Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
- Pictured, left to right: Ed Garland (bass), Buster Wilson (piano), Marili Morden (proprietor, Jazz Man Records), Jimmie Noone (clarinet), Mutt Carey (trumpet), Zutty Singleton (drums), Kid Ory (trombone), Bud Scott (guitar)
Cats of Any Color: jazz black and white by It was none other than Louis Armstrong who said, "These people who make the restrictions, they don't know nothing about music. It's no crime for cats of any color to get together and blow." "You can't know what it means to be black in the United States--in any field," Dizzy Gillespie one said, but Gillespie vigorously objected to the proposition that only black people could play jazz. "If you accept that premise, well then what you're saying is that maybe black people can only play jazz. And black people, like anyone else, can be anything they want to be."
In Cats of Any Color, Gene Lees, the acclaimed author of three previous collections of essays on jazz and popular music, takes a long overdue look at the shocking pervasiveness of racism in jazz's past and present--both the white racism that long ghettoized the music and generations of talented black musicians, and what Lees maintains is an increasingly virulent reverse racism aimed at white jazz musicians. In candid interviews, living jazz legends, critics, and composers step forward and share their thoughts on how racism has affected their lives. Dave Brubeck, part Modoc Indian, discusses native Americans' contribution to jazz and the deeply ingrained racism that for a time made it all but impossible for jazz groups with black and white players to book tours and television appearances. Horace Silver looks back on his long career, including the first time he ever heard jazz played live. Blacks were not not allowed into the pavilion in Connecticut where Jimmie Lunceford's band was performing, so the ten-year-old Silver listened and watched through the wooden slats surrounding the pavilion. "And oh man! That was it!" Silver recalls. Red Rodney recalls his early days with Charlie "Bird" Parker, and pianist and composer Cedar Walton tells of the time Duke Ellington played at the army base at Ford Dix and allowed the young enlisted Walton to sit in. Tracing the jazz world's shifting attitude towards race, many of the stories Lees tells are inspiring--Brubeck cancelling 23 out of 25 concert dates in the South rather than replace black bass player Eugene Wright, or Silver insisting that while he strives to provide his fellow black musicians opportunities, "I just want the best musicans I can get. I don't give a damn if they're pink or polka dot." Others are profoundly disturbing--Lees' first encounter with Oscar Peterson, after a Canadian barber flatly refused to cut Peterson's hair, or Wynton Marsalis on television claiming that blacks have been held back for so many years because the music business is controlled by "people who read the Torah and stuff."
From the old shantytowns of Louisville, to the streets of South Central L.A., to the up-to-the-minute controversies surrounding Marsalis's jazz program at Lincoln Center, and the Jazz Masters awards given by the NEA, Cats of Any Color confronts racism head-on. At its heart is a passionate plea to recognize jazz not as the sole property of any one group, but as an art form celebrating the human spirit--not just for the protection of individual musicians, but for the preservation of the music itself.
Call Number: ML394.L39 1994
Publication Date: 1994
The Chronicle of Jazz by Here is the whole story of the history and the personalities that have formed this century's most exciting music, a story rich with innovation, experimentation, controversy, and emotion.Beginning at the turn of the century, The Chronicle of Jazz charts the evolution of jazz from its roots in Africa and the southern United States to the myriad styles heard around the world today. The book looks closely at how jazz has influenced -- and been influenced by -- other musical and artistic forms. Each chronologically arranged section contains special features on topics ranging from the individual qualities of the bass clarinet and the jazz scene in Paris to personality sketches and seminal gigs. Cross references throughout point to related motifs, people, and music, and a complete reference section at the back contains an extensive discography, a glossary, biographies, a bibliography, and an index.Modeled on the improvisation, interaction, and rhythm of jazz itself, this book features hundreds of rare images of all kinds, from record covers to pictures of live performances, and is accompanied by an accessible and wide-ranging text that turns music into words and history into living images. The Chronicle of Jazz is a celebration of the 20th century's most imaginative and enduring music, and an essential work of reference for all lovers of music.
Call Number: ML3506.C47 1998
Publication Date: 1998
The Creation of Jazz: music, race, and culture in urban America by As musicians, listeners, and scholars have sensed for many years, the story of jazz is more than a history of the music. Burton Peretti presents a fascinating account of how the racial and cultural dynamics of American cities created the music, life, and business that was jazz. From its origins in the jook joints of sharecroppers and the streets and dance halls of 1890s New Orleans, through its later metamorphoses in the cities of the North, Peretti charts the life of jazz culture to the eve of bebop and World War II. In the course of those fifty years, jazz was the story of players who made the transition from childhood spasm bands to Carnegie Hall and worldwide touring and fame. It became the music of the Twenties, a decade of Prohibition, of adolescent discontent, of Harlem pride, and of Americans hoping to preserve cultural traditions in an urban, commercial age. And jazz was where black and white musicians performed together, as uneasy partners, in the big bands of Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman. "Blacks,fought back by using jazz", states Peretti, "with its unique cultural and intellectual properties, to prove, assess, and evade the "dynamic of minstrelsy". Drawing on newspaper reports of the times and on the firsthand testimony of more than seventy prominent musicians and singers (among them Benny Carter, Bud Freeman, Kid Ory, and Mary Lou Williams), The Creation of Jazz is the first comprehensive analysis of the role of early jazz in American social history.
