Riff: the Shake Keane Story

by Philip Nanton

ISBN: 9781999776893
2021, Paperback, £12.99
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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.

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

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

Philip Nanton has drawn a unique 20th century artist out of the shadows, and in the process established Shake Keane on the podium of Caribbean originals that’s been awaiting his arrival for decades.

John Fordham, London Jazz News

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