Weather Bird: Jazz at the Dawn of Its Second Century [NOOK Book]


Gary Giddins's magnificent book Visions of Jazz has been hailed as a landmark in music criticism. Jonathan Yardley in The Washington Post called it "the definitive compendium by the most interesting jazz critic now at work." And Alfred Appel, Jr., in The New York Times Book Review, said it was "the finest unconventional history of jazz ever written." It was the first work on jazz ever to win the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism.
Now comes Weather Bird, a ...
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Weather Bird: Jazz at the Dawn of Its Second Century

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Gary Giddins's magnificent book Visions of Jazz has been hailed as a landmark in music criticism. Jonathan Yardley in The Washington Post called it "the definitive compendium by the most interesting jazz critic now at work." And Alfred Appel, Jr., in The New York Times Book Review, said it was "the finest unconventional history of jazz ever written." It was the first work on jazz ever to win the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism.
Now comes Weather Bird, a brilliant companion volume to Visions of Jazz. In this superb collection of essays, reviews and articles, Giddins brings together, for the first time, more than 140 pieces written over a 14-year period, most of them for his column in the Village Voice (also called "Weather Bird"). The book is first and foremost a celebration of jazz, with illuminating commentary on contemporary jazz events, on today's top musicians, on the best records of the year, and on leading figures from jazz's past. Readers will find extended pieces on Louis Armstrong, Erroll Garner, Benny Carter, Sonny Rollins, Dave Brubeck, Ornette Coleman, Billie Holiday, Cassandra Wilson, Tony Bennett, and many others. Giddins includes a series of articles on the annual JVC Jazz Festival, which taken together offer a splendid overview of jazz in the 1990s. Other highlights include an astute look at avant-garde music ("Parajazz") and his challenging essay, "How Come Jazz Isn't Dead?" which advances a theory about the way art is born, exploited, celebrated, and sidelined to the museum.
A radiant compendium by America's leading music critic, Weather Bird offers an unforgettable look at the modern jazz scene.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Giddins's "Weather Bird" column was a regular feature of the Village Voice for 30 years. This book collects more than 140 essays, articles, and reviews that Giddins wrote from 1990 to November 2003, mostly for the Voice. The breadth and depth of his knowledge is extremely impressive, his ear is astounding, and his masterly style routinely achieves the near impossible in writing engagingly about something that inherently eludes description. For instance, in reading the delightful and seemingly nonsensical "If Ornette Coleman Were Jim Hall, He Would Be Joe Morris," a fan immediately begins to approximate in the mind's ear what Joe Morris might sound like. The book stands on its own, but taken with Giddins's acclaimed Visions of Jazz: The First Century, it affords the reader a highly accessible, personal, and perceptive portrait of the development of jazz and its towering figures (and some lesser-known but significant talents), from its beginnings to the present. Jazz fans will head back to their collections for another listen to classic albums and to the record bins to seek out music they've overlooked. For all libraries and essential for music collections.-Mark Woodhouse, Elmira Coll. Lib., NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199882625
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/15/2004
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 596,598