Call Number: ML3508.P45 1992
Publication Date: 1992
Early Jazz: its roots and musical development by This classic study of jazz by renowned composer, conductor, and musical scholar Gunther Schuller was widely acclaimed on its first publication in 1968. The first of two volumes on the history and musical contribution of jazz, it takes us from the beginnings of jazz as a distinct musical styleat the turn of the century to its first great flowering in the 1930's. Schuller explores the music of the great jazz soloists of the twenties--Jelly Roll Morton, Bix Beiderbecke, Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, and others--and the big bands and arrangers--Fletcher Henderson, Bennie Moten, andespecially Duke Ellington--placing their music in the context of the other musical cultures and languages of the 20th century and offering original analyses of many great jazz recordings. Now reissued in paper, Early Jazz provides a musical tour of the early American jazz world for a new generation of scholars, students, and jazz fans.
Call Number: ML3506.S38 1986
Publication Date: 1986
Experiencing Big Band Jazz: a listener's companion by Jeff Sultanof takes a fresh look at big band jazz, examining why the big band era started when it did, how pop music and big bands evolved in response to one another, and the key roles played by well-known band leaders and the bands they led.
Call Number: ML3518 .S858 2017
Publication Date: 2017
The First Book of Jazz by An introduction to jazz music by one of our finest writers. Langston Hughes, celebrated poet and longtime jazz enthusiast, wrote The First Book of Jazz as a homage to the music that inspired him. The roll of African drums, the dancing quadrilles of old New Orleans, the work songs of the river ports, the field shanties of the cotton plantations, the spirituals, the blues, the off-beats of ragtime -- in a history as exciting as jazz rhythms, Hughes describes how each of these played a part in the extraordinary history of jazz.
Call Number: ML3508.H84 1995
Publication Date: 1995
Hear Me Talkin' to Ya: The Story of Jazz as Told by the Men Who Made It by This Dover edition is a reprint of the work originally published by Rinehart and Company, inc., in 1955.
Call Number: ML3561.J3SH22 1966
Publication Date: 1966
The History of Jazz by Jazz is the most colorful and varied art form in the world and it was born in one of the most colorful and varied cities, New Orleans. From the seed first planted by slave dances held in Congo Square and nurtured by early ensembles led by Buddy Belden and Joe "King" Oliver, jazz began its longwinding odyssey across America and around the world, giving flower to a thousand different forms--swing, bebop, cool jazz, jazz-rock fusion--and a thousand great musicians. Now, in The History of Jazz, Ted Gioia tells the story of this music as it has never been told before, in a book thatbrilliantly 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 ("the world's greatest hot tune writer"), Louis Armstrong (whose O-keh recordings of the mid-1920s still stand as the most significant body of work that jazz has produced), Duke Ellington at the Cotton Club,cool jazz greats such as Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, and Lester Young, Charlie Parker's surgical precision of attack, 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 contemporarysounds of Wynton Marsalis, and the post-modernists of the Knitting Factory. Gioia provides the reader with lively portraits of these and many other great musicians, intertwined with vibrant commentary on the music they created. Gioia also evokes the many worlds of jazz, taking the reader to theswamp 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 thespread of this protean form, Gioia provides much insight into the social context in which the music was born. He shows for instance how the development of technology helped promote the growth of jazz--how ragtime blossomed hand-in-hand with the spread of parlor and player pianos, and how jazz rodethe growing popularity of the record industry in the 1920s. We also discover how bebop grew out of the racial unrest of the 1940s and '50s, when black players, no longer content with being "entertainers," wanted to be recognized as practitioners of a serious musical form. Jazz is a chameleon art, delighting us with the ease and rapidity with which it changes colors. Now, in Ted Gioia's The History of Jazz, we have at last a book that captures all these colors on one glorious palate. Knowledgeable, vibrant, and comprehensive, it is among the small group of books that can truly be called classics of jazz literature.
Call Number: ML3506.G54 1997
Publication Date: 1997
Illustrated Story of Jazz by The Illustrated Story of Jazz sets the standard of capturing the dramatic history of jazz music. Written by jazz expert Keith Shadwick, it gives an insight into the world of jazz, tracing its full rich past of personalities, music and style through to the present day, demystifying what is too often thought of as an elitist form of music.
