Today my first book, Jazz as Visual Language: Film, Television and the Dissonant Image, goes on sale in hardback. So, a big milestone for me – but probably even more exciting was the delivery of my advance copies a few weeks back. I first pitched this book to I. B. Tauris in June 2013 and since then it’s been a collection of slowly growing files on my laptop. Nothing quite prepares you for seeing the thing in print, in multiple copies. I put the Duke Ellington and John Coltrane album on the turntable before I opened the box from the publisher, soundtracking the moment like a massive nerd.
Like most academic books, it’s expensive in hardback but the lovely people at I. B. Tauris are offering readers of this blog a large discount (around £20 off cover price). Just click through to the book’s page on the IBT site and quote discount code JAZZ30 when prompted. You can also buy a Kindle version from Amazon at the bargain price of £16.31!
I wanted here just to note the intellectual tradition I hope this book fits into, and some of the writers who have influenced and inspired me. V. F. Perkins, who sadly passed away this year, was my undergraduate personal tutor and really shaped my approach to close textual analysis (you can read a wonderful tribute to him here on the University of Warwick website). He was a supporter of this project from the beginning and was always so generous, sharing CDs and DVDs from his personal collection with me. My 2005 MA dissertation was supervised by Richard Dyer, who guided me through so much of the literature on music and film and – most importantly – introduced me to the writing of Krin Gabbard. Krin’s writing on jazz and film is hugely significant in jazz studies, drawing on a rich seam of theory from cultural studies, psychoanalysis and film studies. This year I got to know Krin and I’m very grateful to him for reading my book and writing a lovely review quote for the back cover. Finally, my colleagues Nicholas Gebhardt and Tim Wall have expanded my horizons with their own writing and scholarly example. There’s no way this book would have been finished without their faith in me or the culture of collaboration and enthusiasm that exists in the School of Media at BCU.
There are, of course, many more people who helped me enormously and I hope I have remembered everyone in the acknowledgments section of the book! Four people deserve special thanks for reading proofs of the book and writing enthusiastic reviews: Krin Gabbard, Katherine Williams, Tom Perchard and Paul Brobbel. You can read what they had to say in the sidebar of this blog.