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Gary Giddins wrote the Village Voice's "Weather Bird" column for 30 years. His eight books and three documentary films have garnered unparalleled recognition for jazz, including a National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, two Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Awards, five ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards, a Peabody, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He received national attention for his commentary in Ken Burns's Jazz. He lives in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 The beige decade, 1990-2000
1 Tender moments (JVC 1990) 3
2 Front porch blues (Colorado 1990) 7
3 Chippin' off the old block (Javon Jackson) 11
4 Heavy mettle thunder (Ronald Shannon Jackson) 13
5 Go Wes, young man (Mark Whitfield) 16
6 Jazz Danish (the Jazzpar concert) 19
7 The glow of Doc Cheatham (JVC 1991, part one) 23
8 Miles ahead (JCV 1991, part two) 29
9 Benny's brood (Rickey Woodard / Jesse Davis) 32
10 The advocate (Eddie Condon) 36
11 Martin Williams, 1924-1992 41
12 Grand-Lee (Lee Konitz) 45
13 Swing to black (Doc Severinsen) 47
14 Lions in summer (JVC 1992) 51
15 Yin, yang, and noir (Oliver Lake / Charlie Haden) 59
16 Always true in her fashion (Peggy Lee) 62
17 Computer wars (Robert Parker) 66
18 Giant step (Jackie McLean) 70
19 Vivid multitudes (the best jazz records of 1992) 72
20 PG-13 (Rosemary Clooney) 76
21 Living large (Bobby Watson) 78
22 Gallic swing (Stephane Grappelli) 81
23 A surprise banquet (JVC 1993) 84
24 Tremolos and elegies (Cyrus Chestnut) 91
25 The power and the reticence (JVC 1994) 95
26 Leonard Feather, 1914-1994 99
27 After the ball (Gerry Mulligan / Maria Schneider) 103
28 Redefining Dizzy (the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band / Lalo Schifrin) 107
29 The swinging cowboy (Herb Jeffries) 111
30 Festival blues (JVC 1995) 116
31 Young and verbal (Carmen McRae) 122
32 Three by three (Tim Hagans / Dave Douglas / Roy Hargrove) 125
33 Different drummer (Modern Jazz Quartet) 128
34 They never went away (big bands) 132
35 Beyond the rudiments (the best jazz records of 1995) 135
36 Lost and found (Brian Barley / Andrew Hill) 140
37 Monk with frets (Marc Ribot) 143
38 The king (Benny Carter) 146
39 Drum dada (Han Bennink) 156
40 On their own (Gerry Gibbs / Ravi Coltrane) 159
41 Classic Ambition (Wynton Marsalis) 162
42 Hard of hearing (JVC 1997) 165
43 = 2 (Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock) 170
44 New tunes for an old ax (Joe Morris) 173
45 Lit at both ends (D. D. Jackson) 176
46 They're bo-o-o-o-xed! (the best reissues of 1997) 179
47 Piano men (Teddy Wilson / Lennie Tristano / Bill Evans) 183
48 The arranger's Monk (Bill Holman / T. S. Monk / Fred Hersch) 186
49 Reviving the it girls (the Boswell Sisters) 190
50 Turner classic moves (Mark Turner) 193
51 Fusions (Wayne Shorter / Odyssey) 196
52 Is everybody happy? (Texaco-New York Jazz Festival) 199
53 Requiem for a flag-waver (JVC 1998) 203
54 The original dixieland one-step (New Orleans jazz) 208
55 Rousing rabble (JATP) 211
56 Old guys yes, retro never (the best jazz records of 1998) 215
57 A bottomless well (Duke Ellington) 219
58 Jaki Byard, 1922-1999 222
59 Out of the vinyl deeps (record rarities) 225
60 Prisoners of the past (JVC 1999) 228
61 Rapprochement (Cecil Taylor / Elvin Jones / Dewey Redman) 232
62 Good vibrations (Stefon Harris) 235
63 Lester Bowie, 1941-1999 238
64 The masters have it (the best jazz records of 1999) 242
65 Hammond's best and brightest (From spirituals to swing) 245
66 Hipper than thou (Bob Dorough) 248
67 Freed jazz : bell one (Ornette Coleman) 251
68 Comeback number six (Lonnie Johnson) 255
69 Mrs. Swing (Mildred Bailey) 257
70 Saved by the classics : bell two (Bell Atlantic 2000) 263
71 Touring the jazz museum (JVC 2000) 267
72 Carterology (James Carter) 272
73 Zooids new and old (Henry Threadgill / Roswell Rudd and Archie Shepp) 275
74 Saturnal sorcery (Sun Ra) 279
75 The one you've been waiting for (Sonny Rollins) 283
76 All the things he was (Carnegie Hall Jazz Band) 286
77 Signposts of post-history (the best jazz records of 2000) 290
78 Bedside jazz (more best jazz records of 2000) 295
