Kim Cunio, Yang Mu, Catherine Ingram, Tony Mitchell, Nicholas Ng, Shan Deng, Tony Wheeler, Erik Griswold, Vanessa Tomlinson, William Yang, Gao Ping, John Huie, Anne Boyd, Julian Yu, Larry Sitsky, John Curro, Ash Dargan.
Books, Musicology
Toowong, Qld: Australian Academic Press, 2012, 192pp.
ISBN: 9781922117069 (pbk) Also in ebook.
Reviewed by , February 1st, 2015

This paperback volume is a collection of papers and transcribed discussions derived from a conference-festival of the same title, held in Brisbane in May 2010. As such, the book falls into the sometimes maligned genre of conference proceedings. In this case, however, I feel that the relative informality of papers read at a conference is… continue reading »

Grainger the Modernist

Suzanne Robinson, Kay Dreyfus, editors
Books, Musicology
Farnham, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2015 270pp
ISBN 9781472420220 (hardback) ISBN 9781472420237 (ebook- PDF) ISBN 9781472420244 (ebook-PUB)
Reviewed by , October 1st, 2015

Should Percy Grainger be regarded as a modernist? Or should he be dismissed, as he has been in the past, as an inconsequential arranger of British folksong? Even a cursory scan of Grainger’s life reveals that he was an innovator in many diverse ways: his individually created language eg ‘over-soul’(= genius), his outré towelling clothing,… continue reading »

Gudinski. The Godfather of Australian Rock‘n’Roll

Stuart Coupe
Biography, Books
Sydney: Hachette Australia, 2015. 326 pages
Reviewed by , November 1st, 2015

Stuart Coupe has written an extraordinary book in Gudinski. The Godfather of Australian Rock n Roll. The amount of research to present the Mushroom history within the Australian music industry is a recommendation in itself. Then, because he has hung this around the biography of the compelling Michael Gudinski, his book is a tale of… continue reading »

History Is Made at Night: Live Music in Australia

Clinton Walker
Books, Music Business
Sydney: Currency House, Platform Papers No. 32 July 2012. 73 pages
ISBN 9780987211415
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2014

In History Is Made at Night, Clinton Walker takes the lens to the ‘sticky carpet, dodgy house PAs and moshpit etiquette’ of live popular music. History Is Made at Night is one of the quarterly essays published in Currency House’s Platform Papers Series which provides a regular forum on the performing arts in Australia. Walker… continue reading »

How Music Got Free: What Happens When An Entire Generation Commits The Same Crime?

Stephen Witt
Books, Music Business
London: The Bodley Head, 2015. 296 pp
ISBN: 9781847923363 (Paperback)
Reviewed by , October 1st, 2015

How Music Got Free is business history written with the narrative drive of a Raymond Chandler crime novel. This carefully researched and deeply unsettling account traces the unravelling of the recording industry as copyright protection collapses and new digital technologies enable the free global distribution of music. And a whole generation decide to take advantage… continue reading »

I am Melba – a Biography

Ann Blainey
Biography, Books
Black Inc Publishing
ISBN 9781863953672
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2014

Ann Blainey makes no apology for adding to the already substantial collection of biographies of Miss Nellie Mitchell. In her Preface, she acknowledges her debt to her forerunners Agnes Murphy, John Hetherington, Thérèse Radic and Pamela Vestey, but claims the right to add to the shelf on several grounds, all of them supported, in her… continue reading »

It’s Culture, Stupid: Reflections of an Arts Bureaucrat

Leigh Tabrett
Books, Cultural Policy
Strawberry Hills, Currency House 2013. 69pp.
ISBN 9780987211439
Reviewed by , April 25th, 2014

 Leigh Tabrett has made a thoughtful contribution to Platform Papers quarterly essay series. Tabrett’s It’s Culture, Stupid: Reflections of an Arts Bureaucrat identifies some serious funding and policy issues that challenge the Australian arts sector. Tabrett was at the helm of Arts Queensland from 2005 to 2012 and her insights reflect the thinking of someone… continue reading »