Call Number: ML3506.S53 1995
Publication Date: 1995
The Imperfect Art: reflections on jazz and modern culture by By the 1930s, the radio and phonograph had transformed the experience of music in America from unique, live performances to the repetitive playing or broadcasting of records. In an age of mechanical reproduction, music was everywhere, but as Ted Gioia points out in this brilliant new volume,its impact was watered down, debased. It had become, in Erik Satie's words, "furniture music." Jazz, according to Gioia, stands opposed to this dehumanizing trend, emphasizing improvisation and the human element (the performer) over the work of art. Taking a wide-ranging approach rare in jazz criticism, Gioia draws upon fields as disparate as literary criticism, art history, sociology, and aesthetic philosophy as he places jazz within the turbulent cultural environment of the 20th century. The book can be read on several levels: as a historyof jazz and a study of its major figures; as a critique of major schools of thought, such as minimalism, deconstruction, and primitivism; as an attempt to define precise standards of good and bad in jazz; and as a meditation on the possibility of improvised art. Gioia argues that becauseimprovisation--the essence of jazz--must often fail under the pressure of on-the-spot creativity, jazz should be seen as an "imperfect art" and judged by an "aesthetics of imperfection," which he outlines in a key chapter. Incorporating the thought of such seminal thinkers as Walter Benjamin, Jose Ortega y Gasset, and Roland Barthes, The Imperfect Art is a feast for the thoughtful jazz afficionado, filled with vivid portraits of the giants of jazz and with startling insight into this vital musical form and theinteraction of society and art.
Call Number: ML3506.G56 1988
Publication Date: 1988
Jazz: the American theme song by Praised by the Washington Post as a "tough, unblinkered critic," James Lincoln Collier is probably the most controversial writer on jazz today. His acclaimed biographies of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman continue to spark debate in jazz circles, and his iconoclastic articles on jazz over the past 30 years have attracted even more attention. With the publication of Jazz: The American Theme Song, Collier does nothing to soften his reputation for hard-hitting, incisive commentary. Questioning everything we think we know about jazz--its origins, its innovative geniuses, the importance of improvisation and spontaneous inspiration in a performance--and the jazz world, these ten provocative essays on the music and its place in American culture overturn tired assumptions and will alternately enrage, enlighten, and entertain.
Jazz: The American Theme Song offers music lovers razor-sharp analysis of musical trends and styles, and fearless explorations of the most potentially explosive issues in jazz today. In "Black, White, and Blue," Collier traces African and European influences on the evolution of jazz in a free-ranging discussion that takes him from the French colony of Saint Domingue (now Haiti) to the orderly classrooms where most music students study jazz today. He argues that although jazz was originally devised by blacks from black folk music, jazz has long been a part of the cultural heritage of musicians and audiences of all races and classes, and is not black music per se. In another essay, Collier provides a penetrating analysis of the evolution of jazz criticism, and casts a skeptical eye on the credibility of the emerging "jazz canon" of critical writing and popular history. "The problem is that even the best jazz scholars keep reverting to the fan mentality, suddenly bursting out of the confines of rigorous analysis into sentimental encomiums in which Hot Lips Smithers is presented as some combination of Santa Claus and the Virgin Mary," he maintains. "It is a simple truth that there are thousands of high school music students around the country who know more music theory than our leading jazz critics." Other, less inflammatory but no less intriguing, essays include explorations of jazz as an intrinsic and fundamental source of inspiration for American dance music, rock, and pop; the influence of show business on jazz, and vice versa; and the link between the rise of the jazz soloist and the new emphasis on individuality in the 1920s.
Impeccably researched and informed by Collier's wide-ranging intellect, Jazz: The American Theme Song is an important look at jazz's past, its present, and its uncertain future. It is a book everyone who cares about the music will want to read.
Call Number: ML3508.C62 1993
Publication Date: 1993
Jazz Changes by An evening with Thelonious Monk at the Five Spot Cafe. Jelly Roll Morton's recordings for the Library of Congress. Langston Hughes reading poetry to the sound of jazz. The tragic life of Billie Holiday. Over the years, Martin Williams has explored subjects both intimate and imposing, always with a sharp eye and prose as musical as his beloved jazz. In Jazz Changes, he brings together some of the finest pieces he has written over the last thirty years to take readers on an engaging personal tour of the changing jazz world.
Jazz Changes is Williams's third and perhaps best collection of jazz portraits, interviews, narrative accounts of recording sessions, rehearsals, and performances, important liner notes, and far-reaching discussions of musicians and their music. Here he offers an extended interview with Ross Russell about the famous Dial Record sessions with Charlie Parker that Russell initiated, his extensive notes for the reissue of the famous recording session conducted with Jelly Roll Morton at the Library of Congress in 1938, as well as profiles and comments on such performers as John Lewis, Thelonious Monk, Dinah Washington, and Fats Waller. We read amusing parodies of how jazz critics in 1965 might have assessed the Beatles (he has one well-known critic saying that Paul McCartney "sings as if he half expected a shrewish mother to scold him for paying too much attention to the girls") and reflections on the Ellington era (Ellington "worked with [the orchestra] as the great playwrights have worked with their companies of actors...as the great European composers have worked for specific instrumentalists or singers"). He concludes with an eloquent plea for critics to pay attention to jazz history: "We all need to show that we are absolutely serious about this music as a contribution to world culture. And that means we must treat it in the same way that man has always treated a past he wants preserved and respected." And on every page, Williams's keen mind and gifted pen bring the music and the musicians to life.
