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The History of Jazz

The History of Jazz

by Stuart A. Kallen

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Mixed together like the spicy gumbo of its southern hometown, jazz music has a history of blending all sorts of various ingredients to achieve its unique flavor. Born in New Orleans, and growing up in Chicago, Kansas City and New York City, jazz certainly has a colorful past. In The History of Jazz, Kallen takes readers on a musical adventure to discover this past, introducing them to jazz greats along the way such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis. From tight quartets, to big bands, to the age of the solo improvisation, Kallen traces the growth of jazz as a truly American musical form. Inspiring even an historical period�the Jazz Age�jazz music has been a highly sophisticated and influential form of music. Stringing together a series of mini-biographies, Kallen emphasizes how individual musicians have played a key role in creating the different styles of jazz�swing, bebop, cool jazz, hard bop and jazz fusion. His in-depth examination of the music provides readers with a more expansive view of jazz�helping them understand that it is not just the music of the flapper and Prohibition, but also of Harlem, the swing clubs and jazz bands today. Although it is not suited for a cover to cover reading for the typical young reader, The History of Jazz is an excellent resource for music, social and cultural history. 2003, Lucent Books/Thomson Gale, Ages 14 up.
— Leah Hanson
This title joins other "Music Library" series books that discuss the instruments, rock and roll, classical music, and country music. They are well organized, easy to use, and interesting to read. Chapters are filled with interesting sidebars, photographs, and illustrations. The History of Jazz is organized into six chapters titled "The Roots of Jazz"; "The Swingin' Jazz Age"; "Dancing to Swing"; "The Birth of Bebop"; "The Cool, the Hard, and the Free"; and finally "Fusion and Beyond." Beginning in 1800s New Orleans, ragtime music slowly evolved into "jass" or jazz, and musicians made their way north to the jazz hotspots of Chicago and New York City. Many key jazz musicians are given brief biographical synopses: Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Count Basie, Miles Davis, and others. Lesser-known musicians such as Lil Armstrong are also included. Overall, this fast-paced, chronological look at the jazz movement is a pleasure to read. It is packed with musical facts as well as details about the socio-political climate in the United States from the end of slavery forward. The racial politics of Harlem's Cotton Club, Charlie Parker's heroin addiction, and jazz's influence on the beat poets are some of the nuggets of information found within. Packed with interesting facts, these books are not simply about instruments or style. They also give a glimpse into the cultural significance and impact that music has around the world and over time. Index. Photos. Biblio. Further Reading. VOYA Codes: 5Q 4P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12).2003, Lucent, 112p. PLB
— Stacy Dillon
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-This chronological overview of the development and growing popularity of this uniquely American music is clearly presented. From its beginnings over a century ago in the Deep South, jazz traces its roots back to Africa, spirituals, blues, and ragtime. In chapters that explore its evolution to swing, bebop, and fusion, this book covers the people and events that most influenced the growth of this music. Musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Wynton Marsalis are given priority. Sidebars, black-and-white photos, notes, further reading, and works consulted help delineate the subject.-Janet Woodward, Garfield High School, Seattle, WA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Greenhaven Publishing
Publication date:
Music Library Series
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
12 - 16 Years

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