I’m Talking. My life, my words, my music

Kate Ceberano, assisted by Tom Gilling
Biography, Books
Sydney: Hachette Australia, 2014. 324 pages
ISBN 978 0 7336 3023 1 (pbk)
Reviewed by , November 1st, 2015

“Eclectic” is surely a key word in the story of Kate Ceberano. In case you are unaware, she has achieved success singing rock, pop, jazz, funk, dance, the role of Mary Magdalene in a highly successful production of Jesus Christ Superstar, and more. Success and even stardom. In pop and rock she has sung with… continue reading »

Keith Humble, Music and Me – Memories of a Shared Life

Jill Humble
Biography, Books
Healesville, Victoria: Fernmill Books, 2015 (121 pages). Available by emailing John Whiteoak, or writing to Fernmill Books PO Box 395, Healesville 3777
ISBN 978-0-646-93884-4
Reviewed by , November 1st, 2015

I had the honour in 1971 of organising and promoting the premiere performance of Keith Humble’s Nunique VI in the Great Hall of The University of Sydney. I spent three days prior to the performance working with Keith and his long-time collaborator, Jean-Charles François, to facilitate the spectacle. It had many contrasting elements including a… continue reading »

Learning Strategies for Musical Success

Michael Griffin
Books, Music Education
Adelaide: Music Education World. 2013. 174 pages
ISBN/EAN13: 1481946730 / 9781481946735
Reviewed by , July 1st, 2014

The essential message of Michael Griffin’s terrific book is simple: that the greatest predictor of musical success is the quality and quantity of practice. Those experts like Mozart and Beethoven worked relentlessly from their early childhood to hone their skills. We call them geniuses but the research shows that world experts in any field, including… continue reading »

Lian Husi Klamar: Musika Tradisional Husi Timor-Leste (Sounds of the Soul: The Traditional Music of East Timor)

Roslyn Dunlop
Books, Ethnomusicology
Sydney: Tekee Media, 2012, 160pp, with CD and DVD (
ISBN: 978-0-646-58183-5
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2014

Literature on and research into the music and dance of East Timor are rare; public consciousness of this newly independent nation, if there is any, centres around its colonial history and the atrocities committed against it during and after its fight for independence from the Republic of Indonesia. For Australians, the 1975 murder by Indonesian… continue reading »

Life in the Real World: How to Make Music Graduates Employable

Life in the Real World: How to Make Music Graduates Employable

Dawn Bennett, Editor
Books, Music Business
Champaign, Illinois: Common Ground Publishing LLC, 2012. 284pp.
ISBN 978 1 61229 078 2
Reviewed by , March 2nd, 2014

This book is a collection of papers from an international team of music educators exploring themes specific to the development of music-related careers for music students, including transitions into work for musicians, entrepreneurship and networking for musicians. There are also themes of a more generic nature including lifelong learning and identify formation. A book of… continue reading »

Loading the Silence: Australian Sound Art in the Post-Digital Age

Linda Ioanna Kouvaras
Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2013
ISBN 9781409441564
Reviewed by , March 1st, 2014

While several books have been written which seek to summarise music-making practices in this country, none have focused on non-instrumental art music like this rigorous study by Linda Kouvaras. Roger Covell’s landmark book of 1967, Australia’s Music — Themes for a New Society, was an important first step. Now nearly fifty years old, it was… continue reading »

Making New Zealand’s Pop Renaissance: State, Markets, Musicians

Michael Scott
Books, Cultural Policy, Music Business
Farnham, England: Ashgate 2013, 185 Pages
ISBN 9781409443353
Reviewed by , August 1st, 2014

As a “small, isolated, commodity dependent” trading nation, New Zealand is a difficult place to maintain a career in music. This was particularly the case during the 1990s when the country was undergoing some fairly strong  “neo-liberal” reforms under the Bolger-Shipley National  Government. The election of Helen Clarke’s Labour Government in 1999 produced a range… continue reading »