Praised as "perhaps the greatest living jazz critic" (Gunther Schuller) and "one of the most distinguished critics (of anything) this country has produced" (Gary Giddins, The Village Voice), Martin Williams has been perceptively chronicling the development of jazz for more than three decades. Building on the great success of his previous collections of jazz writings--The Jazz Tradition, Jazz Heritage, and Jazz in its Time--this book offers brilliant insights into today's changing jazz scene.
Call Number: ML3507.W525 1992
Publication Date: 1992
Jazz Greats by This lively and fascinating account of the lives and musical innovations of twelve of America's greatest jazzmen traces how, through their remarkable playing and improvisational skills, they are considered to be among the twentieth century's most groundbreaking composers. Legendary figures such as Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Charlie Parker and Charles Mingus are featured, with new interviews and an evocative narrative bringing to life the various eras and locations in which they played.
Call Number: ML385.P47 1996
Publication Date: 1996
Jazz in the 1970s: diverging streams by Breaking through pervasive misconceptions, Jazz in the 1970s explores a pivotal decade in jazz history. Many consider the 1970s to be the fusion decade, but Bill Shoemaker pushes back against this stereotype with a bold perspective that examines both the diverse musical innovations and cultural developments that elevated jazz internationally. He traces events that redefined jazz's role in the broadband arts movement as well as the changing social and political landscape
Call Number: ML3506 .S56 2018
Publication Date: 2017
Jazz Issues: a critical history by
Call Number: ML3506.M44 1995
Publication Date: 1994
Jazz Portraits: the lives and music of the jazz masters by Alphabetized biographical entries of varying length, enlivened with commentary and anecdotes, provide an overview of the development of the form through the 80's. Includes an appendix listing musicians chronologically by instrument played, and a glossary of terms used in jazz criticism.
Call Number: ML394.L995 1989
Publication Date: 1989
Masters of Jazz by
Call Number: ML3561.J3A76 1991
Publication Date: 1992
The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz by The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, second edition is the largest, most comprehensive and accurate reference work on jazz ever published, putting the world of jazz at your fingertips. With articles on every aspect of the field, from jazz groups, composers and arrangers to instruments, terms,record labels and venues, the new edition is the ideal companion for scholars and enthusiasts in this rapidly growing field.
Call Number: REFERENCE ML102.J3N42 2002 (3 vols)
Publication Date: 2003
Reading Jazz: a gathering of autobiography, reportage, and criticism from 1919 to now by Displaying keen intellectual discernment and great passion, Robert Gottlieb, former president of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., and former editor of The New Yorker, brings together more than 150 excerpts from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers, creating a monumental anthology of essays about jazz--the life and the music--and rescuing many an important but neglected writer from oblivion.
Call Number: ML3507.R44 1996
Publication Date: 1996
Riding on a Blue Note by
Call Number: ML3507.G36 1981
Publication Date: 1981
Riffs and Choruses: a new jazz anthology by This anthology contains writings about jazz, with edited selections on jazz origins, history, culture, style, myth, race and related areas of language, literature and film. It complements histories of jazz, providing readings for students of music, jazz and American and popular culture.
Call Number: ML3507.R54 2001
Publication Date: 2001
The Swing Era: the development of jazz, 1930-1945 by This second volume of Gunther Schuller's comprehensive history of jazz covers the period from the 1930s to the late 1940s, decades which saw the transition from big band swing to the virtuoso bop style. The first half of the book concentrates on the band leaders, singers, and composers whodominated the popular music of their day: the jazz aristocracy of Ellington, Basie, and Goodman, as well as major soloists such as Billie Holliday, Art Tatum, Coleman Hawkins, and Lester Young. The second half focuses on the origins and early development of bop, the major jazz form of the 1940s, andits two great exponents, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.
Call Number: ML3506.SCH81 1989
Publication Date: 1989
Visions of Jazz: the first century by Poised to become a jazz classic, Gary Giddins' Visions of Jazz: The First Century contains no less than 78 chapters illuminating the lives of virtually all major figures in jazz history. From Louis Armstrong's renegade style trumpet playing to Frank Sinatra's intimate crooning, jazz critic Gary Giddins continually astonishes us with his unparalleled insight. In just a few lines, he captures the essence of Louis Armstrong, "He could telegraph with a growl or a rolling of hiseyes his independence, confidence, and security. As the embodiment of jazz, he made jazz the embodiment of the individual." Giddins maintains, contrary to the opinion of most jazz enthusiasts, that Armstrongs voice was as much an integral part of creating jazz singing as his trumpet was to creatingjazz. Perhaps the most remarkable chapters in the book are those that do pay tribute to the great jazz singers. Billie Holiday profoundly impacted music history, and Giddins eloquently honors her "gutted voice, drawled phrasing, and wayworn features." Many artists, such as Irving Berlin andRosemary Clooney, have been traditionally dismissed by fans and critics as merely popular derivatives of true jazz. Giddins finally opens the doors of jazz to include these musicians. In addition to this, he devotes an entire quarter of this volume to young, active jazz artists. No other book hasso boldly expanded the horizon of jazz and its influences. Visions of Jazz is an evocative journey through the first one hundred years of jazz that will captivate--and challenge--musicians, music critics, and music lovers.
