Nik Cohn shares his favourite albums and books
As his seminal piece of rock criticism, Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom, is re-released as a Vintage Classic, music journalist Nik Cohn shares a list of his favourite albums and books
Nick Tosches – Hellfire At one level, the story of Jerry Lee Lewis and his cousin, the mega-preacher Jimmy Swaggart, it’s really about the twining of good and evil that has always given rock & roll its sacred/profane juice.
Ben Ratliff – Coltrane Ratliff is the finest music writer extant, and his survey of John Coltrane’s ever-evolving style comes closer to capturing the nature of sound – what we hear, and how it affects us – than anything I know.
Rachel Podger – The Rosary Sonatas:Biber’s massive baroque master-class, monstrously difficult to play, yet Podger makes it sound as natural as breathing. Radiant stuff.
Elvis Presley – The Sun Sessions: The King as a raw and greasy punk, hot off the streets. Pure sex. Or impure, which is even better.
Born in Louisiana to a family legacy of great courage and greater madness, Jerry Lee Lewis was torn throughout his life between a harsh Pentecostal God and the Devil of alcohol, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. At twenty-one, he recorded "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On", which propelled him to stardom.
Few other jazz musicians have proved so inspirational and so fascinating as Coltrane. This book offers a narrative of Coltrane's life and also discusses this saxophonist's unique sound.
Mister Jelly Roll: The Fortunes of Jelly Roll Morton, New Orleans Creole and Inventor of Jazz (Paperback)
A biography of Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton, one of the world's most influential composers of jazz.
Describing the music and cutting through the hype, this book was written with a simple purpose to catch the feel, the pulse of Rock.