Music Business and the Experience Economy: The Australian Case

Peter Tschmuck, Peter Pearce, Steven Campbell, eds.
Books, Music Business
ISBN 978 3 642 27897 6
Reviewed by , May 1st, 2014

Books that focus on music as business are relatively uncommon, so it is surprising to find an entire volume from international publishing house Springer devoted to the Australian music sector. The idea for the book arose in Townsville, when Peter Tschmuck, from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, was having dinner with… continue reading »

On Love and Science. Illustrated story with accompanying CD

Book by Zulya Kamalova, illustrations by Dilka Bear. With accompanying CD. Musicians: Children of the Underground: Zulya Kamalova, vocals, writer, composer, leader; Lucas Michailidis, guitars; Aviva Endean, clarinets, tenor sax; Anthony Schulz, piano accordion, piano; Justin Marshall, drums, percussion; Andrew Tanner, double bass, jew’s harp.
Books, Fiction
Self-published hardback. Purchase via website.
Reviewed by , March 3rd, 2016

This multimedia release is Zulya’s finest and most ambitious work to date. It demands attention and accolades. This is a highly produced illustrated story for adults in a hardback book, accompanying a CD. For the review, please go to Music Reviews on this site. VIEW AND LISTEN Book and CD Trailer :  

Philanthropy and the Arts

Jennifer Radbourne and Kenneth Watkins
Books, Music Business
Melbourne: Melbourne University Press 2015 228 pages
ISBN 9780522868708
Reviewed by , February 1st, 2016

A collaboration between an experienced fundraiser and an arts management academic, Philanthropy and the Arts promises to unpack the secrets of new philanthropy. It does this, though it’s not an easy journey. In part this is due to the book’s unusual perspective. It embeds a very narrow focus on the successful fundraising approach taken by… continue reading »

Punk Aesthetics and New Folk: Way Down the Old Plank Road

John Encarnacao
Books, Musicology
Ashgate (Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series). 298pp. Hardback, Also in ebook PDF, ebook ePUB
ISBN: 978-1-4094-3399-6 (hbk)
Reviewed by , September 1st, 2015

John Encarnacao’s study of the diverse field of ‘new folk’ is a wonderful contribution to popular music studies. Punk Aesthetics and New Folk is as much a fascinating and accessible genealogy of some of the more interesting and obscure popular music produced in the last 30 years as it is a new history of the… continue reading »

Riding This Road. My life – making music and travelling this wide land with Slim Dusty

Joy McKean
Biography, Books
Sydney: Hachette Australia, 2014. 343 pages
ISBN 978-0 7336 3154-2. Paperback
Reviewed by , November 1st, 2015

All who have achieved my hand-trembling years will know who Slim Dusty was. Many of this doddering horde will also know that his wife was Joy McKean, who performed his music with him all over Australia. In fact she wrote some of his songs. Young as you may be, you should know this too if… continue reading »

Roger Smalley: A Case Study of Late Twentieth-Century Composition

Christopher Mark
Books, Musicology
Farnham (Surrey): Ashgate, 2012, 272 pages
ISBN 9781409424116 (hbk) ISBN 9781409441991 (ebk)
Reviewed by , July 1st, 2014

This analytical study of the music of British-Australian composer, Roger Smalley (b. 1943), covers 25 works written between 1961 and 1996. From his English vantage point, the author, Christopher Mark, acknowledges that Smalley’s work is not well-known and hopes that the book will stimulate interest in a body of music that he believes “to be… continue reading »

Rules of Engagement

Kim Williams
Biography, Books
Melbourne: Miegunyah Press, 2014. 322pp
ISBN 9780522866933
Reviewed by , May 1st, 2015

For decades, Kim Williams has held significant management roles in the arts and media sector in Australian. His memoir, Rules of Engagement, provides us with a beautifully written insider account of the personal, policy and corporate struggles that occurred behind the scenes of some of our largest and most important institutions. Rules of Engagement is… continue reading »

