Jazz-Rock: A History

Jazz-Rock: A History

by Stuart Nicholson
     
 

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First-ever guide to this super-popular music. With the explosion of cool jazz stations playing Kenny G. and David Sanborn and downtown clubs grooving to the sounds of acid jazz and retro funk, jazz-rock has arrived. The quintessential crossover form, jazz-rock encompasses the most popular hybrid styles, from 1970s fusion to the latest in acid jazz. Jazz-Rock: A…  See more details below

Overview

First-ever guide to this super-popular music. With the explosion of cool jazz stations playing Kenny G. and David Sanborn and downtown clubs grooving to the sounds of acid jazz and retro funk, jazz-rock has arrived. The quintessential crossover form, jazz-rock encompasses the most popular hybrid styles, from 1970s fusion to the latest in acid jazz. Jazz-Rock: A History provides the reader with a clear overview of the many trends and musical genres which comprise this hugely successful music. Looking at the story from both sides, the author not only shows the impact of rock on the jazz of such greats as Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock, but also how jazz influenced the rhythm and blues of James Brown and the mainstream rock of Cream and Santana. Stuart Nicholson is the author of Jazz: The 1980's Resurgence, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this encyclopedic work, Nicholson (Billie Holiday) chronicles the development of jazz-rock from the early interactions of jazz and rock in the 1960sa time when jazz seemed to many to be at a dead endto the present day. He emphasizes that the influences have been mutual: rock did much to revitalize jazz, but rock musicians have also learned from the jazz masters. He discusses a multitude of artists, including major figures such as Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa; shows how big band leaders such as Count Basie, Stan Kenton and Woody Herman combined jazz and rock; and talks about the conflict between commercialism and innovation, pointing out that when recording companies capitalize on the money-making potential of music, they often water it down to blandness. With so much ground to cover, Nicholson can't go into depth here, but as a comprehensive overview, his book succeeds. An impressive "Jazz-Rock Fusion Discography" by Jon Newey complements the text. It lists the names and album titles of hundreds of artists whose works have been significant in the evolution of the jazz-rock fusion. Photos. (June)
Booknews
Working with a very wide definition of Jazz-Rock that encompasses James Brown, Jack Bruce, Carlos Santana, The Grateful Dead, Sly and the Family Stone, and Jimi Hendrix, as well as more obvious choices such as Miles Davis, Weather Report, Chick Corea, and Jack DeJohnette, the author explores the history of the marriage of Jazz and Rock that burst into being with the 1969 release of Davis' Bitches Brew. He examines how FM radio popularized and then sanitized the music throughout the 1970s, eventually causing it to sink into relative obscurity, and how elements of it live on in the works of such "avant-garde" artists as Bill Frisell and John Zorn. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Kirkus Reviews
An exhaustive look at how some jazz musicians adjusted to the advent of rock 'n' roll. Nicholson (Billie Holliday, 1995, etc.) begins his study with the emergence of the US in the 1950s and '60s as a world center of musical innovation, particularly in the uniquely American forms of jazz and rock 'n' roll. While the jazz influence on acts such as Chicago and Blood, Sweat, and Tears is perhaps obvious, artists such as Cream and Jimi Hendrix, normally thought of as pure rock or as being predominantly blues-influenced, are shown by Nicholson to also have been very much influenced by jazz. But if jazz made an impression on rock, the opposite also occurred. For instance, it was his friendship with Hendrix that led jazz giant Miles Davis out of traditional jazz and into jazz-rock "fusion." Davis was soon opening for the Grateful Dead and working with rock promoter Bill Graham. The development of the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Chick Corea's career are also thoroughly traced here. The 1980s return of Miles Davis to the scene and the juggernaut of bassist extraordinaire Jaco Pastorius are also plumbed for their vast influence. Exploring rock acts persistently influenced by jazz, Nicholson offers a strong analysis of Frank Zappa, probably the most important artist in the genre, and others. The future of jazz-rock fusion is located in the work of such pioneers as Ornette Coleman and in the development of such groups as Digable Planets. If there is one flaw in Nicholson's study, it is his tendency to hew to a stiff, repetitive format: covering staff changes in a band's lineup, discussing a record's release (including the promotional materials from the record companies), and then going intoa close analysis of the music itself. Still, his impeccable music scholarship makes up for this tendency toward structural formula. (50 illustrations, not seen)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780825671883
Publisher:
Omnibus Press
Publication date:
12/22/2000
Pages:
454
Product dimensions:
6.43(w) x 9.57(h) x 1.38(d)

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