History of Jazz
Jazz is the most colorful and varied art form in the world and it was born in one of the most colorful and varied cities, New Orleans. From the seed first planted by slave dances held in Congo Square and nurtured by early ensembles led by Buddy Belden and Joe "King" Oliver, jazz began its long winding odyssey across America and around the world, giving flower to a thousand...more
It's well written and a joy to read; it balances biography, a little music theory/jargon, social history, etc. I found it really absorbing. However, I also listened to music most of the way through in order to giv ...more
What I actually learned: exactly that, but more prominently, that being a jazz musician between 1920 and 1970 was perhaps the most dangerous occupation a person could hold. So many fabulous talents came to tragic ends during that period. Murder, drugs, alcoholism, tuberculosis, suicide, and insanity were but a few of the maladies that claimed the lives and livelihoods of gifted musicians over the course of jazz's histo ...more
I believe this book serves as a better written document of the history of jazz compared t ...more
The first half or two third ...more
The book provides a useful narrative tha ...more
Ted Gioia's book focuses mostly on players and on trends in the way the music was made, heard, composed, and disseminated, without as much focus on the accompanying history of the world that often pushed or pulled the music in one direction or another. He often introduces a b ...more
This was an excellent overview of the topic, one of the best (probably the best, unless I'm blanking on something) I've encountered. Gioia does a great job of balancing the various strains of history -- aesthetic, social/cultural, economic, biographical –- required to fully grasp the topic, resulting in a history that is far more complete than the "great man" surveys that so often pass as jazz histories (looking at you, Ken Burns). That being said, it does tend to devolve into a series of bios n ...more
Really, my only complaint about this book is the author's overuse of the phrase " ...more
I don't like jazz. I have never liked jazz.
The professor jived on and on (during the few lectures I attended) about house parties and eating pig feet with keg beer in the "good old days" of jazz in New Orleans.
This book is a great bore to read. Hipsters who age pathetically after the age of 30 may think that this bizarre celebration of an American style of music is a boast for the coolness ...more