Listen to This: Miles Davis and "Bitches Brew" (American Made Music Series)

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Listen to This stands out as the first book exclusively dedicated to Davis’s watershed 1969 album, Bitches Brew. Victor Svorinich traces its incarnations and inspirations for ten-plus years before its release. The album arrived as the jazz scene waned beneath the rise of rock and roll and as Davis (1926–1991) faced large changes in social conditions affecting the African-American consciousness. This new climate served as a catalyst for an experiment that many considered a major departure. Davis’s new music projected rock and roll sensibilities, the experimental essence of 1960s’ counterculture, yet also harsh dissonances of African-American reality. Many listeners embraced….

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Jazz Age: People and Perspectives (Perspectives in American Social History)

Jazz Age: People and Perspectives (Perspectives in American Social History)
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A collection of essays encompassing a wide variety of topics, people, and events that embodied the Jazz Age, both familiar and obscure.

• Written by experts from a variety of fields including history, music, literature, African American studies, and religious studies

• Includes an extensive chronology of the defining moments of the Jazz Age from the worlds of politics, society and culture, the arts, business, and more

Jazz: The American Theme Song

Jazz: The American Theme Song
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Praised by the Washington Post as a “tough, unblinkered critic,” James Lincoln Collier is probably the most controversial writer on jazz today. His acclaimed biographies of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman continue to spark debate in jazz circles, and his iconoclastic articles on jazz over the past 30 years have attracted even more attention. With the publication of Jazz: The American Theme Song, Collier does nothing to soften his reputation for hard-hitting, incisive commentary. Questioning everything we think we know about jazz–its origins, its innovative geniuses, the importance of improvisation and spontaneous inspiration in a performance–and the jazz….

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The Cambridge History of American Music (The Cambridge History of Music)

The Cambridge History of American Music (The Cambridge History of Music)
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The Cambridge History of American Music is the first study of music in the United States to be written by a team of scholars. The volume begins with a survey of the music of Native Americans and then explores the historical and cultural events of musical life for the period up to 1900. Other contributors then examine the growth of popular music, including film and stage music, jazz, rock, and immigrant, folk, and regional music. The volume also includes chapters on twentieth-century art music, including the experimental, serial, and tonal traditions. Cambridge Histories Online

The George Gershwin Reader (Readers on American Musicians)

The George Gershwin Reader (Readers on American Musicians)
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George Gershwin is one of the giants of American music, unique in that he was both a brilliant writer of popular songs (“Swanee,” “I Got Rhythm,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”) and of more serious music, including “Rhapsody in Blue,” “An American in Paris,” and “Porgy and Bess.” Now, in The George Gershwin Reader, music lovers are treated to a spectacular celebration of this great American composer. The Reader offers a kaleidoscopic collection of writings by and about Gershwin, including more than eighty pieces of superb variety, color, and depth. There is a who’s who of famous….

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Riding On A Blue Note: Jazz And American Pop

Riding On A Blue Note: Jazz And American Pop
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Gary Giddins, winner of the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award, has a following that includes not only jazz enthusiasts but also pop music fans of every stripe. Writing here in a lyrical and celebratory style all his own, Giddins dazzlingly shows us—among many other things—how performers originally perceived as radical (Bing Crosby, Count Basie, Elvis Presley) became conservative institutions … how Charlie Parker created a masterpiece from the strain of an inane ditty … how the Dominoes helped combine church ritual with pop music … and how Irving Berlin translated a chiaroscuro of Lower East Side minorities into imperishable….

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Louis Prima (Music in American Life)

Louis Prima (Music in American Life)
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In a career that spanned four decades, Prima infused the grit and grace of Dixieland jazz with swing rhythms, big band sounds, and the first resonances of rock ‘n’ roll as he enthralled audiences with a stage presence steeped in vaudeville tradition. A native of New Orleans, this Guy Lombardo protege known as “The Italian Satchmo” was the country’s smashing new jazz sensation at New York’s Famous Door in the 1930s. He went on to be a successful big band leader and a Vegas nightclub staple, virtually creating the concept of the lounge act. But because Prima, like fellow New….

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The Great American Songbook: The Stories Behind the Standards

The Great American Songbook: The Stories Behind the Standards
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From Tin Pan Alley to Broadway and Hollywood, The Great American Songbook: The Stories Behind the Standards tells the stories of our most popular songs with humor, drama and insight. This is timeless music written in unique ways that is constantly being reinterpreted by each generation. Isaac Stern made this distinction between talent and genius: A person possesses talent; genius possesses the person. This is a book about singers, musicians, lyricists and composers taking their talent into the atmosphere of immortality. They are fascinating, and they set the standards by which popular music is measured. They may not have lived….

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Jazz and Death: Medical Profiles of Jazz Greats (American Made Music)

Jazz and Death: Medical Profiles of Jazz Greats (American Made Music (Hardcover))
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When a jazz hero dies, rumors, speculation, gossip, and legend can muddle the real cause of death. In this book, Frederick J. Spencer conducts an inquest on how jazz greats lived and died pursuing their art. Forensics, medical histories, death certificates, and biographies divulge the way many musical virtuosos really died. An essential reference source, Jazz and Death strives to correct misinformation and set the story straight. Reviewing the medical records of such jazz icons as Scott Joplin, James Reese Europe, Bennie Moten, Tommy Dorsey, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Wardell Gray, and Ronnie Scott, the book spans….

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