79 Parajazz (the avant-garde) 299
Pt. 2 The second century, 2001-2003
80 The neglected king of song (Bing Crosby) 313
81 Here's the melody (John Lewis) 320
82 Over the transom (Arnie Carruthers / Larry Vuckovich / Nicholas Hoffman / Gold Sparkle) 323
83 Memorophiliac (Vijay Iyer) 327
84 Weird and forgotten dreams (Charles Mingus / Helen Carr / Herb Jeffries / LH&R / Sarah Vaughan) 329
85 A quartet of five (Dave Brubeck) 333
86 Billy Higgins, 1936-2001 339
87 Boom! (Louis Armstrong) 343
88 Found and lost (Terence Blanchard) 349
89 Ladies day (Billie Holiday) 352
90 Mood swings (Tom Harrell) 362
91 Nashville (Ted Nash) 366
92 Minnie the moocher's revenge (JVC 2001) 369
93 Go tell it on the mountain (David S. Ware) 376
94 Looking for better than that (Diana Krall / Jeanie Bryson / Vanessa Rubin / Etta James / Rosemary Clooney) 380
95 Strictly Solalian (Martial Solal) 383
96 Heir to a secret history (Jason Moran) 387
97 Master class (Jimmy Heath) 390
98 Fearless (Tony Bennett) 394
99 All around the town (Uri Caine) 398
100 Bad haircut, good ragtime (Brun Campbell) 401
101 Laureate (Irving Berlin) 405
102 Heroes at work ("made in America") 407
103 Brutality and revival (the best jazz records of 2001) 410
104 Reissues by the box, singers by the cut (more best jazz records of 2001) 415
105 Long roads (Harry Belafonte) 419
106 Gypsy state of mind (Bireli Lagrene) 422
107 Surviving the marketplace (Sonny Stitt / Bobby Hackett) 425
108 The microtonal man (Joe Maneri) 429
109 Singing cool and hot (Cassandra Wilson / Dee Dee Bridgewater) 432
110 Our Chopin (Cecil Taylor) 435
111 She writes the songs (Abbey Lincoln) 439
112 Black Arthur's return (Arthur Blythe) 442
113 Enchantment (Johnny Hodges / Rex Stewart) 446
114 Continuing education (Marian McPartland) 450
115 Fully interactive (Bill Charlap) 454
116 Fetishizing the LP (Verve Miniatures) 458
117 Personality (Houston Person) 461
118 Postwar jazz : an arbitrary roadmap (1945-2001) 465
119 How not to broaden the jazz canvas (Carnegie Hall Jazz Band) 488
120 Where's Waldo? (JVC 2002) 492
121 Almost peas in a pod (Tony Bennett / Sarah Vaughan) 497
122 Lionel Hampton, 1908-2002 501
123 Genius (Charlie Christian) 505
124 At the summit (Sonny Rollins) 507
125 Purely piano (Ethan Iverson / Vijay Iyer / Jason Moran) 511
126 Point counter point (Dave Holland) 514
127 Christmas gilt (Ella Fitzgerald / Johnny Smith / Grant Green / others) 518
128 Jazzman of the year : 2002 (Clark Terry) 521
129 Everything that rises must converge (the best jazz records of 2002) 525
130 Hot (Louis Armstrong) 529
131 Out of the territories (Steven Bernstein) 540
132 Aqui Se Habla Espanol (David Murray) 543
133 French music, not necessarily freedom music (Louis Sclavis) 547
134 Equilateral chamber jazz (The Bad Plus) 551
135 Satchuated (Louis Armstrong) 554
136 The Academy's Pulitzer (jazz and the Pulitzer Prize) 558
137 Savooooy be gooood (jazz jive) 562
138 Swashbuckler (Erroll Garner) 565
139 Deep easy listening (Jim Hall / Cyrus Chestnut) 569
140 Masters of time (Roy Haynes / Max Roach) 573
141 Ornette and others (JVC 2003) 577
142 Overview and meditation (Art Ensemble of Chicago) 583
143 All Duke's chillun got melody (Gerry Mulligan) 585
144 Midlife bloom (Dianne Reeves) 588
145 Flee as a bird (Weather Bird) 590
146 How come jazz isn't dead? (music's four stations) 592
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2006

    Solid Insights into the Jazz World

    Giddins, the author of the impressively detailed and thoughtful biography of Bing Crosby, presents, interprets, and contrasts a wide array of topics revolving about the world of jazz: ranging from Rosemary Clooney to Louie Armstrong to the harmonious sibling act, The Boswell Sisters, as well as many essays on the state of jazz. Separately, or in the context of the entire book, Giddins's personal assessments make for provocative reading on a complex, pulsating musical genre. A great read!

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