Trim: 6¼ x 9
978-0-8108-5350-8 • Paperback • November 2004 • $87.00 • (£67.00)
978-1-4616-5642-5 • eBook • November 2004 • $77.50 • (£60.00)
Safford Chamberlain is a former community college English teacher who studied jazz saxophone with Warne Marsh, among others. He has written on jazz for Downbeat, L.A. Jazz Scene, Los Angeles Free Press, Los Angeles Reader, and The Realist.
Unsung Cat is not only a many-faceted, novelistic biography by a noted jazz journalist and one of Marsh's former sax students, but a heartbreaking mystery that tortures readers with questions as deeply as it satisfies with narrative richness. Who was this jazz cipher, and how did so many of us miss his musical genius?...The publisher has put together a companion CD released by Storyville Records and a book and Cd set for $68.50. That should serve as a good introduction to Marsh's work.
..highly-detailed biography...an interesting story...
...painstakingly researched and gracefully written...A fine volume...
— Choice Reviews
...with Chamberlain's discerning comments on the music, the interested reader will easily be able to follow Marsh's musical development...the discography is invaluable for a player like Marsh...
— The IAJRC Journal
...remarkable job of cutting through the myth of Warne Marsh and taking a serious, analytical look at his life and his music...Chamberlain's book is one of the finest examples of jazz biography, and worthy of Marsh's legacy in every way.
— All Music Guide To Jazz
Safford Chamberlain...has just given a big boost to Marsh's stock. An Unsung Cat: The Life and Music of Warne Marsh ... is a thorough and objective study of a man Chamberlain calls 'a flawed genius.' Chamberlain's book is important in many respects. Aside from its value as a biography, he provides an informative discography of Marsh's recorded work. An accompanying section of transcribed Marsh solos will prove invaluable to musicians. In addition, Chamberlain has compiled a companion CD of important Marsh recordings.
— Pasadena Weekly
Warne Marsh left a legacy of fine recordings which are thoroughly analyzed by Chamberlain in his compelling and insightful journey into one jazz musician's existence. Safford Chamberlain has compiled a brilliant biography of a very complicated man...This is savvy writing from a man who is in tune with jazz by virtue of being a musician, scholar and a relentless searcher for truth and accuracy. This is the best and most legitimate bio that I have read in years....
Chamberlain studies jazz saxophone for awhile with Marsh (1927-87), but eventually gave it up in favor of his day job teaching literature and writing about jazz. Still the experience inspired him to produce a biography of his teacher. Aside from some exuberant fans, he says, Marsh was considered a very good second-level tenor saxophonist during his career, but attributes his lack of recognition primarily to an outsider temperament that led him to mismanage his own affairs and contribute to his own obscurity.
— Reference and Research Book News
...a detailed picture of this fascinating musician.
— European Free Improvisation Bibliography