Jazz/Not Jazz by David Ake (Editor); Charles Hiroshi Garrett (Editor); Daniel 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.
Publication Date: 2012
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 QandA; 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
At the Jazz Band Ball by Nat Hentoff; Lewis Porter (Foreword by)Nat Hentoff, renowned jazz critic, civil liberties activist, and fearless contrarian--"I’m a Jewish atheist civil-libertarian pro-lifer”--has lived through much of jazz’s history and has known many of jazz’s most important figures, often as friend and confidant. Hentoff has been a tireless advocate for the neglected parts of jazz history, including forgotten sidemen and -women. This volume includes his best recent work--short essays, long interviews, and personal recollections. From Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong to Ornette Coleman and Quincy Jones, Hentoff brings the jazz greats to life and traces their art to gospel, blues, and many other forms of American music. At the Jazz Band Ball also includes Hentoff’s keen, cosmopolitan observations on a wide range of issues. The book shows how jazz and education are a vital partnership, how free expression is the essence of liberty, and how social justice issues like health care and strong civil rights and liberties keep all the arts--and all members of society--strong.
Publication Date: 2010-06-01
Traditional New Orleans Jazz by Thomas W. JacobsenAbout a century after its beginnings, traditional jazz remains the definitive music of New Orleans and an international hallmark of the city. The enduring sound and boundless energy of this American art form have produced a long list of jazz legends. From Lionel Ferbos -- the city's oldest working jazz musician -- to Grammy winner Irvin Mayfield, the musical heritage of traditional jazz lives on through each player's passion. In Traditional New Orleans Jazz, veteran jazz journalist Thomas Jacobsen discusses that legacy with Ferbos, Mayfield, and a who's who of the present-day scene's "trad jazz" players. Through intimate conversations with jazz veterans and up-and-coming talent, Jacobsen elicits honest, witty, and sometimes comedic discussions that reveal a strong mutual devotion to do one thing -- compose and play music inspired by the Crescent City's earliest jazz musicians. Traditional New Orleans Jazz presents local perspectives on what has become an international language with interviews from Lucien Barbarin, Evan Christopher, Duke Heitger, Leroy Jones, Dr. Michael White, and many more. Jacobsen also notes the stewardship of traditional jazz means more than making music. Its longevity relies on teaching and innovation, furthering the inextricable ties between the music and the men who make it. Traditional New Orleans jazz is a culture of its own, and the players in this remarkable volume are its native speakers.