A professional jazz pianist and composer, David Ake is both a scholar and a gigging musician. His book, Jazz Cultures, is an expansion of a Ph.D. dissertation in musicology at UCLA that discusses race and gender influences on jazz, as well as physicality, scholarship and training. By highlighting the work of masters like Bill Evans, Louis Jordan, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Wynton Marsalis and Bill Frisell, Ake eloquently winds the reader through jazz history. Although Ake’s love and deep respect for his subject are evident, as UNR’s director of jazz studies and assistant professor of music, the academic work demands the use of technical musical phrases and notions that might throw off a casual reader. To quote John Coltrane, "Damn the rules, it’s the feeling that counts!"