First trained as a violinist, then as a composer, André Hodeir began writing about jazz in the 1940s. As editor-in-chief of the French magazine Jazz Hot, he was an early proponent of bebop and its practitioners, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.
Downbeat called Hodeir's first compilation of jazz writings, Jazz: Its Evolution and Essence, "the best analytical book on jazz ever written," and Martin Williams named it and Hodeir's second book, Toward Jazz, "two of the most important critical works ever written on the subject." While Hodeir's ideas sparked widespread debate, his study of jazz improvisation and his use of music theory shed new light on the intricacies of jazz composition and arrangement and helped launch a new era of jazz criticism.
This new volume, which collects pieces from Hodeir's three books of jazz writings-and one new essay never before published in English-will introduce Hodeir to a new generation of jazz enthusiasts and scholars alike, and prove his work to be as relevant today as when he wrote it. Jean-Louis Pautrot's introduction to the book, and his preface to each piece, helps put Hodeir's work in its proper context.
André Hodeir, born in Paris in 1921, is a musical composer, critic, and novelist. He is best known for his studies of jazz, which influenced jazz criticism on both sides of the Atlantic and around the world. A native of France, Jean-Louis J. Pautrot teaches contemporary French literature, film, and culture at Saint Louis University, where he also directs the film studies program. He is the author of La Musique Oubliée, a psychoanalytical approach to music in the novels of Sartre, Vian, Proust, and Duras.