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Elements of Jazz: From...
Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalks to Fusion (The Great Courses)
The uniquely American music and art form, jazz, is one of America's great contributions to world culture. Now you can learn the basics of jazz and its history in a course as free-flowing and original as jazz itself. Taught by Professor Bill Messenger of the Peabody Institute, the lectures in this course are a must for music lovers. They will have you reaching deep into you ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by The Great Courses
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This is such a great short history of jazz/rags/blues/swing/and even ancient modes. Messenger tells great stories as teaching tools and has wonderful music samples that bring it home. For instance, he carries one tune across all the genres to compare the different styles--among many others. He also plays a brilliant piano in all these styles. So enjoyable on so many levels.
I've listened to a number of the Teaching Company courses. This one was ok but not awesome. Messenger is a pianist, and the best parts of the course are when he plays a little bit to explain something. However, the course is loosely structured, and portions of it (when he has guest performers, particularly) kind of wander.
This is a great Teaching Company course that introduces the listener to the world of jazz music. I give it 5 stars because I particularly enjoyed the early chapters on the evolution of musical styles that led to jazz. I still prefer classical music by far, but I enjoyed learning about this other musical world. I also very much enjoyed the lectures on ragtime music (think Scott Joplin) and big band music. The lecturer, Bill Messenger, also shared great stories and played the piano in various styl ...more