Why Jazz Happened

Front Cover
University of California Press, 2013 - Music - 267 pages
6 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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Review: Why Jazz Happened

User Review  - Bill - Goodreads

A fairly good history of jazz written from a sociological viewpoint. Well-written, but I feel like with a few details changed, it could have been about any form of popular music. Kind of glosses ofer the last 40+ years as well. Valuable to the jazz history completist. Read full review

Review: Why Jazz Happened

User Review  - Joshua - Goodreads

Excellent book. Myers got prime interviews (Sonny Rollins, others) and uses a comprehensive history of extra-musical events from the 1940s through the early '70s to portray jazz history in probably ... 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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