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W.W. Norton & Company, 2009 - Music - 704 pages

The story of jazz as it has never been told before, from the inside out: a comprehensive, eloquent, scrupulously researched page-turner.

In this vivid history of jazz, a respected critic and a leading scholar capture the excitement of America's unique music with intellectual bite, unprecedented insight, and the passion of unabashed fans. They explain what jazz is, where it came from, and who created it and why, all within the broader context of American life and culture. Emphasizing its African American roots, Jazz traces the history of the music over the last hundred years. From ragtime and blues to the international craze for swing, from the heated protests of the avantgarde to the radical diversity of today's artists, Jazz describes the travails and triumphs of musical innovators struggling for work, respect, and cultural acceptance set against the backdrop of American history, commerce, and politics. With vibrant photographs by legendary jazz chronicler Herman Leonard, Jazz is also an arresting visual history of a century of music.

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User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Jazz studies usually focus on facts and figures or appreciation and interpretation. This new work skillfully blends both approaches in a deeply informed and analytical way that is clear for beginners ... Read full review

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User Review  - Sam Poole - Goodreads

Sprawling and enlightening at points, excessive and misguided at others. Annoying tendency to downplay race and identity politics to focus on strict history. Clear agenda missed at points. Quick read and pretty complete. Read full review


Jazz Form and Improvisation
The Roots of Jazz
New Orleans

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About the author (2009)

Gary Giddins lives in New York City.

Scott DeVeaux is a nationally recognized jazz scholar whose 1997 book The Birth of Bebop: A Social and Musical History won the American Book Award, an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, the Otto Kinkeldey Award from the American Musicological Society, and the ARSC Award for Excellence in Historical Sound Research. He has taught jazz history at the University of Virginia for more than 25 years.

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