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First Book Of Jazz
An introduction to jazz music by one of our finest writers. Langston Hughes, celebrated poet and longtime jazz enthusiast, wrote The First Book of Jazz as a homage to the music that inspired him. The roll of African drums, the dancing quadrilles of old New Orleans, the work songs of the river ports, the field shanties of the cotton plantations, the spirituals, the blues, t ...more
Hardcover, 73 pages
Published October 21st 1995 by Ecco
(first published March 1st 1982)
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"Jazz is a way of playing music even more than it is a composed music. Almost any music can become jazz if it is played with jazz treatment" (46). Hughes' nonfiction for children brings with the birth of Louis Armstrong and ends with a list of Hughes; 100 favorite recordings of jazz, blues, folk songs, and jazz-influenced performances. It's a smart, helpful work with unique illustrations by Cliff Roberts. Roberts' illustrations are not unlike Christian Robinson's today.
This book is a super accessible way to introduce those unfamiliar with Jazz to it's history and basic tunes. The post-modern, funky, angular style of the illustrations add to it's eclectic appeal and ties hand-in-hand with the nature of Jazz sometimes. Part of the book show depictions of musicians crooning and jamming away on their instruments, some pages offer snippets of tunes themselves annotated in traditional format right on the page. Alongside the book, Hughes released a companion record, ...more
Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, short story writer, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the period that "Harlem was in vogue."More about Langston Hughes...