The Landfill Chronicles – Unearthing Legends of Modern Music

Cymbal Press is thrilled to announce the release of our latest book, The Landfill Chronicles – Unearthing Legends of Modern Music, by veteran music journalist Dan Ouellette.

The book is available now in softcover, hardcover, and Kindle formats.

For over four decades, Dan Ouellette has been at the forefront of music journalism, chronicling the lives and careers of the legends who shape modern music. His interviews and writing about giants of jazz, blues, rock, and pop have graced the pages of magazines like DownBeat and Billboard, and newspapers from coast-to-coast.

While some of these articles are available elsewhere, many had been lost forever, destined to be remain buried in landfills. Dan has unearthed these gems, provided additional material, and added his own recollections about meeting the artists who made music history.

The Landfill Chronicles is a reflection on meaningful and ultimately historical conversations Dan had with an amazing collection of musicians, including: John Abercrombie, Laurie Anderson, Carla Bley, Dee Dee Bridgewater, David Byrne, Regina Carter, Ornette Coleman, Elvis Costello, Charlie Haden, John Lee Hooker, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Abdullah Ibrahim, Keith Jarrett, Elvin Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Joni Mitchell, Jason Moran, Astor Piazzolla, Lou Reed, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Smith, Esperanza Spalding, Saxophone Summit, Henry Threadgill, McCoy Tyner, and Frank Zappa.

Book Review

“Dan Ouellette has enjoyed an almost unparalleled access to the greatest musicians of our time. The stories he weaves in this book will considerably heighten your appreciation of their lives and music. It’s essential reading.”

– Don Was, musician, producer, president of Blue Note Records

Part memoir, part archive, and wholly entertaining, these articles shed light on musicians’ innermost thoughts at crucial points in their storied careers.

Many of the articles in this collection are “writer’s cuts,” longer versions of what eventually appeared in print form. They are a fan’s dream—unpublished anecdotes and never before told stories about the music and musicians we love.

Musicians profiled range from jazz greats like Wayne Shorter, Carla Bley, and Wynton Marsalis to rock legends like Lou Reed, David Byrne, and Elvis Costello.

The Landfill Chronicles features the last Frank Zappa interview before his untimely death from cancer. This poignant and unusually personal long-form interview was written for the long-shuttered Tower Records monthly magazine Pulse!. It was only on shelves for a month before being hauled away to the landfill. A diehard Zappa fan or two has scanned the shorter version of this article, but this is the first time the full interview has been published.

An exclusive chapter on Joni Mitchell includes material written as part of the production of her album Shine in 2007, her first album of new material in ten years. These pages document an unpublished record of relaxed conversations at her home in which she reflects on her life and career while providing track-by-track insights into this important album.

“These stories are captivating! Reliving my incredible Genoa experience through Dan’s perspective made the story even more fascinating. I loved Dee Dee’s chapter too. Dan makes me feel like I was there, a fly on the wall.”

– Regina Carter, MacArthur Genius, Grammy-nominated violinist, and NEA Jazz Master

Readers will find two writer’s-cut travel tales: Regina Carter’s pilgrimage to meet a famous, guard-protected violin in Genoa, Italy, and Dee Dee Bridgewater seeking her African roots in Mali. There’s another DownBeat profile on South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) interviewed in hometown of Cape Town and a decade later at an Austrian festival. Neuvo tango fans will not want to miss the profile of Astor Piazzolla, the pioneer of this art form about the political consequences of tampering with tradition.

Experience the magic of musical storytelling like never before. Pick up your copy of The Landfill Chronicles today and embark on a journey through the extraordinary lives of music’s most enduring icons.

Collateral Material

Details and Purchasing Information

Title: The Landfill Chronicles – Unearthing Legends of Modern Music

Authors: Dan Oullette

Publisher: Cymbal Press

Publishing Date: 2024

Pages: 297

Formats: Softcover, hardcover, & Kindle

AvailabilityWorldwide at and other online retailers.

Volume sales, POs: Contact Cymbal Press or Ingram Wholesale.

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