|Pianist and composer Roberta Piket (photo by Daniel Sheehan)|
When I made the decision to self-publish this book, a friend told me straight up to be sure I work with a great copy editor and designer. They say, "You can't judge a book by it's cover." But, when it comes to a book, you usually can! The photos in the book will be in black and white, and the book itself will be a 6" X 9" trade paperback. The photo above of pianist and composer Roberta Piket (taken by Daniel Sheehan) is an example of the quality of visuals you'll find in the book.
Photos representing the majority of the musicians I interviewed for the book are going to be a crucial component in providing a comprehensive history and/or current "snapshot" of this music. I think its important to recast the tired visual cliches we're sort of stuck with when we talk about jazz (...somber looking dude in half shadow, clutching a tenor saxophone, smoking (always smoking) and looking out into space...) and allow for women of all colors and ages to enter the iconography. They've always been there. (No disrespect to Dexter Gordon!)
Taking these extra steps with the editing and design means the book's publication date has been pushed back to March 2015. But when the book is ready for sale, it will be something any reader will be proud to display on their coffee table. I also hope educators become aware of the book and consider adding it to reading lists and/or curriculum dealing with music, jazz and/or women's or gender studies.
More soon. (For more frequent updates about this project, give it a "like" over on Facebook.)