Call Number: ML385.G53 1998
Publication Date: 1998
West Coast Jazz: modern jazz in California, 1945-1960 by Over the last half-century, New York's pre-eminence in the world of jazz has been challenged only once--during the 1950s--when California emerged with a splash on the jazz scene. "West Coast jazz," as it soon became known, was a fresh new sound which stirred both controversy and excitement in equal measure. One thing, however, was certain: never before (or since) had so many jazz musicians from the Coast made such an impact on jazz. Dave Brubeck, Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper, Chet Baker, Eric Dolphy, Paul Desmond, Ornette Coleman, Cal Tjader, Shelly Manne, and numerous others--these figures shaped the jazz of their time and are still powerful influences today.
In West Coast Jazz, Ted Gioia provides the definitive account of this rich, evocative music. Drawing on years of research and numerous first-hand interviews, Gioia tells the full story of West Coast jazz, from its early stirrings after World War II to its decline after 1960. He traces its growth from its origins on Central Avenue, the heart of LA's post-war black culture, "an elongated Harlem set down by the Pacific," where hotels such as the Dunbar (where Jack Johnson opened a nightclub) and nightspots such as the Club Alabam and The Downbeat attracted the likes of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and any number of visiting jazz luminaries. He describes one of the pivotal moments in the genesis of West Coast jazz, the night Dizzy and Bird opened at Billy Berg's Vine Street club, a legendary performance that sparked California's love affair with jazz. And he traces its blossoming at the Blackhawk, the Lighthouse, Bop City, the Haig and a host of other legendary California nightspots. Along the way, Gioia not only provides colorful portraits of leading jazz figures--such as Dexter Gordon, a stoop to his walk, carrying his tenor in a sack under his arm--and thoughtful commentary on their music, but he also discusses many unsung figures as well. Perhaps most important, though, is his lengthy look at Dave Brubeck, which is by far the best biography ever written of this influential musician.
West Coast jazz gradually declined as the 1950s gave way to the rock-dominated '60s, but this decade-long renaissance remains one of the great stories of jazz history, and nobody has told it as well as Ted Gioia does here. His love of this music shines on every page.
Call Number: ML3508.7.C28G436 1992
Publication Date: 1992
The Ellington Century by Breaking down walls between genres that are usually discussed separately--classical, jazz, and popular--this highly engaging book offers a compelling new integrated view of twentieth-century music. Placing Duke Ellington (1899-1974) at the center of the story, David Schiff explores music written during the composer's lifetime in terms of broad ideas such as rhythm, melody, and harmony. He shows how composers and performers across genres shared the common pursuit of representing the rapidly changing conditions of modern life. The Ellington Century demonstrates how Duke Ellington's music is as vital to musical modernism as anything by Stravinsky, more influential than anything by Schoenberg, and has had a lasting impact on jazz and pop that reaches from Gershwin to contemporary R&B.
Publication Date: 2012-02-21
Free Jazz/Black Power by In 1971, French jazz critics Philippe Carles and Jean-Louis Comolli co-wrote Free Jazz/Black Power, a treatise on the racial and political implications of jazz and jazz criticism. It remains a testimony to the long ignored encounter of radical African American music and French left-wing criticism. Carles and Comolli set out to defend a genre vilified by jazz critics on both sides of the Atlantic by exposing the new sound's ties to African American culture, history, and the political struggle that was raging in the early 1970s. The two offered a political and cultural history of black presence in the United States to shed more light on the dubious role played by jazz criticism in racial oppression. This analysis of jazz criticism and its production is astutely self-aware. It critiques the critics, building a work of cultural studies in a time and place where the practice was virtually unknown. The authors reached radical conclusions--free jazz was a revolutionary reaction against white domination, was the musical counterpart to the Black Power movement, and was a music that demanded a similar political commitment. The impact of this book is difficult to overstate, as it made readers reconsider their response to African American music. In some cases it changed the way musicians thought about and played jazz. Free Jazz / Black Power remains indispensable to the study of the relation of American free jazz to European audiences, critics, and artists. This monumental critique caught the spirit of its time and also realigned that zeitgeist.
