Dreams to Remember is not without its redeeming features. Redding fans may appreciate Ribowsky’s enthusiasm for his subject, and the book is less inflammatory than a 2001 Redding biography so sensational it sparked a libel suit. Readers looking for new insights about Redding and 1960s soul music, however, should leave it on the shelf.
Paul Steinbeck is an assistant professor of music theory at Washington University in St. Louis. With saxophonist Fred Anderson, he co-authored Exercises for the Creative Musician, an instructional text for improvisers. His next book, Message to Our Folks: The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Improvisation, and Great Black Music, is under contract with the University of Chicago Press. Steinbeck is also a bassist, improviser, and composer.