Serious Fun: The Life and Music of Mike Nock

Norman Meehan
Biography, Books
Wellington, NZ: Victoria University Press, 2010
ISBN 978-0-86473-636-9
Reviewed by , September 3rd, 2014

Mike Nock has been a stalwart of the Sydney Improvised Music Association and was a star turn at its August celebration of its 30th anniversary. In the general spirit of reminiscence, he offered The Music Trust this biography, published in 2010, for review. It was published around the time of Mike’s 70th birthday celebrations so… continue reading »

Sophisto-Punk: The Story of Mark Opitz and Oz Rock

Luke Wallis, Jeff Jenkins and Mark Opitz
Biography, Books
Sydney: Ebury Press 2012, 361pp.
ISBN 9781742757933
Reviewed by , March 1st, 2014

It’s rare that a book on the Australian music industry provides a perspective from behind the mixing desk. That’s why Sophisto-Punk, the biography of award winning producer Mark Opitz, is so valuable. Co-writers Luke Wallis and Jeff Jenkins met Opitz when they interviewed him for the Triple M radio network. Opitz had so many stories… continue reading »

Steady, Steady by Henry ‘Seaman’ Dan and Karl Neuenfeldt

Steady, Steady

Henry ‘Seaman’ Dan and Karl Neuenfeldt
Biography, Books, Ethnomusicology
Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press, 2013. 170pp.Includes CD, Seaman Dan, Still on Deck : Personal Favourites, 2013, Steady, Steady Music
ISBN 9781922059208
Reviewed by , March 2nd, 2014

Canadian-Australian academic Karl Neuenfeldt first met Torres Strait Islander singer Seaman Dan in 1999, the year Dan turned 70. Neuenfeldt, then a researcher at Central Queensland University, was on Thursday Island at the local radio station, 4MW (Meriba Wakai), conducting interviews with Torres Strait Island musicians. He asked Dan to sing a few songs, and… continue reading »

The Arts and the Common Good

Katharine Brisbane
Books, Cultural Policy
Sydney: Currency House, Platform Papers Issue #43, May 2015. 72 pp
ISBN13 978 0 9924890 4-5
Reviewed by , June 1st, 2015

Platform Papers are scholarly quarterly essays produced by Currency House Inc., a Sydney-based non-profit organisation, formed in 2001, which seeks to raise the level of public discourse about issues facing the arts today (see www. In this, Paper Number 43, Katherine Brisbane, theatre critic and historian, expresses her deep concerns about the current health… continue reading »

The Australian Symphony from Federation to 1960

Rhoderick McNeill
Books, Musicology
Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2014
ISBN 978–1–4094–4124-3
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2014

It is not often that an elegantly written, well researched book can be used as an advocacy tool, but Rhoderick McNeill’s thorough investigation of the symphonies written before 1960 by Australian composers is one that requires attention.  Most of the works composed during the period covered in the book are probably known only to a… continue reading »

The Bee Gees: The Biography

The Bee Gees: The Biography

David N Meyer
Biography, Books
North Sydney: Ebury Books, Random House, 2013, 319pp.
ISBN 978 1 74275 157 (pbk)
Reviewed by , March 2nd, 2014

The Bee Gees are one of the great enigmas of popular music – nothing seems to be consistent. Unfairly derided, they are among the world’s biggest selling acts: only the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Garth Brooks outsell them. Yet, they tend to remain forgotten, although the nostalgia plaguing modern culture currently (see Reynolds, S, Retromania:… continue reading »

The Beethoven Obsession. The story of Gerard Willems recording of all Beethoven’s piano works on the Stuart piano

Brendan Ward
Biography, Books, Musicology
Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2013, 269pp.
ISBN 9781742233956 (pbk)
Reviewed by , January 1st, 2015

Ward recounts the fascinating story of three men, and their project to record the complete Beethoven piano works on the unique Australian made Stuart piano. These three men are Brendan Ward a former TV cameraman from Kingaroy QLD, Wayne Stuart the piano designer and pianist, and Sydney Conservatorium academic Gerard Willems, the Dutch immigrant who… continue reading »

