Innovators of American Jazz

Innovators of American Jazz

by Stanley I. Mour
     
 

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What is a popular kind of music that originated in the United States? The answer is Jazz. Mixing folk and blues influences, talented artists from Scott Joplin to Wynton Marsalis have kept jazz at the forefront of the American Music scene. The musicians portrayed in this book played different instruments and had different styles, but all helped keep jazz fresh and

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Overview

What is a popular kind of music that originated in the United States? The answer is Jazz. Mixing folk and blues influences, talented artists from Scott Joplin to Wynton Marsalis have kept jazz at the forefront of the American Music scene. The musicians portrayed in this book played different instruments and had different styles, but all helped keep jazz fresh and new. In Innovators of American Jazz, Stanley I. Mour follows ten prominent jazz musicians through their many successes and through varied hardships.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Enslow’s series, “Inspiring Collective Biographies,” is a reformatting of a 1998 edition, this volume covering the same ten outstanding jazz musicians. Most are male and African-American; Mour explains that “jazz really is the music of black Americans.” In its early days, women were rare as instrumentalists, though pianist Mary Lou Williams (1910—1981) was a brilliant exception. Reaching back to roots, Mour cites Scott Joplin (born 1868) and his ragtime music as an early influence. Progressing more or less chronologically, he offers an overview of developments from trumpeter Louis Armstrong to the only living example, Wynton Marsalis. Armstrong, from New Orleans, became a singer and entertainer as well, traveling abroad for the State Department, recording, and appearing on radio and television. Elegant Duke Ellington’s band also toured and played at Carnegie Hall. As a composer, Ellington focused on African-American themes, later turning to sacred music. Clarinetist Benny Goodman played classical music, too, and popularized swing, a dancelike form of jazz played by big bands and superseded by bebop. Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker added their unique talents on trumpet and tenor saxophone, influencing many emerging musicians. Also on the jazz scene were moody trumpeter Miles Davis, pioneering new styles—cool, modal, and fusion— and John Coltrane, who experimented with Eastern rhythms and “free jazz.” Marsalis has become famous for playing both jazz and classical trumpet and for his association with Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York. Mour writes steadily and clearly, adding some information about private lives and the struggles of various musicians to overcome emotional problems and drug addiction. Unfortunately for young readers, this fascinating material is presented in a textbook-like format with only black-and-white photos, lacking the imaginative design and color its subjects deserve. A discography for each will help track down recordings. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft; Ages 11 to 15.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780766041660
Publisher:
Enslow Publishers, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/01/2013
Series:
Inspiring Collective Biographies Series
Pages:
112
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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