Alyn Shipton [+]
Independent musician, author and broadcaster
Alyn Shipton is an award-winning author and broadcaster, who is jazz critic for The Times in London, and a presenter/producer of jazz programmes for BBC Radio. He was Consultant Editor of the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, and has a lifelong interest in oral history, including editing the memoirs of Danny Barker, Doc Cheatham and George Shearing. His first biography of Fats Waller, published in 1988, has scarcely been out of print since. His life of Bud Powell (written with Alan Groves) was the first English language biography of the pianist, and his book Groovin’ High, the life of Dizzy Gillespie, won the 1999 ARSC award for the best research of the year. His monumental New History of Jazz, published in 2001, was the Jazz Journalists’ Association Book of the Year, and won Alyn the coveted “Jazz Writer of the Year” title in the British Jazz Awards. In 2003 he won the Willis Conover / Marian McPartland Award for lifetime achievement in Jazz Broadcasting. In 2010 he was named Jazz Broadcaster of the Year in the UK Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Most recently, he has been named winner of the Association of Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) Award 2014 for best pop music research for his biography of Harry Nilsson (OUP 2013). The same book won a 2014 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for musical biography. Alyn won an open scholarship to Oxford in 1972, where he read English at St. Edmund Hall. He later went on to take a PhD in music history at Oxford Brookes University. He has been a lecturer in music at Brookes (2002-3), teaching the jazz history course, and he has also given lectures on jazz and American popular music at Exeter University and at the Institute for United States Studies in the University of London. He is now lecturer in Jazz History at the Royal Academy of Music, London. Alyn divides his time between living in Oxford, UK, and deep in rural France.
This chapter is concerned with the figure of Dave Brubeck, an American jazz pianist and composer, considered to be one of the foremost exponents of cool jazz.