Popular Jazz Books

30+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Jazz

Discover the list of some best books written on Jazz by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Jazz highly popular among the readers worldwide.

3.7/5

Swing by Kwame Alexander , Mary Rand Hess

Things usually do not go as planned for seventeen-year-old Noah. He and his best friend Walt (aka Swing) have been cut from the high school baseball team for the third year in a row, and it looks like Noah’s love interest since third grade, Sam, will never take it past the “best friend” zone. Noah would love to retire his bat and accept the status quo, but Walt has big pla Things usually do not go as planned for seventeen-year-old Noah. He and his best friend Walt (aka Swing) have been cut from the high school baseball team for the third year in a row, and it looks like Noah’s love interest since third grade, Sam, will never take it past the “best friend” zone. Noah would love to retire his bat and accept the status quo, but Walt has big plans for them both, which include making the best baseball comeback ever, getting the girl, and finally finding cool. To go from lovelorn to ladies’ men, Walt introduces Noah to a relationship guru—his Dairy Queen-employed cousin, Floyd—and the always informative Woohoo Woman Podcast. Noah is reluctant, but decides fate may be intervening when he discovers more than just his mom’s birthday gift at the thrift shop. Inside the vintage Keepall is a gold mine of love letters from the 1960s. Walt is sure these letters and the podcasts are just what Noah needs to communicate his true feelings to Sam. To Noah, the letters are more: an initiation to the curious rhythms of love and jazz, as well as a way for him and Walt to embrace their own kind of cool. While Walt is hitting balls out of the park and catching the eye of the baseball coach, Noah composes anonymous love letters to Sam in an attempt to write his way into her heart. But as things are looking up for Noah and Walt, a chain of events alters everything Noah knows to be true about love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate.  In Swing, bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo) present a free-verse poetic story that will speak to anyone who’s struggled to find their voice and take a swing at life.

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4.2/5

Night in Shanghai by Nicole Mones

In this stunningly researched novel, Nicole Mones not only tells the forgotten story of black musicians in the Chinese jazz age, but also weaves in a startling true tale of Holocaust heroism little-known in the West. In 1936, classical pianist Thomas Greene is recruited to Shanghai to lead a jazz orchestra of fellow African-American expats. From being flat broke in segregat In this stunningly researched novel, Nicole Mones not only tells the forgotten story of black musicians in the Chinese jazz age, but also weaves in a startling true tale of Holocaust heroism little-known in the West. In 1936, classical pianist Thomas Greene is recruited to Shanghai to lead a jazz orchestra of fellow African-American expats. From being flat broke in segregated Baltimore to living in a mansion with servants of his own, he becomes the toast of a city obsessed with music, money, pleasure and power, even as it ignores the rising winds of war. Song Yuhua is refined and educated, and has been bonded since age eighteen to Shanghai's most powerful crime boss in payment for her father's gambling debts. Outwardly submissive, she burns with rage and risks her life spying on her master for the Communist Party. Only when Shanghai is shattered by the Japanese invasion do Song and Thomas find their way to each other. Though their union is forbidden, neither can back down from it in the turbulent years of occupation and resistance that follow. Torn between music and survival, freedom and commitment, love and world war, they are borne on an irresistible riff of melody and improvisation to Night in Shanghai's final, impossible choice. In this stunningly researched novel, Nicole Mones not only tells the forgotten story of black musicians in the Chinese jazz age, but also weaves in a startling true tale of Holocaust heroism little-known in the West.

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3.5/5

Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews , Bryan Collier (Illustrations)

Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest. Along with esteemed illustrator Bryan Collier, Andrews has created a lively picture b Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest. Along with esteemed illustrator Bryan Collier, Andrews has created a lively picture book autobiography about how he followed his dream of becoming a musician, despite the odds, until he reached international stardom. Trombone Shorty is a celebration of the rich cultural history of New Orleans and the power of music.

