The Oxford Companion to Jazz
Jazz and its colorful, expansive history resonate in this unique collection of 60 essays specially-commissioned from today’s top jazz performers, writers, and scholars. Contributors include such jazz insiders as Bill Crow, Samuel A. Floyd Jr., Ted Gioia, Gene Lees, Dan Morgenstern, Gunther Schuller, Richard M. Sudhalter, and Patricia Willard. Both a reference book and an engaging read, the Companion surveys the evolution of jazz from its roots in Africa and Europe
until the present. Along the way, each distinctive style and period is profiled by an expert in the field. Whether your preference is ragtime, the blues, bebop, or fusion, you will find the chief characteristics and memorable performances illuminated here with a thoroughness found in no other
single-volume jazz reference.
The Oxford Companion to Jazz features individual biographies of the most memorable characters of this relatively young art form. Sidney Bechet, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, and the divas of jazz song-Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan-come to life in thoughtful considerations of their influences,
often turbulent personal lives, and signature styles. In addition, this book looks at the impact of jazz on American culture-in literature, film, television, and dance-and explores the essential instruments of jazz and their most memorable players.
The Oxford Companion to Jazz will provide a quick reference source as well as a dynamic and broad overview for all lovers of jazz, from novices to aficionados.
"The Oxford Companion to Jazz probes every aspect of the music, from the rhythmic virtuosity of ragtime and stride piano, to the transformation of jazz from music for happy feet to cerebral bebop for the mind.... Like jazz itself, The Oxford Companion to Jazz marries form and imagination."-John Mark Eberhart, The Kansas City Star "An ambitious panorama of genres, biographies and analyses.... A durable addition to the literature of music...these essays should lead to an irresistible urge to hear more."-Nat Hentoff, Los Angeles Times Book Review "This work is an effective single-volume device, leading current listeners to the music while including enough newer scholarship to retain the interest of connoisseurs."-Library Journal "No book on jazz has ever attempted the scope of this monumental collection of 60 studies by 59 writers. Commissioned and organized by editor Bill Kirchner into an interlocking mosaic, its 800 pages examine and evaluate every aspect of the origins, ongoing development, and offshoots of jazz-and its myriad personalities-to a degree which makes this the one indispensable publication in the field. The Oxford Companion to Jazz is both a reference work for the serious scholar and a rewarding book to be dipped into by the casual reader"-George Avakian "More than a treatise on jazz, this book is a compilation of articles on all phases of the music, contributed by musicians and professional writers who speak for the art firsthand. Highly recommended for everyone interested in jazz."-Benny Carter "This is an effective single-volume device, leading current listeners to the music while including enough newer scholarship to retain the interest of connoisseurs."-Library Journal "Kirchner managed to enlist many of the finest writers in the field to contribute to this volume.... The joy of reading this book comes from the authoritative essays by major writers-Dan Morgenstern, John McDonough, Gunther Schulluer, Mark Tucker, Scott DeVeaux, to mention just a representative handful.... For all serious jazz collections, both general and academic.-Choice "Probably the most effective historical panorama to date"-Richard Sudhalter, Commentary "Despite the wide range, the focus is clear-the unique American sound of jazz and those giants most closely associated with its creation and production."-Jeff Waggoner, The New York Times Book Review "A milestone among publications dedicated to jazz." -Francesco Martinelli, Musica Jazz (Italy) "This book contains a collection of some of the very best writing available concerning jazz."-Dr. Lee Bash, Jazz Educators Journal
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