Critic and composer Gunther Schuller's new book, The Swing Era, examines the history of big band music. Though he is already a jazz enthusiast, Schuller says he researched his book as if he had no prior knowledge of the genre, hoping to craft a more comprehensive and objective account of that its development.
Composer, arranger, conductor Gunther Schuller. One of the most ardent supporters of new music, Schuller is equally at home with the music of bebop and the big band era as he with the 12-tone classical composers. Schuller is the past head of the New England Conservatory of Music, where he founded the New England Conservatory's Ragtime Band. In the late 40s, when he first cultivated his eclectic approach to music, Schuller held jobs simultaneously with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and with Miles Davis' tuba band.
Pianist Ran Blake. He heads the Third Stream Music Department at the New England Conservatory of Music. Third Stream music, a term coined by composer Gunther Schuller, integrates classical and jazz traditions. Blake has extended the definition to include other kinds of music. A CD of Blake's 1961 recording with singer Jeanne Lee has just been reissued by RCA.