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4.4/5

Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth by John Szwed

• Kirkus Best Books of 2015 selection for Biography • Published in celebration of Holiday’s centenary, the first biography to focus on the singer’s extraordinary musical talent When Billie Holiday stepped into Columbia’s studios in November 1933, it marked the beginning of what is arguably the most remarkable and influential career in twentieth-century popular music. Her voi • Kirkus Best Books of 2015 selection for Biography • Published in celebration of Holiday’s centenary, the first biography to focus on the singer’s extraordinary musical talent When Billie Holiday stepped into Columbia’s studios in November 1933, it marked the beginning of what is arguably the most remarkable and influential career in twentieth-century popular music. Her voice weathered countless shifts in public taste, and new reincarnations of her continue to arrive, most recently in the form of singers like Amy Winehouse and Adele. Most of the writing on Holiday has focused on the tragic details of her life—her prostitution at the age of fourteen, her heroin addiction and alcoholism, her series of abusive relationships—or tried to correct the many fabrications of her autobiography. But now, Billie Holiday stays close to the music, to her performance style, and to the self she created and put into print, on record and on stage. Drawing on a vast amount of new material that has surfaced in the last decade, critically acclaimed jazz writer John Szwed considers how her life inflected her art, her influences, her uncanny voice and rhythmic genius, a number of her signature songs, and her legacy.

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4.9/5

2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino

A sparkling, enchanting and staggeringly original debut novel about one day in the lives of three unforgettable characters Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, precocious nine-year-old and an aspiring jazz singer. As she mourns the recent death of her mother, she doesn’t realize that on Christmas Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. A A sparkling, enchanting and staggeringly original debut novel about one day in the lives of three unforgettable characters Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, precocious nine-year-old and an aspiring jazz singer. As she mourns the recent death of her mother, she doesn’t realize that on Christmas Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia's legendary jazz club The Cat's Pajamas, where she’s determined to make her on-stage debut. On the same day, her fifth grade teacher Sarina Greene, who’s just moved back to Philly after a divorce, is nervously looking forward to a dinner party that will reunite her with an old high school crush, afraid to hope that sparks might fly again. And across town at The Cat's Pajamas, club owner Lorca discovers that his beloved haunt may have to close forever, unless someone can find a way to quickly raise the $30,000 that would save it. As these three lost souls search for love, music and hope on the snow-covered streets of Philadelphia, together they will discover life’s endless possibilities over the course of one magical night. A vivacious, charming and moving debut, 2 Am At The Cat's Pajamas will capture your heart and have you laughing out loud.

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3.6/5

The Book of Harlan by Bernice L. McFadden

During World War II, two African American musicians are captured by the Nazis in Paris and imprisoned at the Buchenwald concentration camp. The Book of Harlan opens with the courtship of Harlan’s parents and his 1917 birth in Macon, Georgia. After his prominent minister grandfather dies, Harlan and his parents move to Harlem, where he becomes a musician. Soon, Harlan and hi During World War II, two African American musicians are captured by the Nazis in Paris and imprisoned at the Buchenwald concentration camp. The Book of Harlan opens with the courtship of Harlan’s parents and his 1917 birth in Macon, Georgia. After his prominent minister grandfather dies, Harlan and his parents move to Harlem, where he becomes a musician. Soon, Harlan and his best friend, trumpeter Lizard Robbins, are lured across the Atlantic Ocean to perform at a popular cabaret in the Parisian enclave of Montmartre—affectionately referred to as “The Harlem of Paris” by black American musicians. When the City of Light falls under Nazi occupation, Harlan and Lizard are thrown into Buchenwald, the notorious concentration camp in Weimar, Germany. The experience irreparably changes the course of Harlan’s life. Based on exhaustive research and told in McFadden’s mesmeric prose, The Book of Harlan skillfully blends the stories of McFadden’s familial ancestors with those of real and imagined characters.

