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Jazz by Scott DeVeaux; Gary GiddinsIn this vivid history of jazz, a respected critic and a leading scholar capture the excitement of America’s unique music with intellectual bite, unprecedented insight, and the passion of unabashed fans. They explain what jazz is, where it came from, and who created it and why, all within the broader context of American life and culture. Emphasizing its African American roots, Jazz traces the history of the music over the last hundred years. From ragtime and blues to the international craze for swing, from the heated protests of the avant-garde to the radical diversity of today’s artists, Jazz describes the travails and triumphs of musical innovators struggling for work, respect, and cultural acceptance set against the backdrop of American history, commerce, and politics. With vibrant photographs by legendary jazz chronicler Herman Leonard, Jazz is also an arresting visual history of a century of music.
The Oxford Companion to Jazz by Bill Kirchner (Editor)Jazz and its colorful, expansive history resonate in this unique collection of 60 essays specially-commissioned from today's top jazz performers, writers, and scholars. Contributors include such jazz insiders as Bill Crow, Samuel A. Floyd Jr., Ted Gioia, Gene Lees, Dan Morgenstern, Gunther Schuller, Richard M. Sudhalter, and Patricia Willard. Both a reference book and an engaging read, the Companion surveys the evolution of jazz from its roots in Africa and Europe until the present. Along the way, each distinctive style and period is profiled by an expert in the field. Whether your preference is ragtime, the blues, bebop, or fusion, you will find the chief characteristics and memorable performances illuminated here with a thoroughness found in no other single-volume jazz reference. The Oxford Companion to Jazz features individual biographies of the most memorable characters of this relatively young art form. Sidney Bechet, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, and the divas of jazz song--Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan--come to life in thoughtful considerations of their influences, often turbulent personal lives, and signature styles. In addition, this book looks at the impact of jazz on American culture-in literature, film, television, and dance-and explores the essential instruments of jazz and their most memorable players. The Oxford Companion to Jazz will provide a quick reference source as well as a dynamic and broad overview for all lovers of jazz, from novices to aficionados.
Why Jazz? by Kevin WhiteheadWhat was the first jazz record? Are jazz solos really improvised? How did jazz lay the groundwork for rock and country music? In Why Jazz?, author and NPR jazz critic Kevin Whitehead provides lively, insightful answers to these and many other fascinating questions, offering an entertaining guide for both novice listeners and long-time fans. Organized chronologically in a convenient question and answer format, this terrific resource makes jazz accessible to a broad audience, and especially to readers who've found the music bewildering or best left to the experts. Yet Why Jazz? is much more than an informative Q&A; it concisely traces the century-old history of this American and global art form, from its beginnings in New Orleans up through the current postmodern period. Whitehead provides brief profiles of the archetypal figures of jazz--from Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington to Wynton Marsalis and John Zorn--and illuminates their contributions as musicians, performers, and composers. Also highlighted are the building blocks of the jazz sound--call and response, rhythmic contrasts, personalized performance techniques and improvisation--and discussion of how visionary musicians have reinterpreted these elements to continually redefine jazz, ushering in the swing era, bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, and the avant-garde. Along the way, Why Jazz? provides helpful plain-English descriptions of musical terminology and techniques, from "blue notes" to "conducted improvising." And unlike other histories which haphazardly cover the stylistic branches of jazz that emerged after the 1960s, Why Jazz? groups latter-day musical trends by decade, the better to place them in historical context. Whether read in self-contained sections or as a continuous narrative, this compact reference presents a trove of essential information that belongs on the shelf of anyone who's ever been interested in jazz.
