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Reading Jazz: A Gathering of Autobiography, Reportage, and Criticism from 1919 to Now
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Reading Jazz: A Gathering of Autobiography, Reportage, and Criticism from 1919 to Now

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  59 ratings  ·  5 reviews
"Comprehensive and intelligently organized. . . .Jazz aficionados . . . should be grateful to have so much good writing on the subject in one place."--The New York Times Book Review

"Alluring. . . . Capture[s] much of the breadth of the music, as well as the passionate debates it has stirred, more vividly than any other jazz anthology to date."--Chicago Tribune

No musical id
Paperback, 1088 pages
Published October 26th 1999 by Vintage (first published 1996)
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I picked up this book at a friend's house--I've just started learning about jazz music (even though I worked at a jazz station as a news announcer in my younger days). I found some of it boring but most of it was interesting, even captivating. In particular, I enjoyed the sections written or narrated by the artists themselves--for instance, Miles Davis explaining why Charlie Parker was really kind of a "motherfu**er".
1000pp of writing on jazz music and musicians, organized into three sections: autobiographical excerpts, reportage, and criticism. the autobiographies are a gold mine, the reportage often dated but sometimes delightful, the criticism worth reading. 5 stars for the first section alone; the other two might get 4 stars for uneven quality. huge, essential tome.
Feb 01, 2013 Mayaluna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: jazz lovers
Recommended to Mayaluna by: Greg Caz
Reading Jazz is a compendium of superb writings on jazz musicians. It is divided by musician and is a reference book I treasure. Anyone of significant influence in the jazz world from 1919 to the early 90's is here. I particularly enjoy the actual reportage included from the musicians' heydays.
If you like Jazz, you will love this book!
Richard Anderson
Inevitably uneven, but still a classic.
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Robert Gottlieb has been the editor in chief of Alfred A. Knopf and The New Yorker. He is the author of Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhard, George Balanchine: The Ballet Maker, Lives and Letters (FSG, 2011), and Great Expectations and is the dance critic for The New York Observer.
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