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Considering Genius: Writings on Jazz

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  61 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Stanley Crouch-MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient, co-founder of Jazz at Lincoln Center, National Book Award nominee, and perennial bull in the china shop of black intelligentsia-has been writing about jazz and jazz artists for more than thirty years. His reputation for controversy is exceeded only by a universal respect for his intellect and passion. As Gary Giddons notes ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 10th 2007 by Basic Civitas Books (first published 2006)
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Richard Wagamese
The birth of jazz was the birth of America. In the field hollers of Mississippi the call and resposne became the shout of the blues and ultimately the blast of Buddy Bolden's trumpet. Jazz is the only indigelous art form born in America and its rhythms, cadences and flow stem driectly from a prototypical American experience. Stanley Crouch is a black jazz critic whose acadmeic, analytic and urbane look at the what is essentially the music of his people and in these sharp, keen-eyed essays, he di ...more
Mike
In anticipation of reading Crouch's book on Charlie Parker, and having seen him speak in such an erudite and informative manner on the Burns "Jazz" documentary, I thought it would be a good move to read this collection of his jazz writing and criticism. I liken reading this book to taking a master seminar with an incredible storyteller. Crouch has the incredible ability to evoke music, history, personal narratives, and the true swing and power of jazz music with his words. I found myself transpo ...more
Dave
If nothing else, Crouch is a great writer. His style and craft are unmatched in the world of music criticism. He's a strong enough writer that when I disagree with him (his criticism of Dave Douglas is misplaced) I have a hard time justifying why, and when I agree with him (his brutal takedown of Amiri Baraka, whom insists on calling LeRoi Jones) I feel the position is completely unassailable.

I've read it cover to cover a few times and it is an absolutely crucial reference for anyone interested
...more
Rob the Obscure
This book is an intriguing, articulate, erudite commentary on jazz by a very knowledgeable, somewhat racist, somewhat myopic disciple of Wynton Marsalis. Depending on your perspective on jazz, you will either confront Crouch's opinions with a "yeah! right on!", or...a "what? where does he come off saying that? Who gives him the right to say what is jazz and what is not?" In either case, if you take his opinions for what they are - his opinions, you will learn from this book, and Crouch has a str ...more
Parag
Dec 23, 2007 Parag rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jazz enthusiasts with thick skin
Interesting writing on jazz from intellectual fire-brand, Crouch. At least some of his writing on race that is so cringe-worthy bleeds into this work, but the insights on the music and the masters makes it worth the hardship.
Johnfx750
crammed history of jazz even though there is a somewhat of a narrative going on here ...and personal accounts from the author and his experiences of civil rights of the time
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