Publication Date: 2011-01-03
Experiencing Jazz by Michael Stephans; Gregg Akkerman (Foreword by)In Experiencing Jazz: A Listener s Companion, writer, teacher, and prominent jazz drummer Michael Stephans offers a much-needed survey in the art of listening to and enjoying this dynamic, ever-changing art form. More than mere entertainment, jazz provides a pleasurable and sometimes dizzying listening experience with an extensive range in structure and form, from the syncopated swing of big bands to the musical experimentalism of small combos. As Stephans illustrates, listeners and jazz artists often experience the essence of the music together an experience unique in the world of music. Experiencing Jazz demonstrates how the act of listening to jazz takes place on a deeply personal level and takes readers on a whirlwind tour of the genre, instrument by instrument offering not only brief portraits of key musicians like Joe Lovano and John Scofield, but also their own commentaries on how best to experience their music. Throughout, jazz takes center stage as a personal transaction that enriches the lives of the musician and the listener. Written for anyone curious about the musical genre, this book encourages further reading, listening, and viewing, helping potential listeners cultivate an understanding and appreciation of the jazz art and how it can help in drummer Art Blakey s words wash away the dust of everyday life. "
Publication Date: 2013-10-17
Growing up with Jazz by W. Royal StokesA jazz writer for three decades, W. Royal Stokes has a special talent for capturing the initial spark that launches a musician's career. In Growing Up With Jazz , he has interviewed twenty-four instrumentalists and singers who talk candidly about the early influences that started them on the road to jazz and where that road has taken them. Stokes offers a kaleidoscopic look at the jazz scene, featuring musicians from a dazzling array of backgrounds. Ray Gelato recalls the life of a working class youth in London, Patrizia Scascitelli recounts being a child prodigy in Rome who became the first woman of Italian jazz, and Billy Taylor tells about his childhood in Washington, DC, where his grandfather was a Baptist minister and his father a dentist--and everyone in the family seemed well trained in music. Perhaps most exotic is Luluk Purwanto, an Indonesian violinist who as a child listened to gamelan music in the morning and took violin lessons in the afternoon (on an instrument so expensive she didn't dare quit). For some, the flame burned bright at an early age. Jane Monheit sang before she could speak and was set on a musical career by age eight. Lisa Sokolov played classical piano, sang opera and choral music, and was in a jazz band--all by high school. But Carol Sudhalter, though born into a very musical family ("a Bix Beiderbecke family"), was a botany major at Smith, and only became a serious musician after college, quitting a government job to study the flute and saxophone in Italy. From Art Blakey to Claire Daly to Don Byron, here are the compelling stories of two dozen top musicians finding their way in the world of jazz.
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Jazz/Not Jazz by David Ake (Editor); Charles Hiroshi Garrett (Editor); Daniel Ira Goldmark (Editor)What is jazz? What is gained--and what is lost--when various communities close ranks around a particular definition of this quintessentially American music? Jazz/Not Jazz explores some of the musicians, concepts, places, and practices which, while deeply connected to established jazz institutions and aesthetics, have rarely appeared in traditional histories of the form. David Ake, Charles Hiroshi Garrett, and Daniel Goldmark have assembled a stellar group of writers to look beyond the canon of acknowledged jazz greats and address some of the big questions facing jazz today. More than just a history of jazz and its performers, this collections seeks out those people and pieces missing from the established narratives to explore what they can tell us about the way jazz has been defined and its history has been told.
Why Jazz Happened by Marc MyersWhy Jazz Happened is the first comprehensive social history of jazz. It provides an intimate and compelling look at the many forces that shaped this most American of art forms and the many influences that gave rise to jazz's post-war styles. Rich with the voices of musicians, producers, promoters, and others on the scene during the decades following World War II, this book views jazz's evolution through the prism of technological advances, social transformations, changes in the law, economic trends, and much more. In an absorbing narrative enlivened by the commentary of key personalities, Marc Myers describes the myriad of events and trends that affected the music's evolution, among them, the American Federation of Musicians strike in the early 1940s, changes in radio and concert-promotion, the introduction of the long-playing record, the suburbanization of Los Angeles, the Civil Rights movement, the "British invasion" and the rise of electronic instruments. This groundbreaking book deepens our appreciation of this music by identifying many of the developments outside of jazz itself that contributed most to its texture, complexity, and growth.
