Why Jazz Happened

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University of California Press, 2013 - Music - 267 pages
3 Reviews
"Why Jazz Happened is a fantastic, eye-opening unfolding of the music and musicians who developed this spell-binding art between World War II and Watergate. Marc Myers shatters myths here, and treats jazz history like an epic saga. I lived and breathed this period during my extensive career in jazz, and this book brings a new perspective to the music's golden era."--Creed Taylor, multi-Grammy Award-winning jazz producer

"Marc Myers's Why Jazz Happened is the first wide-ranging social history of jazz, a highly original attempt to portray and understand the music's evolution by looking at it through the prism of non-musical historic events. The result is a book that will shape the way all subsequent commentators think and write about jazz history."--Terry Teachout, author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong

"For newcomers to jazz and the global audience for whom this music is a vital part of their lives, Marc Myers has written a deeply illuminating and engaging portrait of the essence of jazz. He writes from the inside of jazz--the experiences of the musicians themselves, on the stand and in their own lives. This book is full of surprises. I lived and wrote during much of this period, but I found here a lot that I didn't know."--Nat Hentoff, author of At the Jazz Band Ball: Sixty Years on the Jazz Scene

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Why Jazz Happened

User Review  - James E. Perone - Book Verdict

Here, jazz critic Myers tells the story of the development of jazz from 1942 to 1972. The author's focus, in contrast to most jazz history books currently available, is on how sociological phenomena ... Read full review

Review: Why Jazz Happened

User Review  - Jerry - Goodreads

liked it very much. it is not just a collection of anecdotes. it is informative; it really explains the commercial, social, and political influences that produced environments for jazz to develop. Read full review


1 Record Giants Blink
2 DJs Promoters and Bebop
3 GI Bill and Cool
4 Speed War Tape and Solos
5 Suburbia and West Coast Jazz
6 BMI RB and Hard Bop
7 Bias Africa and Spiritual Jazz
8 Invasion and JazzPop
9 Alienation and the AvantGarde
10 Lights Volume and Fusion
11 Jazz Hangs On

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About the author (2013)

Marc Myers is a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, where he writes about jazz, rock, soul, and rhythm & blues as well as art and architecture. He blogs daily at www.JazzWax.com, winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's Blog of the Year Award.

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