Publication Date: 2015-01-01
Gypsy Jazz: In Search of Django Reinhardt and the Soul of Gypsy Swing by Of all the styles of jazz to emerge in the twentieth century, none is more passionate, more exhilaratingly up-tempo, or more steeped in an outsider tradition than Gypsy Jazz. And there is no one more qualified to write about Gypsy Jazz than Michael Dregni, author of the acclaimed biography, Django. A vagabond music, Gypsy Jazz is played today in French Gypsy bars, Romany encampments, on religious pilgrimages--and increasingly on the world's greatest concert stages. Yet its story has never been told, in part because much of its history is undocumented, either in written form or often even in recorded music. Beginning with Django Reinhardt, whose dazzling Gypsy Jazz became the toast of 1930s Paris in the heady days of Josephine Baker, Picasso, and Hemingway, Dregni follows the music as it courses through caravans on the edge of Paris, where today's young French Gypsies learn Gypsy Jazz as a rite of passage, along the Gypsy pilgrimage route to Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer where the Romany play around their campfires, and finally to the new era of international Gypsy stars such as Bireli Lagrene, Boulou Ferre, Dorado Schmitt, and Django's own grandchildren, David Reinhardt and Dallas Baumgartner. Interspersed with Dregni's vivid narrative are the words of the musicians themselves, many of whom have never been interviewed for the American press before, as they describe what the music means to them. Gypsy Jazz also includes a chapter devoted entirely to American Gypsy musicians who remain largely unknown outside their hidden community. Blending travelogue, detective story, and personal narrative, Gypsy Jazz is music history at its best, capturing the history and culture of this elusive music--and the soul that makes it swing.
Publication Date: 2008-04-04
The History of Jazz, 2nd ed by Ted 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: 2011-05-09
Jazz Cultures by From its beginning, jazz has presented a contradictory social world: jazz musicians have worked diligently to erase old boundaries, but they have just as resolutely constructed new ones. David Ake's vibrant and original book considers the diverse musics and related identities that jazz communities have shaped over the course of the twentieth century, exploring the many ways in which jazz musicians and audiences experience and understand themselves, their music, their communities, and the world at large. Writing as a professional pianist and composer, the author looks at evolving meanings, values, and ideals--as well as the sounds--that musicians, audiences, and critics carry to and from the various activities they call jazz. Among the compelling topics he discusses is the'visuality'of music: the relationship between performance demeanor and musical meaning. Focusing on pianists Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, Ake investigates the ways in which musicians'postures and attitudes influence perceptions of them as profound and serious artists. In another essay, Ake examines the musical values and ideals promulgated by college jazz education programs through a consideration of saxophonist John Coltrane. He also discusses the concept of the jazz'standard'in the 1990s and the differing sense of tradition implied in recent recordings by Wynton Marsalis and Bill Frisell. Jazz Cultures shows how jazz history has not consisted simply of a smoothly evolving series of musical styles, but rather an array of individuals and communities engaging with disparate--and oftentimes conflicting--actions, ideals, and attitudes.
Publication Date: 2002-01-07
Jazz in Search of Itself by In this engaging and astute anthology of jazz criticism, Larry Kart casts a wide net. Discussing nearly seventy major jazz figures and many of the music’s key stylistic developments, Kart sees jazz as a unique perpetual narrative—one in which musicians, their audiences, and the evolving music itself are intimately intertwined. Because jazz arose from the collision of specific peoples under particular conditions, says Kart, its development has been unusually immediate, visible, and intense. Kart has reacted to and judged the music in a similarly active, attentive, and personal manner. His involvement and attention to detail are visible in these pieces: essays that analyze the supposed return to tradition that the music of Wynton Marsalis has come to exemplify; searching accounts of the careers of Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, Bill Evans, and Lennie Tristano; and writing that explores jazz’s relationship to American popular song and examines the jazz musician’s role as actual and would-be social rebel.
Publication Date: 2004-10-11
Jazz/Not Jazz: The Music and Its Boundaries by 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.
Publication Date: 2012-06-12
Jazz: The Basics by Jazz: The Basics gives a brief introduction to a century of jazz, ideal for students and interested listeners who want to learn more about this important musical style. The heart of the book traces jazz's growth from its folk origins through early recordings and New Orleans stars; the big-band and swing era; bebop; cool jazz and third stream; avant-garde; jazz-rock; and the neo-conservative movement of the 1980s and 1990s. Key figures from each era including: Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Wynton Marsalis are highlighted along with classic works. The book concludes with a list of the 100 essential recordings to own, along with a timeline and glossary. Jazz: The Basics serves as an excellent introduction to the players, the music, and the styles that make jazz 'America's classical music.'
Publication Date: 2007-12-19
The Jazz Tradition by When it was first published in 1970, this lively and fascinating book was greeted with almost universal acclaim. The American Record Guide called it "the best one-volume of jazz we have," and the Jazz Journal praised it as "a brilliant study of the whole of jazz." Perhaps the greatest tribute was paid by Louis Armstrong himself who raved: "it held Ol' Satch spellbound." Now thoroughly revised and expanded, the new edition of The Jazz Tradition offers readers a unique history of jazz, as seen through its greatest practitioners. An original blend of history and criticism, this book explores the work of nearly two dozen leading musicians and ensembles that have shaped the course of jazz, from King Oliver's Creole Jazz band to the present day. Couched in the same readable, non-technical language that made earlier editions so popular, The Jazz Tradition adds new chapters on some of the more recent giants of jazz, performers like pianist Bill Evans, versatile horn player and saxophonist Eric Dolphy, and the World Saxophone Quartet, and considerably expands the chapter devoted to Count Basie. In addition, a foreword by Richard Crawford introduces the new edition, and the discographies on each performer have been fully brought up to date. Written by an author The Washington Post lauded as "the most knowledgeable, open-minded, and perceptive American jazz critic today," The Jazz Tradition belongs in the library of all lovers of this distinctly American sound.
