Ira Altschiller @ PaintedMatter.com

Recommendations - Books and other stuff

The books / music listed below, works of the mind and heart and imagination, have all meant something to me or seemed something so worthy I had to mention them.

They are linked to amazon.com - a place you can buy them at a sale price; I've purchased tons of stuff from amazon.com.

I'll keep adding to this list - it's a mixed bag - I loved putting this together:

 

The great Bach. They used to say in art school that the fine arts distinguishes itself because you can keep returning to works of fine art and discover something new - as opposed to the throwaway popular culture. Here's a poster boy for that concept: the great Bach.

Brandenburg Ct 1-3 ~ J.S. Bach / Audio CD / Released 1996

Brandenburg Ct 4-6~ J.S. Bach / Audio CD / Released 1996

 

The Jim Carroll band - the spirit of rock and roll - you know these songs are about things that have meaning to him - unprocessed youth:

Catholic Boy Jim Carroll / Audio Cassette

World Without Gravity : Best of Jim Carroll Jim Carroll / Audio Cassette

 

The brilliant Charlie Parker - he was called "bird" - a force of nature - percolating with joy:

Bird at the Hi Hat Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Walkman Jazz/Compact Jazzparker,Charl Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Be Bop & Bird: Vol.1 Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Be Bop & Bird: Vol.2 Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Bird at the Apollo Charlie Parker / Audio CD / Published 1991
Bird at the Apollo Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Bird at the Apollo Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Bird of Paradise Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Bird With the Herd Charlie Parker, Herma / Audio Cassette
Bird:Original Recordings Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Birdman Charlie Parker / Audio CD / Published 1992
Birdology Charlie Parker / Audio CD / Published 1991
Birdology Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Birdology Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Carvin the Bird Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Charlie Parker All Stars Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Charlie Parker and Thematic Improvisation (Studies in Jazz, No. 24)
Charlie Parker Anthology /Nr Charlie Parker / Audio CD / Published 1995
Charlie Parker Anthology /Nr Charlie Parker / Audio CD / Published 1995
Charlie Parker Anthology /Nr Charlie Parker / Audio CD / Published 1995
Cole Porter Songbook Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Collectors Edition : That's Jazz Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Dial Sessions 1945-1947 Box Set (4)
Dials Vol. 1 Charlie Parker / Audio CD / Published 1990
Dials Vol. 2 Charlie Parker / Audio CD / Published 1990
Dizzy Gillespie,Sarah Vaughan,Parker Charlie Bird Parker / Audio Cassette
Essential Charlie Parker Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Groovin High Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Jazz Round Midnight:Charlie Parker Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Live Sessions Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Live Sessions Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Now's the Time Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette / Published 1989
Parker Plus Strings Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Parker With Strings Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Round Midnight and Other Gems Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
Tribute to Charlie Parker With String Charlie Watts, Quint / Audio Cassette
Very Best of Bird Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette
West Coast Time Charlie Parker / Audio CD / Published 1991
West Coast Time Charlie Parker / Audio Cassette

 

John Cage was a musician and brilliant theorist; he accepted randomness into his works - although I am not always a fan of the artistic product - I respect his sunny aesthetic disposition so well represented in this exciting book...
Silence - John Cage - Paperback

 

Pauline Kael - easily the best movie critic. Kael was not only a brilliant writer, but she also had a sharpness of perception and insight that separated her from her imitators.

This is a collection of the pieces she felt were her best - a thick book you can't put down:
For Keeps

Kael's lively intelligence improvising:
Conversations With Pauline Kael (Literary Conversations Series )
Pauline Kael, Will Brantley (Editor); Paperback

Although far less comprehensive than the siskel/ebert, leonard maltin type movie guide - it doesn't have the acidic precision of her blurbs in the new yorker , nor the force of her essays - but it is still a brilliant compendium:
5001 Nights at the Movies : Expanded for the 90s With 800 New Reviews
Pauline Kael / Paperback / Published 1991

 

John Rewald was a great art historian. He combines the sweep of history, the excitement of the ideas of a period, with a sharp eye for human detail. I'm not a huge fan of Impressionism - I like post-Impressionism a lot better; but Rewald is a wonderful storyteller and draws you in. When I was a student his studies in post-Impressionism were a spectacular resource. Cezanne, an artist who influenced all of twentieth century art is of particular interest if you'd like to see how the visual arts got where they are:

