More Reviews for Scott Shachter’s Outside In

“Scott Shachter's Outside In is a funny and warm novel, which joins an intriguing genre of ‘jazz fantasies’. . . Like Toni Morrison [and] Ralph Ellison among others, Outside In takes a music based on passion, skill, interaction and abstraction as a fast-shifting lens through which to look at ineffable questions of identity, ambition, the wills of the heart and maybe even the nature of reality itself.”Howard Mandel, president of the Jazz Journalists Association and author of Future Jazz, and Miles, Ornette, Cecil: Jazz Beyond Jazz.

Outside In is an up and down love story and an intriguing fantasy from inside the jazz world, all narrated by the main character, Shawn. ‘Playing’ Shawn is professional saxophonist Scott Shachter, a storyteller who makes you want to know what will happen next.” —Ira Gitler, distinguished jazz historian and producer, and author/editor with Leonard Feather of The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. His other books include Swing to Bop and Jazz Masters of the Forties.

"A fascinating, unsettling, enjoyable journey. Scott Shachter's writing is exceptional--clear, creative and captivating."Joel Leach, past president of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE)

“The boundary between creative genius and madness is often an unnervingly thin and permeable one . . . Outside In explores that mysterious frontier . . . through the protagonist and narrator, Shawn Lewis, a talented New York City saxophonist who can’t get out of his own way, let alone forge a successful career . . . His psychological journey will ultimately lead him to a new kind of understanding and liberation . . . Shachter’s story has humor and heart, and will give the reader much to chew on.” —Fearless Reviews

“A stunning jazz book, from a player's side, and extremely funny . . . Ambitious, insightful and hilarious. A real achievement. Shachter walks a very fine line here, pairing the loftiest, fantastical human heights with some deep human suffering. It would all be too much if it wasn't hilarious at every turn. It's at its best when most adventurous, most risky, and in those moments, which begin subtly and then take over the book, this novel is absolutely spectacular. I loved it.” —Andrew Sterman, featured soloist, Philip Glass Ensemble

"Five stars! Humorous, insightful, imaginative and full of metaphors. And very romantic." —Ted Nash, featured soloist with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

“A tremendous jazz novel. Funny yet also sad and profound—and always engaging. You’re hooked right from the first sentence.” —Walt Weiskopf, renowned saxophonist with Steely Dan

“This wonderful debut novel blends the zany, unpredictable life of the New York freelance musician with an Ignatius P. Reilly-esque world of near insanity. Throw in a bit of surreal fantasy and the result is utterly engaging and page-turnable. As a musician, avid reader and fiction writer myself, I assure you this book does not disappoint on any level. Read it!”—Belinda Whitney, concertmaster, Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra

"A thoroughly enjoyable roller-coaster ride. Scott has captured the struggles within all of us trying to find the balance between maintaining the integrity of our art versus the demands of conforming to a commercial world in order to gain acceptance . . . Bravo!" —Dave Black, vice president and editor-in-chief, Alfred Music

“Brilliant! Shacter's novel is peopled with real-life characters trying to cope in a world that has suddenly turned surreal. (Do you ever have days like that? I know I do.) I laughed out loud all the way through the book because his characters are so exactly like people I know. Highly recommended.”—Les Scott, legendary Broadway Reed 1.

“An exciting and thought provoking ride inside the mind of a potential genius who will achieve this potential if he embraces his true self. Musician or not, we can all relate to this inner questioning of ourselves. Will we be okay if we do exactly what we want with our true talent? A thoroughly inspiring, funny and beautiful read.”—Marc Phaneuf, Broadway woodwind veteran

“This book captured me from the very first sentence and I simply couldn't put it down until I finished it . . . The music came alive . . . Fantastic, highly recommended.”
—John Cipolla, president of the International Clarinet Association and Associate Professor of Music, West Kentucky University

“Scott's new novel is brilliant . . . A fun read and right on point in the ‘real’ world of the professional musician. It's a must read for all, musician or just music lover.”—John Moses, New York's leading freelance clarinetist

“Shachter's new novel Outside In offers an intriguing and brilliant commentary on those within our midst who repel, instruct, reveal, collide with, and even challenge our preconceived notions . . . Outside In will rip and tug at the readers' emotion, intellect, fear, pathos, while inserting a curious snicker or spirited belly laugh when least expected . . . Scott skillfully instructs us that those we attempt to elude can often become our best teachers whether mystical, maddening, deceased, or spellbound 'gumbo-brains' waiting patiently for the dining room to open.”
—Dennis Anderson, director of the acclaimed New York Saxophone Quartet






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