Publication Date: 1993-01-01
Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop--A History by There were but four major galaxies in the early jazz universe, and three of them--New Orleans, Chicago, and New York--have been well documented in print. But there has never been a serious history of the fourth, Kansas City, until now. In this colorful history, Frank Driggs and Chuck Haddix range from ragtime to bebop and from Bennie Moten to Charlie Parker to capture the golden age of Kansas City jazz. Readers will find a colorful portrait of old Kaycee itself, back then a neon riot of bars, gambling dens and taxi dance halls, all ruled over by Boss Tom Pendergast, who had transformed a dusty cowtown into the Paris of the Plains. We see how this wide-open, gin-soaked town gave birth to a music that was more basic and more viscerally exciting than other styles of jazz, its singers belting out a rough-and-tumble urban style of blues, its piano players pounding out a style later known as "boogie-woogie." We visit the great landmarks, like the Reno Club, the "Biggest Little Club in the World," where Lester Young and Count Basie made jazz history, and Charlie Parker began his musical education in the alley out back. And of course the authors illuminate the lives of the great musicians who made Kansas City swing, with colorful profiles of jazz figures such as Mary Lou Williams, Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Rushing, and Andy Kirk and his "Clouds of Joy." Here is the definitive account of the raw, hard-driving style that put Kansas City on the musical map. It is a must read for everyone who loves jazz or American music history.
Publication Date: 2005-05-01
Landing on the Wrong Note: Jazz, Dissonance, and Critical Practice by An imaginative and passionate synthesis of form and function, Landing on the Wrong NOte goes beyond mainstream jazz criticism, outlining a new poetics of jazz that emerges not from the ivory tower but from the clubs, performances, and lives of today's jazz musicians.
Publication Date: 2000-11-09
Pearl Harbor Jazz: Change in Popular Music in the Early 1940s by This book is a study of a crucial period in the life of American jazz and popular music. Pearl Harbor Jazz analyses the changes in the world of the professional musician brought about both by the outbreak of World War II and by long-term changes in the music business, in popular taste and in American society itself. It describes how the infrastructure of American music, the interdependent fields of recording, touring, live engagements, radio and the movies, was experiencing change in the conditions of wartime, and how this impacted upon musical styles, and hence upon the later history of popular music. Successive chapters of the book examine the impact of these changed conditions upon the songwriting and music publishing industries, upon the world of the touring big bands, and upon changing conceptions of the role of jazz and popular music. Not only the economic conditions but also ideas were changing; the book traces a movement among writers and critics which created new definitions of 'jazz' and other terms that had a permanent influence on the way musical styles were thought of for the rest of the century. The book deals in some depth with the work of a number of important artists in these various fields, including, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Johnny Mercer and Frank Sinatra, looks at the growing presence of bebop, the rise of country music, and the contemporary musical scenes in such locations as New York and Los Angeles. The book combines detail of the day to day working lives of musicians with challenging views of the long-term development of musical style in jazz and popular music. Peter Townsend lectures at Manchester Metropolitan University and in the School of Music at the University of Huddersfield, England
Publication Date: 2006-12-19
Shaping Jazz: Cities, Labels, and the Global Emergence of an Art Form by There are over a million jazz recordings, but only a few hundred tunes have been recorded repeatedly. Why did a minority of songs become jazz standards? Why do some songs--and not others--get rerecorded by many musicians? Shaping Jazz answers this question and more, exploring the underappreciated yet crucial roles played by initial production and markets--in particular, organizations and geography--in the development of early twentieth-century jazz. Damon Phillips considers why places like New York played more important roles as engines of diffusion than as the sources of standards. He demonstrates why and when certain geographical references in tune and group titles were considered more desirable. He also explains why a place like Berlin, which produced jazz abundantly from the 1920s to early 1930s, is now on jazz's historical sidelines. Phillips shows the key influences of firms in the recording industry, including how record companies and their executives affected what music was recorded, and why major companies would rerelease recordings under artistic pseudonyms. He indicates how a recording's appeal was related to the narrative around its creation, and how the identities of its firm and musicians influenced the tune's long-run popularity. Applying fascinating ideas about market emergence to a music's commercialization, Shaping Jazz offers a unique look at the origins of a groundbreaking art form.
