Jazz: A History of America's Music

4.1 avg rating
( 446 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780739357323: Jazz: A History of America's Music
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

The companion volume to the ten-part PBS TV series by the team responsible for
The Civil War and Baseball.

Continuing in the tradition of their critically acclaimed works, Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns vividly bring to life the story of the quintessential American music—jazz. Born in the black community of turn-of-the-century New Orleans but played from the beginning by musicians of every color, jazz celebrates all Americans at their best.

Here are the stories of the extraordinary men and women who made the music: Louis Armstrong, the fatherless waif whose unrivaled genius helped turn jazz into a soloist's art and influenced every singer, every instrumentalist who came after him; Duke Ellington, the pampered son of middle-class parents who turned a whole orchestra into his personal instrument, wrote nearly two thousand pieces for it, and captured more of American life than any other composer. Bix Beiderbecke, the doomed cornet prodigy who showed white musicians that they too could make an important contribution to the music; Benny Goodman, the immigrants' son who learned the clarinet to help feed his family, but who grew up to teach a whole country how to dance; Billie Holiday, whose distinctive style routinely transformed mediocre music into great art; Charlie Parker, who helped lead a musical revolution, only to destroy himself at thirty-four; and Miles Davis, whose search for fresh ways to sound made him the most influential jazz musician of his generation, and then led him to abandon jazz altogether. Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Tatum, Count Basie, Dave Brubeck, Artie Shaw, and Ella Fitzgerald are all here; so are Sidney Bechet, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and a host of others.

But Jazz is more than mere biography. The history of the music echoes the history of twentieth-century America. Jazz provided the background for the giddy era that F. Scott Fitzgerald called the Jazz Age. The irresistible pulse of big-band swing lifted the spirits and boosted American morale during the Great Depression and World War II. The virtuosic, demanding style called bebop mirrored the stepped-up pace and dislocation that came with peace. During the Cold War era, jazz served as a propaganda weapon—and forged links with the burgeoning counterculture. The story of jazz encompasses the story of American courtship and show business; the epic growth of great cities—New Orleans and Chicago, Kansas City and New York—and the struggle for civil rights and simple justice that continues into the new millennium.

Visually stunning, with more than five hundred photographs, some never before published, this book, like the music it chronicles, is an exploration—and a celebration—of the American experiment.
From the Hardcover edition.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

First off, let's get the kudos down: Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns deserve far more than simple gratitude for bringing jazz to the limelight with this lavishly illustrated volume. The book features among its 500-plus pictures many of the previously unseen shots of musicians and venues glimpsed in Burns's 10-part documentary, Jazz. (See our Ken Burns Jazz Store for the lowdown on the series.) Jazz: An Illustrated History follows the film episode by episode, and it's filled with rich historical detail in the early chapters. Like the series, however, the book trails off after a certain point in chronicling jazz's history. It gives background aplenty on early New Orleans music, the migration of jazz up the Mississippi to major urban centers, and the developments of swing and bebop. After bebop, the history gets a bit perfunctory. Dozens of major figures get mere sidebar coverage. Little is said of substance on Latin or Brazilian jazz, European contributions to the music, fusion, or umpteen smaller deviations from the mainstream. There are wonderful essays that highlight elements of jazz culture, particularly Gerald Early's consideration of race and white musicians in jazz and Gary Giddins's five-page essay on avant jazz. And there are fine sidebars as well. But developments during and after the 1960s are dealt with primarily in impressionistic guest essays rather than detail-oriented historical narrative. It is, of course, difficult to capture all jazz history in any single volume. So perhaps this ought to have been called Jazz: A Historical Appreciation, since the hundreds of images certainly create an intense sense of the music's milieu. --Andrew Bartlett

From the Inside Flap:

r Burton
6 cassettes/ 9 hours

Continuing in the tradition of their previous, critically acclaimed collaborations, Ken Burns and Geoffrey Ward now bring us the history of the quintessential and first indigenous American music.  This dynamic and powerful narrative is brought to life by the remarkable men and women who have made their mark on the music and left a lasting imprint on our culture.  In words, we meet these larger-than-life personalities, including Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Bix Biederbecke, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Sara Vaughan, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, and many more.  Essays by Winton Marsalis, Dan Morgenstern, Gerald Early, Stanley Crouch, and Gary Giddins put the evolution of jazz in historical and cultural context.  Jazz, like the music itself is an exploration of the American experience.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780679445517: Jazz: A History of America's Music

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  067944551X ISBN 13:  9780679445517
Publisher: Knopf, 2000
Hardcover

9780679765394: Jazz: A History of America's Music

Knopf, 2002
Softcover

9780307291639: Jazz: A History Of America's Music

Alfred..., 2000
Softcover

9780712667692: Jazz

Pimlico, 2001
Softcover

9781417719242: Jazz: An Illustrated History

San Val, 2002
Hardcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Ward, Geoffrey C., Burns, Ken
Published by Random House Audio (2007)
ISBN 10: 0739357328 ISBN 13: 9780739357323
New Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Random House Audio, 2007. Audio CD. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110739357328

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 60.22
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Burns, Ken, Ward, Geoffrey C.
Published by Random House Audio (2007)
ISBN 10: 0739357328 ISBN 13: 9780739357323
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Solr Books
(Skokie, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Random House Audio, 2007. Audio CD. Condition: New. Ships Fast! Satisfaction Guaranteed!. Seller Inventory # mon0000563000

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 1,754.87
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds