Castles Made of Sound won a 2003 Deems Taylor Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Based on over 60 original interviews, it traces Gil’s life and times through 50+ years of music-making in which he explored and embraced and indeed helped define several musical directions – from the swing era to bebop to cool jazz, then on to fusion and the avant garde. A great adventure, an amazing story, and still one of my personal heroes…
“The book is breezy and gives a real flavor of the era…” — New York Times Book Review, August 18, 2002
“From 1957 to the mid-1960s Evans made some impressive albums under his own name, e.g. Gil Evans & Ten, that didn’t receive enough attention. Hicock tries to remedy this situation by devoting individual chapters to them. … Hicock’s enthusiasm is laudable and, hopefully, will be catching. Hicock’s cheerleading for the Evans bands of the 1980s is also welcome.” — Harvey Pekar, Jazz Times, July/August 2002
“…fast-moving… comprehensive celebration of a jazz legend.” — Austin Chronicle, June 28, 2002
“Hicock is a strong writer, and he moves the reader through Evans’ life with style.” — Coda Magazine, November 2002
Beware the Grieving Warrior As I wrote in the introduction to this book, authors don’t find stories – the stories find them. I wrote this in collaboration with John Lewis following the death of his 11-year-old daughter Claire, whose sister was a classmate of my own daughter. The story is shocking, heartbreaking, angering, and yet there is something inspiring and hopeful about the way that John and his wife Brenda found a way to challenge the system and turn their tragedy into meaningful, positive change.
“…a riveting read not only because of its heart-wrenching outcome and local characters, but because of its potent topicality.” – Hamilton Spectator, May 2005