Publication Date: 2013-07-21
Subversive Sounds: Race and the Birth of Jazz in New Orleans by Subversive Sounds probes New Orleans’s history, uncovering a web of racial interconnections and animosities that was instrumental to the creation of a vital American art form—jazz. Drawing on oral histories, police reports, newspaper accounts, and vintage recordings, Charles Hersch brings to vivid life the neighborhoods and nightspots where jazz was born. This volume shows how musicians such as Jelly Roll Morton, Nick La Rocca, and Louis Armstrong negotiated New Orleans’s complex racial rules to pursue their craft and how, in order to widen their audiences, they became fluent in a variety of musical traditions from diverse ethnic sources. These encounters with other music and races subverted their own racial identities and changed the way they played—a musical miscegenation that, in the shadow of Jim Crow, undermined the pursuit of racial purity and indelibly transformed American culture. “More than timely . . . Hersch orchestrates voices of musicians on both sides of the racial divide in underscoring how porous the music made the boundaries of race and class.”—New Orleans Times-Picayune
Publication Date: 2008-03-15
This Is Our Music: Free Jazz, the Sixties, and American Culture by This Is Our Music, declared saxophonist Ornette Coleman's 1960 album title. But whose music was it? At various times during the 1950s and 1960s, musicians, critics, fans, politicians, and entrepreneurs claimed jazz as a national art form, an Afrocentric race music, an extension of modernist innovation in other genres, a music of mass consciousness, and the preserve of a cultural elite. This original and provocative book explores who makes decisions about the value of a cultural form and on what basis, taking as its example the impact of 1960s free improvisation on the changing status of jazz. By examining the production, presentation, and reception of experimental music by Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, John Coltrane, and others, Iain Anderson traces the strange, unexpected, and at times deeply ironic intersections between free jazz, avant-garde artistic movements, Sixties politics, and patronage networks. Anderson emphasizes free improvisation's enormous impact on jazz music's institutional standing, despite ongoing resistance from some of its biggest beneficiaries. He concludes that attempts by African American artists and intellectuals to define a place for themselves in American life, structural changes in the music industry, and the rise of nonprofit sponsorship portended a significant transformation of established cultural standards. At the same time, free improvisation's growing prestige depended in part upon traditional highbrow criteria: increasingly esoteric styles, changing venues and audience behavior, European sanction, withdrawal from the marketplace, and the professionalization of criticism. Thus jazz music's performers and supporters--and potentially those in other arts--have both challenged and accommodated themselves to an ongoing process of cultural stratification.
Publication Date: 2007-06-05
What Is This Thing Called Jazz?: African American Musicians as Artists, Critics, and Activists by Despite the plethora of writing about jazz, little attention has been paid to what musicians themselves wrote and said about their practice. An implicit division of labor has emerged where, for the most part, black artists invent and play music while white writers provide the commentary. Eric Porter overturns this tendency in his creative intellectual history of African American musicians. He foregrounds the often-ignored ideas of these artists, analyzing them in the context of meanings circulating around jazz, as well as in relationship to broader currents in African American thought. Porter examines several crucial moments in the history of jazz: the formative years of the 1920s and 1930s; the emergence of bebop; the political and experimental projects of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s; and the debates surrounding Jazz at Lincoln Center under the direction of Wynton Marsalis. Louis Armstrong, Anthony Braxton, Marion Brown, Duke Ellington, W.C. Handy, Yusef Lateef, Abbey Lincoln, Charles Mingus, Archie Shepp, Wadada Leo Smith, Mary Lou Williams, and Reggie Workman also feature prominently in this book. The wealth of information Porter uncovers shows how these musicians have expressed themselves in print; actively shaped the institutional structures through which the music is created, distributed, and consumed, and how they aligned themselves with other artists and activists, and how they were influenced by forces of class and gender. What Is This Thing Called Jazz? challenges interpretive orthodoxies by showing how much black jazz musicians have struggled against both the racism of the dominant culture and the prescriptive definitions of racial authenticity propagated by the music's supporters, both white and black.
Publication Date: 2002-01-31
Where the Dark and the Light Folks Meet: Race and the Mythology, Politics, and Business of Jazz by Where the Dark and the Light Folks Meet tackles a controversial question: Is jazz the product of an insulated African-American environment, shut off from the rest of society by strictures of segregation and discrimination, or is it more properly understood as the juncture of a wide variety of influences under the broader umbrella of American culture? This book does not question that jazz was created and largely driven by African Americans, but rather posits that black culture has been more open to outside influences than most commentators are likely to admit. The majority of jazz writers, past and present, have embraced an exclusionary viewpoint. Where the Dark and the Light Folks Meet begins by looking at many of these writers, from the birth of jazz history up to the present day, to see how and why their views have strayed from the historical record. This book challenges many widely held beliefs regarding the history and nature of jazz in an attempt to free jazz of the socio-political baggage that has so encumbered it. The result is a truer appreciation of the music and a greater understanding of the positive influence racial interaction and jazz music have had on each other.
Publication Date: 2010-01-25
Why Jazz Happened by Why 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
Getting Started with Your Research
Magazines in the Library
- Down Beat
- Jazz Times