Home Read News Next Week in Music | April 19-25 • New Books

Next Week in Music | April 19-25 • New Books

Billie, Solange, classic jazz albums & metal mythology are all on your reading list.


Billie gets graphic, Solange takes centre stage, cool album covers swing back into view and experts explain some heavy influences: These are your musical reads of the week:


Billie Holiday: The Graphic Novel
By Ebony Gilbert & David Calcano

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Dive into the celebrated life of Lady Day with this fully illustrated graphic novel that tells the story of Billie Holiday’s rapid — and, at times, grueling — rise to become one of the best musicians who ever lived. From her days as a young entertainer performing for small jazz clubs in Harlem to headlining sold-out shows at Carnegie Hall, every trouble and triumph of Holiday’s bold, influential career is featured in this graphic novel. Throughout the book’s 144 pages of dazzling color illustrations, readers will revisit Billie’s peak years as she helped lead the transition from the Harlem Renaissance to the iconic Swing Era alongside some of the top names in jazz — including Artie Shaw, Lester Young and Count Basie. Meanwhile, readers will learn the true history behind the making and recording of classic hits like God Bless the Child and Strange Fruit, the latter of which is considered to be the first protest song of the civil rights era. Widely recognized as one of the greatest jazz singers of all time, Billie’s emotive voice, distinct phrasing, and flawless technique cemented her place as an American icon. Now, new and longtime fans alike have the opportunity to learn more about Lady Day’s short but spectacular life. At a time when the country is struggling with issues involving identity and race, this graphic novel provides a timely look into the fascinating life of a fighter, survivor, and world-renowned artist.”

Why Solange Matters
By Stephanie Phillips

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Growing up in the shadow of her superstar sister, Solange Knowles became a pivotal musician in her own right. Defying an industry that attempted to bend her to its rigid image of a Black woman, Solange continually experimented with her sound and embarked on a metamorphosis in her art that continues to this day.”


Jazz Covers
By Joaquim Paulo

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Part design history, part trip down musical memory lane, this anthology of jazz album artwork is above all a treasure trove of creative and cultural inspiration. Spanning half a century, it assembles the most daring and dynamic jazz cover designs that helped make and shape not only a musical genre but also a particular way of experiencing life. From the 1940s through to the decline of LP production in the early 1990s, each chosen cover design is distinct in the way it complements the energy of the album’s music with its own visual rhythms of frame, line, text, and form. To satisfy even the most demanding of music geeks, each record cover is accompanied by a fact sheet listing performer and album name, art director, photographer, illustrator, year, label, and more.”

Classical Antiquity in Heavy Metal Music
By K.F.B. Fletcher & Osman Umurhan

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This book demonstrates the rich and varied ways in which heavy metal music draws on the ancient Greek and Roman world. Contributors examine bands from across the globe, including: Blind Guardian (Germany), Therion (Sweden), Celtic Frost, Eluveitie (Switzerland), Ex Deo (Canada/Italy), Heimdall, Stormlord, Ade (Italy), Kawir (Greece), Theatre of Tragedy (Norway), Iron Maiden, Bal-Sagoth (U.K.) and Nile (U.S.). These and other bands are shown to draw inspiration from classical literature and mythology such as the Homeric Hymns, Vergil’s Aeneid, and Caesar‘s Gallic Wars, historical figures from Rome and ancient Egypt, and even pagan and occult aspects of antiquity.”