Jazz Is

Jazz Is
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“A beautifully written, evocative tribute to an elusive art… Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Teddy Wilson, Gerry Mulligan, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, and Gato Barbieri.” – Performing Arts

What Jazz Is: An Insider's Guide to Understanding and Listening to Jazz

What Jazz Is: An Insider's Guide to Understanding and Listening to Jazz
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“You have to talk about how jazz is like a language. Musical improvisation can put people at a distance, primarily because of jazz’s limited exposure. When people realize that everyone who creates a sentence is improvising within basic rules, making statements up spontaneously, the music begins to make more sense.” –Jonny KingImagine you are in the audience of a jazz club. The piano player invites you up on stage to meet the musicians after the set is finished. You listen to them talkabout the tempo of the last tune, the order of songs for their next set, and the different….

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The Swing Book

The Swing Book
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Documents the history of swing music and dancing, covering the important artists, style and fashion, albums, and dance moves of swing

What Is This Thing Called Jazz?: African American Musicians as Artists, Critics, and Activists (Music of the African Diaspora)

What Is This Thing Called Jazz?: African American Musicians as Artists, Critics, and Activists (Music of the African Diaspora)
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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:….

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Stomping The Blues (Da Capo Paperback)

Stomping The Blues (Da Capo Paperback)
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This study of the blues by one of America’s premier essayists and novelists will change old attitudes about a tradition that continues to feed the very heart of popular music—a blues that dances, shakes, shimmies, and exchanges bad news for stomping, rollicking, pulse-quickening good times.

1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time and the Artists, Stories and Secrets Behind Them

1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time and the Artists, Stories and Secrets Behind Them
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The fascinating stories behind more than a thousand best-loved songs from the last 50 years are explored in this entertaining collection. Intriguing background and biographical information on each song and its artist — from Elvis and Fatboy Slim to Leonard Cohen and Pulp — is included alongside more than 400 rare, full-color photographs of the musicians. Keeping in line with the way that iPods and other portable mp3 players have changed the way people listen to music — with personalized playlists and mixes just a few clicks away — this collection places more emphasis on specific songs than entire albums…..

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Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Cafe Society, And An Early Cry For Civil Rights

Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Cafe Society, And An Early Cry For Civil Rights
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From four-time Pulitzer Prize nominee David Margolick, STRANGE FRUIT explores the story of the memorable civil rights ballad made famous by Billie Holiday in the late 1930s. The song’s powerful, evocative lyrics-written by a Jewish communist schoolteacher who, late in life, adopted the children of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg-portray the lynching of a black man in the South. Holiday’s performances sparked conflict and controversy wherever she went, and the song has since been covered by Lena Horne, Tori Amos, Sting, and countless others. Margolick’s careful reconstruction of the story behind the song, portions of which have appeared in Vanity Fair,….

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Singing Jazz

Singing Jazz
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Singing Jazz looks at the ups and downs of this tough profession through the eyes of legendary jazz singers, well-established performers, and some newcomers. Drawing on accounts from vocalists of yesterday and today in all major jazz styles, the book explores the musical influences of jazz singing; the learning process, whether on the road or in training; the challenges of building a repertoire, getting gigs, traveling, and performing under sometimes difficult circumstances; and the ongoing struggle for artistic recognition and financial security in the competitive world of popular music. To reveal the roots and evolution of this unique art form,….

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The Story of Boogie-Woogie: A Left Hand Like God

The Story of Boogie-Woogie: A Left Hand Like God
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The Story of Boogie-Woogie: A Left Hand Like God examines the socio-historical background of the boogie-woogie piano style, from its early appearances in the barrelhouses of lumber, turpentine, and railroad camps in the southern United States, to its emergence at rent parties in Chicago and St. Louis, to its rise as a popular form of music in the nightclubs of New York, to its status as an international craze during World War II. In this enhanced revision of A Left Hand Like God, Peter J. Silvester presents a comprehensive history of boogie-woogie, describing the style’s appearance and development, its offshoots,….

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The Jazz Book: From Ragtime to Fusion and Beyond

The Jazz Book: From Ragtime to Fusion and Beyond
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The most comprehensive interpretive history of jazz available in one volume, this book contains a survey of the past and current styles, elements, instruments, musicians, singers, and big bands of jazz.