Jazz: My Music, My People: (ALA Notable Children's Book; ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Young Readers)

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9780679856184: Jazz: My Music, My People: (ALA Notable Children's Book; ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Young Readers)
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Striking portraits, biographical sketches, personal reminiscences, and collage paintings chronicle the historical evolution of jazz from the perspective of forty African-American musicians who played key roles in its creation.

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From Publishers Weekly:

For this intimate, moody introduction to jazz, Monceaux offers emphatic mixed-media portraits and biographies of favorite musicians. Typically, Monceaux frames a folk-arty picture of a musician with layers of scribbled colors and scrawled details about his or her life. He often bestows such trimmings as buttons, gloves or lace on his subjects' clothing; Charlie Parker himself gets a plastic party horn, Leadbelly a faux guitar, John Coltrane a toy sax. Next to each image appears a brief biography, warmly informed by the author's reflections: Louis Armstrong is described performing a musical eulogy at the New Orleans funeral of Monceaux's uncle; Count Basie regales guests at Monceaux's grandparents' anniversary party at the Starlight Ballroom in Chicago; a Nina Simone tape fortifies Monceaux in 1966, when he was stationed off the Vietnam coast. The text straightforwardly mentions racism, drug abuse, alcoholism and other adult themes. For example, Monceaux compares a Billie Holiday song about a lynching to "a group of white men [who] drove past me in a car and called me a nigger." Monceaux's demonstration of how music influenced his youth and informed his art may well inspire readers to seek heroes of their own. Ages 9-up.-- drove past me in a car and called me a nigger." Monceaux's demonstration of how music influenced his youth and informed his art may well inspire readers to seek heroes of their own. Ages 9-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A visual artist pays tribute to 41 great African-American jazz virtuosos of the past with a series of stylized portraits matched to brief appreciative essays. Like the story quilts of Faith Ringgold, Monceaux's paintings (each with a bit of collage--white gloves for Duke Ellington, silk gardenias for Billie Holliday- -incorporated) combine handwritten text with figures rendered in primitivist style; the writing (biographical notes) flows around each likeness in a way that suggests ripples of movement or sound. Monceaux arranges his subjects chronologically, beginning with the proto-jazz master Buddy Bolden and finishing with Pearl Bailey, Lena Horne--and his mother, Johnetta, a vocalist ``linked with the leading blues women of the South.'' The commentary printed on facing pages is general but well informed, occasionally provocative (Jelly Roll Morton ``was brought up to look down on those with darker skins and continued to do so all his life''), always focused on the entertainers' influences and unique styles; the author also injects personal notes, recalling his first exposure to someone's music, or its place in the life of a family member. A fresh, idiosyncratic view of this distinctly American music's history and development. Send readers who want to know more to the music itself, or if they must have a book, Studs Terkel's Giants of Jazz (1975). (Collective biography. 11+) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Monceaux, Morgan
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers (1994)
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