What to Listen For in Jazz
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Barry Kernfeld provides an introduction to jazz, discussing its musical concepts, procedures and styles, providing the background to this musical art. The book is organized around 21 historical jazz recordings – from the New Orleans Rhythm Kings’ “Tin Roof Blues” (1923) to Ornette Coleman’s “Honeymooners” (1987) – that are analyzed in the text and included in a free compact disc that accompanies the book. The author draws from these musical works to illustrate jazz rhythm, forms, arrangement, composition, improvization, style, and sound (recording fidelity, tuning systems, instrumentation, and timbre). Included in the book are 85 notated music examples keyed to the compact disc and a biographical dictionary of musicians who figure prominently on the disc. By laying out musical ideas that unify the genre, rather than by splintering it along stylistic lines, this book offers a method for enhancing enjoyment and understanding of jazz. This should be a useful resource for students and general listeners who wish to know more about this musical form.

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