Jazz: An American Saga

Jazz: An American Saga

by James Lincoln Collier, James Lincoln Collier
     
 

One thing we can be sure of is that jazz was invented in America.

From the small sunlit barns that dotted the Louisiana countryside around the turn of the century to the booming nightspots in New York in the 1920s, America has always been the home of jazz. But how did jazz get started? Who were its first musicians? And what was it about America that made

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Overview

One thing we can be sure of is that jazz was invented in America.

From the small sunlit barns that dotted the Louisiana countryside around the turn of the century to the booming nightspots in New York in the 1920s, America has always been the home of jazz. But how did jazz get started? Who were its first musicians? And what was it about America that made it the birthplace of this century's greatest music?

Newbery Honor-winner and jazz critic James Lincoln Collier tackles these questions and others, tracing the history and evolution of jazz in America. Beginning with the African tribal music transported here by slaves, Collier reveals the roots of jazz in gospel and ragtime before launching into a discussion of Dixieland, swing, bebop, the cool school, free jazz, and fusion. Along the way, we meet the great personalities who shaped the music: giants like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, who brought jazz into the mainstream; mavericks like Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, who toyed with its sound and structure; and avant-gardists like Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane, who revolutionized and reinvented jazz.

In this lively, sometimes controversial photo-filled account, Collier shows us how jazz became an international craze, all the while remaining as American as apple pie.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Collier easily guides the novice jazz lover, the occasional jazz listener, and those of us who listen on the outskirts of the jazz world through the many changes in jazz music. From New Orleans Dixieland, big band swing, bebop, avant-gard, fusion, and neobebop, this tour is informative without being dull, clearly written without sounding simple, and interesting and enjoyable."—VOYA

VOYA - Faye A. Powell
Collier easily guides the novice jazz lover, the occasional jazz listener, and those of us who listen on the outskirts of the jazz world through the many changes in jazz music. From New Orleans Dixieland, big band swing, bebop, avant-garde, fusion, and neobebop, this tour is informative without being dull, clearly written without sounding simple, and interesting and enjoyable. The spirit of jazz flows out of Collier's words, taking readers up to the present time in six chapters and ninety-six pages. The attractive cover is a black-and-blue silhouette, edged and titled in bright red, green, and yellow; contained within are pictures, a selected discography, and an index (not included in my uncorrected galley proof). Collier presents a work that is unbiased in its overall expression; however, there is an obvious omission. It almost appears intentional that a book targeting today's young adults would exclude the family name that many young people associate with contemporary jazz-Marsalis. Other names prominent in jazz also are not mentioned, and Collier recognizes that. Apart from this oversight, this is a recommended title for YAs who know a little something about jazz. It will correct some myths and clear up some erroneous ideas about jazz, and make them recall songs and melodies they might have heard. Collier's descriptions echo the music's sounds, rhythms, and performances. Index. Photos. Discography. VOYA Codes: 3Q 2P S (Readable without serious defects, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
School Library Journal
Gr 7 UpTwenty-four years after his in-depth Inside Jazz (Four Winds, 1973), Collier now offers yet a further look at this uniquely American art form. Some information is repeated, but there is a sufficiently different perspective to recommend this new volume. Written in a crisp, enthusiastic style, this book examines jazz's origins and its development, showing how it marries African and European traditions while it deviates from both. The author's explanations are clear, and specific vocabulary is explained in context. The influences of various performers are presented in the context of jazz's growth. A selected discography offers suggestions for listening, but only the artist and title of the recordings are provided; the recording company is not. The information presented will be helpful for reports, but the book lends itself to a good nonfiction read as well. A fine complement to Morgan Monceaux's Jazz (Knopf, 1994) to update music collections.Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805041217
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
11/28/1997
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
7.64(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.58(d)
Lexile:
1190L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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