The Best Years of Our Lives: Richard Clapton

Richard Clapton
Biography, Books
Crows Nest: Allen and Unwin 2014. 337 Pages
ISBN 9781760110598
Reviewed by , September 1st, 2014

The Best Years of Our Lives is Richard Clapton’s account of his roller-coaster life in the fast lane of Australian popular music. With a recording career stretching back to the early 1970s, he has a lot to draw on. The book opens in the mid-sixties as Clapton the young fan spends a day with The… continue reading »

The Creative Industries: Culture and Policy

Terry Flew
Books, Cultural Policy
London and Thousand Oaks: Sage University Press, 2012. 232 pp.
ISBN 978-1-84787-575-4
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2014

Since the late 1990s, ‘the creative industries’ has been the primary conceptual engine in thinking and policy about arts and culture in western societies. This book provides a thorough account of the term’s development, from the original blueprint of the UK Blair government, to its many national and regional variations. As both policy practitioner and… continue reading »

The Music of David Lumsdaine: Kelly Ground to Cambewarra

Michael Hooper
Books, Musicology
Farnham (UK): Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2012, 232 pages
ISBN 978140-9428763 (hbk)
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2014

The subject of this book, David Lumsdaine (b. 1931), is an Australian modernist composer who established his career in the UK. Although Lumsdaine has lived in England more or less continuously since moving there in 1953, he has maintained a strong connection with Australia and is renowned for his soundscapes recorded in various Australian locations…. continue reading »

The Music of Peter Sculthorpe

John Peterson
Books, Musicology
Sydney: Wildbird Music, 2014, 220 pages
ISBN 978-0-9875145-0-9 (pbk)
Reviewed by , September 1st, 2014

In August this year, the response to news that Peter Sculthorpe had died was swift and heartfelt. The federal Minister for the Arts and the Prime Minister acknowledged the passing of a ‘musical giant’, sentiments echoed by the Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister. Obituaries and reminiscences quickly appeared in both mainstream and social media from… continue reading »

The Music of Place: Reclaiming a practice

Jon Rose
Books, Cultural Policy
Sydney: Currency House, May 2013, Platform Papers No 35
ISBN 978 0 987211446
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2014

This book is part of the Currency House’s Platform Papers, an ‘informed quarterly essay series seeking new directions’ in performance and media arts and associated arts industry practices. Jon Rose (b. 1951) is a composer, sound artist, improviser, violinist and instrument maker working in the experimental music tradition. He has recently been recognised with the… continue reading »

The Music of Richard Meale

Michael Hannan
Books, Musicology
Sydney: Wildbird Music Pty Ltd, 2014, 187pp.
ISBN 9780987514516 (pbk)
Reviewed by , September 1st, 2014

The launch of a new publishing venture to support, promote and interpret Australian art music is a cause for celebration. Composer Brian Howard has established Wildbird to publish both music and books on music, and the first two books in a planned series on Australian Composers have just been released: The Music of Peter Sculthorpe… continue reading »

The Never, Um, Ever Ending Story: Life, Countdown and Everything in Between

Ian Molly Meldrum with Jeff Jenkin
Biography, Books
Allen and Unwin, Crows Nest, NSW, 2014. 456pp.
ISBN 978 1 76011 205 9 (hardback)
Reviewed by , March 1st, 2015

The Executive Producer of Countdown, Michael Shrimpton once said that Molly Meldrum was ‘a collection of nouns searching for a verb’. Actually, Molly has done a lot of verbing in his life, much of it with a capital ‘V’. One could almost call him verbose! He also cites many nouns, particularly the proper variety (though… continue reading »

The Shock of Recognition: the books and music that have inspired me

Barry Jones
Biography, Books, Music Criticism
Sydney: Allen and Unwin 2016. 412 pp. Paperback
ISBN 9781741759662
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2016

