Jazz Greats

Jazz Greats

5.0 1
by David Perry
     
 
Dubbed by Bernstein as 'the only original American art form', jazz is the epitome of spontaneous musicianship. Its development is traced here through the lives of nine great jazz-men: Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Miles Davis. The fascination of their story lies not only in

Overview

Dubbed by Bernstein as 'the only original American art form', jazz is the epitome of spontaneous musicianship. Its development is traced here through the lives of nine great jazz-men: Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Miles Davis. The fascination of their story lies not only in an account of musical innovation, but in the rich social history to which their work bears witness.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The latest entry in Phaidon's 20th-Century Composers series sketches the complicated history of this wholly American art form by examining the complicated lives of a few of its finest, and most well-known, practitioners. Unfortunately, Perry's short chapters find him glossing too much. While he doesn't glamorize the various drug habits and unruly lifestyles that were part and parcel of the jazz scene of previous decades, Perry's quick, friendly style does reduce such giants as Charlie Parker and John Coltrane to a few "significant" recording sessions and their already self-perpetuating legends. The question of whether Buddy Bolden's turn-of-the-century band was the first to play jazz will forever go unanswered, in spite of Perry's rehashing of an old tale. For all of his painstaking care with the facts, Perry doesn't deliver anything not already published elsewhere about Louis Armstrong, Charles Mingus or Duke Ellington. Jazz Greats isn't apt to enlighten the fan whose record collection goes deeper than Miles Davis's classic sides with Parker or a couple of Sidney Bechet albums, but novices brought into the fold by the Marsalis brothers and their neo-traditional peers might be enlightened by dipping into Perry's selective discography at the book's end. (July)
Library Journal
Filmmaker and radio producer Perry profiles 12 musicians: Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Duke Ellington, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis and, briefly, Ornette Coleman, Wynton Marsalis, and Keith Jarrett. Taking subjects that represent the entire history of jazz, though most flourished before 1960, he evaluates their careers and offers the standard biographical data. Although some of the photographs are rarely seen, much of this information is available elsewhere. Unfortunately, this book suffers greatly from careless editing. Misspelled (sometimes consistently) are the names of more than two dozen musicians, including Miles Davis, Billy Eckstine, Thelonious Monk, and Clark Terry. Flutist Herbie Mann is misidentified as a drummer, and Perry invents a musician called "Lee" Tristano. Such errors undermine not only Perry's credibility but also raise questions about the remainder of this series.Paul Alan Baker, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780714832043
Publisher:
Phaidon Press
Publication date:
08/01/1996
Series:
20th Century Composers Series
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 8.75(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

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Jazz Greats (20th Century Composers Series) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An elegant and engaging account written more as the story and progress of Jazz rather than the story of it's musical personalities. This book manages to triumph over all expectations and give us not only a book that engages and enlightens in it's chapters on such Jazz luminaries such as Satchmo, The Duke, and Miles Davis; but also analyzes the roots of this American art form. An interesting book with ample illustrations, this is a brilliant contribution to the history of Jazz.