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Gene Santoro

Gene Santoro

Gene Santoro is the author of several books, including Highway 61 Revisited, Myself When I Am Real: The Life and Music of Charles Mingus (finalist for the 2001 Ralph J. Gleason Awards as well as the 2001 Jazz Journalists Association Awards), Dancing in Your Head and Stir It Up.

He co-authored and edited The Guitar: The History, The Music, The Players. His essays have also appeared in numerous collections, such as The Miles Davis Reader, The Show I’ll Never Forget, Best Music Writing of 2004, American Rebels, The Thelonious Monk Reader, The B.B. King Companion, The Jimi Hendrix Companion, Mass Culture and Everyday Life, and The Oxford Companion to Jazz.

He writes about music for the New York Daily News and is a columnist at Chamber Music. He has been a columnist at The Nation, 7 Days, Taxi, and Pulse!, and has written for The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, The Washington Post, New York Post, New Yorker, New York, Time, People, The Village Voice, Spin, Pulse!, Rolling Stone, Down Beat, Musician, Guitar Player, Discover, and Business 2.0, among others.

His first serious gig writing about music was as Senior Editor at Guitar World, where he interviewed legendary pickers like Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Lonnie Mack, Ron Wood, Link Wray, Brian Setzer, and Leslie West; wrote 85% of a hugely successful special issue devoted to Jimi Hendrix; and authored "Wax Museum" columns about the music, techniques, and discographies of stellar historical pickers like Eddie Lang, Charlie Christian, James Burton, and Mickey Baker. As an editor-writer at Pulse!, he interviewed dozens of musical greats like Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, the Neville Brothers, the Rolling Stones, Keith Jarrett, Dwight Yoakam, the Blasters, Los Lobos, k.d. lang, and Astor Piazzolla.

His work has been translated into German, Japanese, Brazilian, Spanish, Italian, and French. He started playing guitar when he was eight, and his career highlights include the chance to jam with childhood idols like Keith Richards.

List of articles in the library by artist

Bill Frisell Quartet: Look Out For Hope (ECM)

Review by Gene Santoro, Spin, May 1988

BILL FRISELL IS the Clark Kent of the electric guitar. Soft-spoken and self-effacing in conversation, he apparently breathes in lungfuls of raw fire when he ...

Carlos Alomar, David Bowie: Carlos Alomar: Hard Driving Anchor Man For The David Bowie Show

Profile and Interview by Gene Santoro, Guitar World, January 1984

IMAGINE THE fairy-tale scene this way, since this is how it actually happened: It is 1973, the setting is RCA's recording studios in New York ...

Chet Baker

Book Excerpt by Gene Santoro, 'Highway 61 Revisited...', 2004

IT'S EASY TO rephrase Tolstoy's opening to Anna Karenina so it describes junkies, who all share an essential plotline: Who and how to hustle in ...

Grateful Dead: The Grateful Dead

Book Excerpt by Gene Santoro, 'Highway 61 Revisited...', 2004

"Frenesi took her hand away from Flash's and they all got back to business, the past, a skip tracer with an obsessional gleam in its ...

Woody Guthrie

Book Excerpt by Gene Santoro, 'Highway 61 Revisited...', 2004

ON APRIL 16, 1944, a slight, wiry-haired man with a guitar and harmonica wandered into Moe Asch's little recording studio on West 46 Street off ...

Jimi Hendrix: Alan Douglas Builds A Castle Made of Sand

Interview by Gene Santoro, Guitar World, September 1985

The record producer had Jimi's ear just before the end. Now he's re-packaging it for the masses. As Told To Gene Santoro ...

Jimi Hendrix: Eddie Kramer: The Wizard Of Woof-Woof

Interview by Gene Santoro, Guitar World, September 1985

If Jimi wanted to hear guitar played underwater, Eddie Kramer would turn on the faucet — and get it all down on tape. As told to Gene ...

Jimi Hendrix: James Marshall Hendrix: Undisputed Master of the Electric Guitar

Interview by Gene Santoro, Guitar World, September 1985

Every guitarist today — from Coryell to Steve Stevens — has been marked by the stamp of Purple Haze genius. Sixteen axmen explain Hendrix' influence in their ...

Louis Armstrong

Book Excerpt by Gene Santoro, 'Highway 61 Revisited...', 2004

FROM 1925 TO 1928, Louis Armstrong made an astonishing series of recordings, the jazz-creating legacy of his Hot Fives and Hot Sevens, a succession of ...

Marcus Miller, Miles Davis: Marcus Miller: Bass For All Seasons

Interview by Gene Santoro, Guitar World, June 1987

What is it about MARCUS MILLER'S eternal thump that makes him Miles' choice bottom and the Bee Gees' top choice? ...

Oscar Peterson: A Jazz Odyssey: The Life of Oscar Peterson

Book Review by Gene Santoro, New York Times Book Review, The, July 2002

SINCE SEPTEMBER 1949, when he made his debut at Carnegie Hall as a member of the all-star troupe called Jazz at the Philharmonic, the pianist ...

Django Reinhardt: Djangologie/USA Vols. 1-7 (DRG/Swing Records)

Review by Gene Santoro, Spin, April 1988

GYPSY GUITARIST Django Reinhardt offers an early modern (read post-phonograph) example of how pop music travels from its native habitat, is heard through alienated ears, ...

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