Publication Date: 2012-12-10
The Contradictions of Jazz by Paul RinzlerIn The Contradictions of Jazz, Paul Rinzler takes a new approach to jazz aesthetics and theory by exploring four pairs of opposites present in jazz: individualism and interconnectedness, assertion and openness, freedom and responsibility, and creativity and tradition. By themselves, these eight values speak volumes about the meaning of jazz and its significance. Understanding how these opposites coexist in jazz leads to an exploration of the connections linking jazz with the experiential and existential, which contrast with the connections between composition and science. Rinzler explains the various concepts, including either/or and dialectic thinking, and then examines the pairs of opposites individually, describing their position and presence in jazz. He then demonstrates how the larger meaning of these contradictory opposites depends on ideas from the philosophies of phenomenology and existentialism. Rinzler considers the opposites inherent in the product and process of jazz, as well as mistakes and the challenge of perfection, presenting these values in light of the contradictions inherent in jazz. With a full bibliography and an index, The Contradictions of Jazz is a fascinating read for fans and scholars of jazz history and aesthetics.
Publication Date: 2008-01-01
The History of Jazz by Ted GioiaTed Gioia's History of Jazz has been universally hailed as a classic--acclaimed by jazz critics and fans around the world. Now Gioia brings his magnificent work completely up-to-date, drawing on the latest research and revisiting virtually every aspect of the music, past and present.Gioia tells the story of jazz as it had never been told before, in a book that brilliantly portrays the legendary jazz players, the breakthrough styles, and the world in which it evolved. Here are the giants of jazz and the great moments of jazz history--Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington at the Cotton Club, cool jazz greats such as Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, and Lester Young, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie's advocacy of modern jazz in the 1940s, Miles Davis's 1955 performance at the Newport Jazz Festival, Ornette Coleman's experiments with atonality, Pat Metheny's visionary extension of jazz-rock fusion, the contemporary sounds of Wynton Marsalis, and the post-modernists of the current day. Gioia provides the reader with lively portraits of these and many other great musicians, intertwined with vibrant commentary on the music they created. He also evokes the many worlds of jazz, taking the reader to the swamp lands of the Mississippi Delta, the bawdy houses of New Orleans, the rent parties of Harlem, the speakeasies of Chicago during the Jazz Age, the after hours spots of corrupt Kansas city, the Cotton Club, the Savoy, and the other locales where the history of jazz was made. And as he traces the spread of this protean form, Gioia provides much insight into the social context in which the music was born.
Publication Date: 2011-01-01
Music Theory Secrets by Brent CoppenbargerModeled on the brilliant approach first formulated by distinguished professor of music and master clarinetist Michele Gingras in Clarinet Secrets and More Clarinet Secrets (both available from Rowman and Littlefield), Music Secrets is designed for instrumentalists, singers, conductors, composers, and other instructors and professionals seeking a quick set of pointers to improve their work as performers and producers of music. Easy to use, contributions to the Music Secrets series fill a niche for those who need quick and easy methods for learning what they need--from those just starting to the advanced musician in need of a refresher or new insights. Rhythms, melodies, and harmonies are the building blocks of music. In Music Theory Secrets: 94 Strategies for the Starting Musician, Brent Coppenbarger offers a full range of methods to help musicians, not only grasp, but remember those key elements upon which the music they play is built: pitch, rhythm, scales, key signatures, and harmony. With over eighteen years of experience teaching music theory, Coppenbarger offers the various teaching and memory strategies he has designed to help musicians understand and retain what they need to know. Coppenbarger covers critical information on how to determine pitch, the use of meter, and how to count rhythms in simple and compound meter; explains major scales and major key signatures, as well as minor scales and minor key signatures; surveys other types of scales (such as those used in jazz) and explains how modes work; presents necessary data on scale degree names and intervals; covers triads and various types of chords; touches upon Roman numeral analysis, inversions, and figured bass; presents non-chord tones and discusses solfege singing, including several pages of sight singing using various clefs and keys (strongly recommended for instrumentalists for practicing transpositions for the appropriate clef and range) demonstrates the different techniques musicians can use for transposing keys; and finally discusses more advanced concepts such as part-writing rules, the use of sequences, and form. Music Theory Secrets: 94 Strategies for the Starting Musician is an indispensable resource for instrumental teachers wishing to incorporate music theory into lessons, classroom teachers, high school and college students, amateur musicians, those wanting to learn to read music, home-schooled students, and college bound music students.
What was the first jazz record? Are jazz solos really improvised? How did jazz lay the groundwork for rock and country music? In Why Jazz?, author and NPR jazz critic Kevin Whitehead provides lively, insightful answers to these and many other fascinating questions.