Recommended Reading

On Art and Criticism

On Music

There are of course many, many books about Black American Music music: these are just a few suggestions to get you started:


On Art and Practise:

Interviews and Profiles

Check out The Black Music History Library


A variety of articles, in no particular order:

These are all pieces that I’ve read in the last few years that relate in some way to playing music. Please note that a subscription may be required to access some of them. They’re from a relatively narrow selection of publications (stuff I subscribe to or read regularly.)

The Woman Who Made van Gogh. New York Times Magazine, April 14, 2021. (Packaging the artist’s work and biography together.)

Henry Rollins: Blow Up Your Taste in Music. LA Weekly, March 12th, 2015.

Faking Cultural Literacy. Karl Taro Greenfeld. New York Times, May 24th, 2014.

The Scourge of Relatability. Rebecca Mead. The New Yorker, August 1, 2014.

The Paradox of Art as Work. A.O. Scott. New York Times, May 9, 2014.

Every Good Boy Does Fine: A Life in Piano Lessons by Jeremy Denk. The New Yorker, April 8, 2013.

Like This or Die: The Decline of Criticism in the Age of the Algorithm by Christian Lorentzen. Harper’s April 2019

Arts Critics Emerging, We Dare Hope! Robert Harris. The WholeNote, March 29, 2019.

Meh!-lennials: On Generational Analysis. N+1. Issue 22: Conviction. Spring 2015.

Zelda: Ocarina of Time at 20 – melancholy masterpiece changed games forever. Keza MacDonald. The Guardian, Dec 11, 2018. (I’ve often thought that the tone of your art is informed by the tone of the art you most identify with early in life…)

Adam Benjamin: Some Thoughts on Listening. International Society of Jazz Arrangers & Composers.

The Fate of the Critic in the Clickbait Age. Alex Ross. The New Yorker, May 13, 2017.

In Praise of Blue Notes: What Makes Music Sad? Ben Ratliff. New York Times, Jan 15, 2016.

On The Politics of Staying in Canada. David Balzer. Canadian Art, September 15, 2016.

Sports Should Be Childs Play. David Epstein. New York Times, June 10th, 2014. (I think about this article often in terms of how it relates to the pitfalls of too much specialization in the arts)