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Jazz Is

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  64 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
A beautifully written, evocative tribute to an elusive art... Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Teddy Wilson, Gerry Mulligan, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, and Gato Barbieri. - Performing Arts
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by Limelight Editions (first published 1976)
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Mike
Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
The most valuable aspect of this book was being able to read what jazz musicians had to say about each other and accounts of how they interacted. Sometimes I felt that Hentoff's writing was a little overinflated -- what does "searingly influential" mean, for example? -- but for the most part it was spot on. I confess to skipping the chapters on Gato Barbieri and Cecil Taylor, simply because I know very little about their music.
Dave
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've probably had this book on my shelves for twenty years, and I'm not sure why I was never quite ready to read it. It's great. First and second-hand accounts of the greats of jazz. Very well written. Immediate, informative. Provides a real feel for the players who made jazz great.
Mark Hiser
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
An accessible introduction to the history of jazz told in stories of some of the most influential jazz artists of the US.
Volkert
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, music
Subtitled: "How the giants of jazz have shaped their music from the sounds of life." Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Teddy Wilson, Gerry Mulligan, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, and Gato Barrier. Jazz is not knowing what's going to happen next.
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Nathan Irving "Nat" Hentoff was a historian, novelist, music critic, and syndicated columnist. As a civil libertarian and free-speech activist, he has been described by the Cato Institute—where he has been a senior fellow since 2009—as "one of the foremost authorities on the First Amendment" to the U.S. Constitution. He was a staff writer for The New Yorker for over 25 years, and was formerly a co ...more
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“Most of us lead or are led by lives of patterned regularity. Diurnally, surprises are relatively few. And except for economic or physical uncertainties, we neither face nor court significant degrees of risk because a fundamental drive in the vast majority of us is toward the attainment of as much security as is possible.
In this sense, jazzmen, of all musicians, are our surrogates for the unpredictable, our paladins of constant change.”
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“In 1965, as Ralph Gleason has reported, when Martin Luther King's march on Selma, Alabama, was brutally attacked by local and state constabulary, Louis Armstrong, then in Copenhagen, said after watching the carnage on television, "They would beat Jesus if he was black and marched.” 1 likes
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