Barry’s open house: a classic’s classics. A visit to a colleague’s house will often bring you face to face with their books and music, sometimes on display, sometimes stacked haphazardly throughout rooms. A window into their interests and influences, a scan of their collection can help find common ground, or not, as the case may… continue reading »

The Time Is Ripe for the Great Australian Musical

John Senczuk
Books, Cultural Policy
Sydney: Currency House. Platform Papers. Quarterly Essays on the Performing Arts. No. 42, February 2015. 74pp.
ISBN 978 0 9924890 3 8
Reviewed by , April 2nd, 2015

John Senczuk has spent 30 years in music theatre, dance and drama as a designer, director, writer for and about theatre, academic, manager. His special passion for music theatre has led him to make a magnificent proposal, outlined in this edition of Currency House’s wonderful series of quarterly monographs, Platform Papers. These are important ideas… continue reading »

The Youngs: The brothers who built AC/DC

Jesse Fink
Biography, Books
North Sydney, Ebury Press, a division of Random House, 2013, 313 pages
ISBN 1 74275 979 1
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2014

  Writing a book on AC/DC is difficult. The achievements are immense. The second biggest selling rock album of all time: Back in Black(only beaten by Michael Jackson’s Thriller, according to most sales statistics). A live act which remains energetic and vital into their sixties. A signature sound that is easily copied, but never duplicated…. continue reading »

Try Whistling This: Writings about Music

Andrew Ford
Books, Music Criticism
Collingwood, VIC: Black Inc., 2012, 343pp.
ISBN 9781863955713 (pbk.)
Reviewed by , March 1st, 2014

This book, Andrew Ford’s seventh, is described (reluctantly) by its author in the introduction as a book of music criticism. His reluctance is a reflection on our age as one of consumption or ownership of music as a personal phenomenon, as a determination of our membership of different ‘tribes’ defined by the facile ‘like’ of… continue reading »

Websites & Social Media B146

Jerome John
Books, Music Business
Sydney: Australian Copyright Council May 2013, 47pp.
ISBN 978 1 920778 27 9
Reviewed by , March 2nd, 2014

If you thought the world of copyright was confusing enough, read Websites and Social Media and you’ll realise that the internet has added a new layer of complexity to the lives of musicians, artists, writers and critics. The plethora of on-line forums, blogs and audio distribution platforms that have emerged in recent years have created… continue reading »

World’s Best Jazz Club: The Story of Bennetts Lane

David James
Books, Musicology
Highett, Vic: Major Street Publishing Pty Ltd, 2014. 239pp.
ISBN 9780987542946 (hardback).
Reviewed by , October 1st, 2014

Is Bennetts Lane the world’s best jazz club? David James’s new book on the iconic Melbourne jazz venue makes a compelling argument that it is. Considering the recent news that Bennetts will close next year, with owner/founder Michael Tortoni admitting the “planning laws, the taxation arrangements, they don’t allow a niche business which is basically… continue reading »

Wotan’s Daughter. The Life of Marjorie Lawrence by Richard Davis

Wotan’s Daughter. The Life of Marjorie Lawrence

Richard Davis
Biography, Books
Kent Town, South Australia: Wakefield Press. 331pp.
ISBN 9781743051221 (pbk)
Reviewed by , March 2nd, 2014

The story of soprano Marjorie Lawrence has all the threads common to Australian musicians who get themselves to the other side of the world and establish international reputations. Outstanding talent and unshakable belief in their worth, willingness to pursue the dream despite all vicissitudes, and courage. Surely none of them has shown the courage that… continue reading »

The Remarkable Mr Morrison. The Virtuosity and Versatility of Australia’s Master Musician

Mervyn E. Collins
Biography, Books
Melbourne: Melbourne Books, 2014, 317pp.
ISBN 9781922129444 (pbk)
Reviewed by , August 1st, 2015

Jazzman James Morrison was born with exceptional gifts which became evident from early childhood when he tried playing all the instruments his older brother brought home from school. He started playing in bands at the age of eight, first at Mona Vale Primary School on Sydney’s northern beaches and later in a group at the… continue reading »

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