Riff: The Shake Keane Story, Papillote Press

Riff

The Shake Keane Story
by Philip Nanton

£12.99

ISBN

9781999776893

Published

2021

Format

Paperback
also an eBook

ISBN

9781999776893

 

Published

2021

 

Format

Paperback
Also an eBook

Shake Keane was the star sideman in the ground-breaking Joe Harriott Quintet of the 1960s. A jazz virtuoso on trumpet and flugelhorn, he was also an original and award-winning poet. What went into the making of this shapeshifter from the Caribbean island of St Vincent? Philip Nanton explores a turbulent life.

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Launch of Riff: the Shake Keane Story by Philip Nanton

A celebration of the life and times of the jazz musician and poet Shake Keane to launch his biography by Philip Nanton. The video includes contributions from Philip Nanton (talking to Robert Lee), Roland Ramanan (talking to Kevin Le Gendre), Linton Kwesi Johnson and Jeremy Robson. Readings by Philip Nanton and Lafleur Cockburn.

What they say

The story of Shake Keane has never been more inspiring or relevant to the times in which we live. The trumpeter was an integral part of innovative bands in the 1960s, and defied expectations of what a West Indian musician could achieve in post-war Britain. Keane was also an accomplished poet with a sharp wit and strident humour. Philip Nanton’s excellent biography creates an engaging portrait of a restless, complex soul.
– Kevin Le Gendre

This beautiful, evocative biography of Shake Keane explores with equal passion Keane’s double life as poet and musician and his innovation as a virtuoso in both art forms. Nanton brilliantly contextualises Keane’s life through the multiple lenses of Caribbean nationalism, post-war migration and the formation of Caribbean literary identity. A compelling and captivating read.
– Hannah Lowe

Riff charts the experiences of a gifted, learned Caribbean man who travels to London and cuts his teeth on the jazz scene of the 1950s and 1960s. Nanton’s book connects the brilliant musicians and poets of a thriving creative arts scene while navigating the triumphs and periodic lows of a great personality, poet and trumpet original.
– Julian Joseph

One feels from the passion of the writing that Philip Nanton was born to write this book, a tour de force that belongs on every Caribbean person’s bookshelf.
– Peter Laurie in Barbados Today For the full review read here.

So many jazz histories are, of course, studies in frustration, and Nanton is sensitive to his friend’s vulnerabilities and foibles. We’re reminded that Keane was a poet – music and words came together in his mind “blurring the boundaries between these two art forms,” Nanton says. “Formed as a creative being in St Vincent, but finding himself as an artist in London, Keane’s writing was ‘a poetry of displacement… the conundrum of home’.”
– Philip Clark – The Wire

This excellent book will help to ensure that his story won’t be forgotten.
Richard Williams www.thebluemoment.com

The story of Shake Keane has never been more inspiring or relevant to the times in which we live. The trumpeter was an integral part of innovative bands in the 1960s, and defied expectations of what a West Indian musician could achieve in post-war Britain. Keane was also an accomplished poet with a sharp wit and strident humour. Philip Nanton’s excellent biography creates an engaging portrait of a restless, complex soul.
– Kevin Le Gendre
This beautiful, evocative biography of Shake Keane explores with equal passion Keane’s double life as poet and musician and his innovation as a virtuoso in both art forms. Nanton brilliantly contextualises Keane’s life through the multiple lenses of Caribbean nationalism, post-war migration and the formation of Caribbean literary identity. A compelling and captivating read.”
– Hannah Lowe

Riff charts the experiences of a gifted, learned Caribbean man who travels to London and cuts his teeth on the jazz scene of the 1950s and 1960s. Nanton’s book connects the brilliant musicians and poets of a thriving creative arts scene while navigating the triumphs and periodic lows of a great personality, poet and trumpet original.”
– Julian Joseph

So many jazz histories are, of course, studies in frustration, and Nanton is sensitive to his friend’s vulnerabilities and foibles. We’re reminded that Keane was a poet – music and words came together in his mind “blurring the boundaries between these two art forms, Nanton says. Formed as a creative being in St Vincent, but finding himself as an artist in London, Keane’s writing was ‘a poetry of displacement… the conundrum of home’.”
– Philip Clark – The Wire

One feels from the passion of the writing that Philip Nanton was born to write this book, a tour de force that belongs on every Caribbean person’s bookshelf.”
– Peter Laurie in Barbados Today For the full review read here.

This excellent book will help to ensure that his story won’t be forgotten.
Richard Williams www.thebluemoment.com

About the Author

Philip Nanton

Philip Nanton was born in St Vincent & the Grenadines and lived for many years in England before moving to Barbados in 2000. He has presented programmes for BBC radio and his work has appeared in regional journals and literary magazines.

About the Author

Philip Nanton

Philip Nanton was born in St Vincent & the Grenadines and lived for many years in England before moving to Barbados in 2000. He has presented programmes for BBC radio and his work has appeared in regional journals and literary magazines.