Discover more from A Book For Ants: Bite-Sized Reviews of Snack-Sized Books
BLUE IN GREEN by Wesley Brown
Soon after the release of his masterpiece, Kind of Blue, Miles Davis was assaulted by a cop outside a club in New York. That he was one of the biggest names in music hardly mattered. This was 1959 America. Wesley Brown takes the assault as a springboard for Blue In Green, a remarkable character study of one of the most intriguing figures in American music history. Brown’s Davis is a deeply complex, greatly flawed man; a genius but also an arsehole. It’s a fearless, if dispiriting, portrait for Davis fans.
The book itself swings like a freeform improv set. You can almost smell the smoke. The dialogue is sharp, funny, acerbic. The tensions run high. Racism abounds, but so do dignity and defiance. There’s a parade of superstars, some making cameos, some there for the long haul. And then there’s the darkest of Davis’s shortcomings: the appalling treatment of his wife, a talented dancer and singer in her own right, whose dreams he trampled with his macho controlling bullshit. Whether you dig jazz or not, this is a cool book. And, in the context of a Trump-stained America, it’s a vital one.
Blue In Green by Wesley Brown
Blank Forms Editions, 2022