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Shades of opinion

Bob Weir on a "vicious diatribe" against Randy Sandke's Where The Dark And The Light Folks Meet

I used the words "sensitive ground" and "brave and provocative" in my review (JJ, August 2010, page 16) of Randy Sandke's important new book Where The Dark And The Light Folks Meet, anticipating criticism from some quarters. Even so, I did not expect the vicious diatribe which poses as a review of the book by Howard Mandel, president of the Jazz Journalists' Association, on their website.

Mandel deals only with the racial politics aspects (the book covers so much more) and appears to deliberately misunderstand both the message and the motives of Randy's valuable contributions to the subject. The "review" has provoked responses from other writers, musicians and readers, including further input by the two protagonists.  Most are supportive of Randy. The correspondence only gets nastily personal in Mandel's final posting. (Sandke’s formal reply to Mandel is here.) The site is worth checking but reading the book is far more enjoyable and enlightening. It is published by The Scarecrow Press, 2010 (ISBN 978-0-8108-6652-2).

March 2011

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