Camille Pissarro (Masters of Art Series) John Rewald / Hardcover / Published 1989
Cezanne : A Biography John Rewald / Hardcover / Published 1996
Cezanne and America : Dealers, Collectors, Artists and Critics, 1891-1921 (A.W. Mellon Lectures on the Fine Arts) John Rewald / Hardcover / Published 1989
Letters to His Son Lucien Camille Pissarro, John Rewald (Editor) / Paperback / Published 1995
The Paintings of Paul Cezanne : A Catalogue Raisonne John Rewald, et al / Hardcover / Published 1997
Paul Cezanne, Letters Paul Cezanne, John Rewald (Editor) / Paperback / Published 1995
Paul Cezanne Letters John Rewald (Editor), Seymour Hacker (Translator) / Hardcover / Published 1985
Studies in Impressionism John Rewald / Hardcover / Published 1986
Studies in Post-Impressionism John Rewald / Hardcover / Published 1986
Aspects of Monet : A Symposium on the Artist's Life and Times John Rewald, Frances Weitzenhoffer / Published 1984
Cezanne : a biography John Rewald
History of Impressionism John Rewald / Published 1973
Paul Cezanne : The Watercolors, a Catalogue Raisonne John Rewald / Published 1984
Pissarro : Camille Pissarro, 1830-1903 John Rewald / Published 1980
Post-Impressionism : From Van Gogh to Gauguin John Rewald / Published 1979
Renoir Drawings Auguste Renoir, John Rewald (Editor) / Published 1993

 

Studs Terkel is a warm and decent man who manages to get people who aren't used to the limelight to open up and tell their wonderful stories. His oral history of the depression is a classic and should be read by everyone. Here is a man who cares about people and about this country:

Working : People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do - Studs Terkel; Paperback
Hard Times : An Oral History of the Great Depression - Studs Terkel, Andre Schiffrin; Paperback
The Good War : An Oral History of World War Two - Studs Terkel; Paperback
Coming of Age : The Story of Our Century by Those Who'Ve Lived It Studs Terkel / Paperback / Published 1996
Coming of Age : The Story of Our Century by Those Who'Ve Lived It Studs Terkel / Hardcover / Published 1995
Hard Times : An Oral History of the Great Depression ~ Studs Terkel, Andre Schiffrin / Paperback / Published 1986
My American Century Studs Terkel / Hardcover / Published 1997
One Sunny Day : A Child's Memories of Hiroshima Hideko Tamura Snider, Studs Terkel / Paperback / Published 1996
Outside the Magic Circle : The Autobiography of Virginia Foster Durr ~ Hollinger F. Barnard (Editor), et al / Paperback / Published 1990
Talking to Myself : A Memoir of My Times ~ Studs Terkel / Paperback / Published 1995
Working : People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do Studs Terkel / Paperback / Published 1997

 

The New York Review of Books is without peer. If you want to read what the smartest people in their fields have to say about all sorts of stuff - sometimes incredibly obscure subjects and yet compelling - read these essays written with clarity and brilliance:  

The First Anthology : 30 Years of the New York Review of Books
Robert Silvers, et al / Paperback / Published 1994

 

Mailer is a wannabe literary bad boy - by willpower if not natural inclination; he is always interesting, one of our greatest writers - always trying to win some sort of internal battle; the interior argument produces a tension in everything he writes; even when he becomes something of a windbag, he is constantly surprising and filled with sparkling energy, great insight and enormous talent:  

The Armies of the Night : History As a Novel/the Novel As History

Conversations With Norman Mailer (Literary Conversations Series (Paper))

The Deer Park Discriminations : Essays & Afterthoughts The Executioner's Song

The Fight

Miami and the Siege of Chicago : An Informal History of the Republican and Democratic Conventions of 1968 (Primus Library of Contemporary Americana)

The Naked and the Dead Oswald's Tale : An American Mystery

Portrait of Picasso As a Young Man : An Interpretive Biography

The Prisoner of Sex

Tough Guys Don't Dance Why Are We in Vietnam? : A Novel

Conversations With Norman Mailer (Literary Conversations Series)

 

Helen Vendler - one of the most influential and clear thinking critics of the often daunting obscurities of poetry. She makes you want to read/reread the poems - the best thing you could say about a critic:  

The Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets The Breaking of Style : Hopkins, Heaney, Graham (The Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature)

The Given and the Made : Strategies of Poetic Redefinition

Harvard Book of Contemporary American Poetry

The Music of What Happens : Poems, Poets, Critics Poems, Poets, Poetry : An Introduction and Anthology

 

Chinatown - the movie: my stepson was dating a girl who had never seen or heard of this movie; a great updated noir classic - things are never what they seem - Robert Towne is one of our best screenwriters - he protested the end that director Polanski used...

Chinatown & the Last Detail : Three Screenplays - Robert Towne; Paperback

Chinatown - Jack Nicholson; VHS Tap

 

The Paris Review interviews with writers. These influenced me so much; writers are the philosophers of our time - this series goes into their work habits and insights about writing and incidentally about art and life. They are like having a casual but serious conversation with someone who has really thought about things. Just great (some of these may be out of print - but I've included them anyway):

Writers at Work (Paris Review Interviews, No 5)
Writers at Work : Eighth Series (Paris Review Interviews)
Writers at Work : Seventh Series (Paris Review Interviews)
Writers at Work : The Paris Review Interviews (Ninth Series)
Writers at Work : The Paris Review Interviews : First Series
Writers at Work : The Paris Review Interviews, Eighth Series
Writers at Work : The Paris Review Interviews, Fourth Series
Writers at Work : The Paris Review Interviews, Third Series
Writers at Work, Second Series
Women Writers at Work : The Paris Review Interviews

 

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Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station
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