“In Concert.” Essays, Images and Interviews (240 pages). The essays cover the past 50 years from Bill’s summer scholarship to study with piano giant Oscar Peterson the summer of 1963 in Toronto, catching Eric Clapton and Cream at the Café Au Go Go, Stevie Winwood and Traffic at Fillmore East – Joni Mitchell at Luminato, Willie Nelson at TD Toronto Jazz Festival 2013 among many other unique moments. The interviews are with the icons of jazz; Pat Metheny, David Sanborn, Diana Krall, Sonny Rollins, Oscar, Betty Carter, Phil Nimmons, Don Thompson, Tony Bennett, etc. There are 110 images from concerts the past twenty-five years. The book is edited by Vicki Leon. Printed op top grade photographic stock.
Joni Mitchell Luminato 2013 Massey Hall
“Mitchell got on stage and began to recite “This Rain, This Rain.” For me, it was a near out-of-body experience, much like the song that followed, “Furry Sings the Blues.” She still has that rhythmic slam of a beat poet--the rap most rappers can never employ. The dialogue that spits and bites--dances, embraces, releases--all the while, striking all sides of the beat.
As if tethered to a world clock, the heartbeat of the universe, her body vibes in continuous rhythm. An unpredictable pulse, beating from side to side, tapping into every soul on the planet.
She did more numbers. Those who stood on stage with her, as good as they were, as much as they sang their hearts out--there was no comparison. Joni Mitchell stood on moving clouds.”
Ray Charles Confessin' The Blues
“Few performers have wielded greater influence over generations of aspiring musicians than Ray Charles. In fact, the best way to gauge the impact of a performer may be by counting the number of imitators. In Charles' case, they are too numerous to count. Although he himself had impeccable musical taste, formidable ability to meld genres in new ways, and sang with genuine integrity of feeling, the influence he had on mediocre singers is profound. During the decades of the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, you could travel the back roads and blue highways from Louisiana to California, stop in any juke joint or club and hear a Ray Charles wannabe belt out an off-key rendition of “Georgia” or “Unchain My Heart.”
Janis Joplin Memphis Meltdown
“During the Sunday drive from the airport, the limousine driver makes an unusual turn and charts a path towards Jackson, Mississippi. Janis was in severe need of a drink. As the drive gets more confusing, the urgency in her voice increases. A few terse words nearly turn into an explosive confrontation. A deal is eventually struck to let the band off at the hotel while Janis’ search for libation continues.
More bad karma was in store. Believe it or not, we were booked into the Lorraine Motel, the very same structure where Martin Luther King, Jr. had been gunned down only months before. Even creepier, we were booked in adjacent rooms on the same landing. The thought gave me chills.”
Bill King is a musician/photo journalist whose credits range back to the sixties as music director for Janis Joplin, the Pointer Sisters, Martha Reeves and many others. He's an award winning producer, artistic director of the Beaches International Jazz Festival and a former producer/broadcaster at Toronto's Jazz.Fm91 now at Newstalk 1010 as music director for The Ted Woloshyn Show. King's productions and mentoring helped launch the careers of three prominent Canadian singers; Liberty Silver, Sophie Milman and Shakura S'Aida.
Photography and travel have become a passion and profession the past twenty-five years. With over twenty CD covers, numerous concert images in newspapers, magazines and three major exhibitions as part of Contact Photography, King has taken advantage of his travel opportunities to write about his experiences. The style is personable and from the eyes and ears of a person who is connected to the rhythms of life. He's a two-time National Jazz Award recipient for Jazz Photographer Of The Year -nominated four times for the National Jazz Awards Journalist Of The Year, four time nominee for Jazz Journalist Photo of the Year, three-time Juno nominee and Maple Blues Award recipient.
From August 1987 until early 2006 King was publisher of the international jazz magazine, The Jazz Report. King interviewed many of the young lions and icons of jazz as well as scripting record reviews and contributing photographs.
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