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3.6/5

Last Night at the Blue Angel by Rebecca Rotert

Set against the turbulence of 1960s Chicago, a city in transformation and its legendary jazz scene, Last Night at the Blue Angel is a lush and immensely heartfelt mother-daughter tale about a talented but troubled singer relationship with her precocious ten-year-old daughter. It is the early 1960s, and Chicago is teeming with the tensions of the day segregation, sexual expe Set against the turbulence of 1960s Chicago, a city in transformation and its legendary jazz scene, Last Night at the Blue Angel is a lush and immensely heartfelt mother-daughter tale about a talented but troubled singer relationship with her precocious ten-year-old daughter. It is the early 1960s, and Chicago is teeming with the tensions of the day segregation, sexual experimentation, the Cold War and Vietnam but it is also home to some of the country's most influential jazz. Naomi Hill, a singer at the Blue Angel club, has been poised on the brink of stardom for nearly ten years. But when her big break, the cover of Look magazine finally arrives, it carries with it an enormous personal cost. Sensual and magnetic, Naomi is a fiercely ambitious yet self-destructive woman whose charms tend to hurt those around her, and no one knows this better than her daughter, Sophia. As the only child of a single mother growing up in an adult world, Sophia is wise beyond her years, a casualty of her mother's desperate struggle for fame and adoration. Unsettled by her home life, she harbors a terrible fear that her world could disappear at any moment, and compulsively maintains a list of everyday objects she might need to reinvent should nuclear catastrophe strike. Her only constant is the colorful and unconventional family that surrounds her and her mother, particularly the photographer, Jim, who is Sophia's best friend, surrogate father and protector but Jim is also deeply in love with Naomi. Weaving between the perspectives of Sophia and Naomi, Last Night at the Blue Angel is a poignant and unforgettable story about what happens when our passion for the life we want is at sharp odds with the life we have. Part stylish period piece, part heartbreaking family drama, it's a novel rife with revelations, a vivid and propulsive page-turner and the major debut of an extraordinary new writer.

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3.5/5

Nina: Jazz Legend and Civil-Rights Activist Nina Simone by Alice Brière-Haquet , Bruno Liance (Illustrations)

A stunning picture-book biography of the High Priestess of Soul and one of the greatest voices of the 20th century. With evocative black-and-white illustrations and moving prose, readers are introduced to Nina Simone, jazz-music legend and civil-rights activist. Shared as a lullaby to her daughter, a soulful song recounts Simone's career, the trials she faced as an African A stunning picture-book biography of the High Priestess of Soul and one of the greatest voices of the 20th century. With evocative black-and-white illustrations and moving prose, readers are introduced to Nina Simone, jazz-music legend and civil-rights activist. Shared as a lullaby to her daughter, a soulful song recounts Simone's career, the trials she faced as an African American woman, and the stand she took during the Civil Rights Movement. This poignant picture book offers a melodic tale that is both a historic account of an iconic figure and an extraordinary look at how far we've come and how far we still need to go for social justice and equality. A timeless and timely message aptly appropriate for today's social and political climates. ♦ "A good introduction to Simone's life, from her early love of music to her rise to the status of legend" --Kirkus Reviews, starred review ♦ "Strikingly illustrated" --Booklist, starred review ♦ "Hauntingly beautiful illustrations" --Foreword Reviews, starred review "Stirring and powerful. . . " --BookPage

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4.1/5

The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe by Stephon Alexander

More than fifty years ago, John Coltrane drew the twelve musical notes in a circle and connected them by straight lines, forming a five-pointed star. Inspired by Einstein, Coltrane put physics and geometry at the core of his music. Physicist and jazz musician Stephon Alexander follows suit, using jazz to answer physics' most vexing questions about the past and future of th More than fifty years ago, John Coltrane drew the twelve musical notes in a circle and connected them by straight lines, forming a five-pointed star. Inspired by Einstein, Coltrane put physics and geometry at the core of his music. Physicist and jazz musician Stephon Alexander follows suit, using jazz to answer physics' most vexing questions about the past and future of the universe. Following the great minds that first drew the links between music and physics-a list including Pythagoras, Kepler, Newton, Einstein, and Rakim-The Jazz of Physics reveals that the ancient poetic idea of the Music of the Spheres," taken seriously, clarifies confounding issues in physics. The Jazz of Physics will fascinate and inspire anyone interested in the mysteries of our universe, music, and life itself.

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5/5

Bird & Diz by Gary Golio , Ed Young (Illustrations)

An award-winning author and a Caldecott Medalist improvise a playful tribute to the creators of bebop—Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. When sax player Charlie "Bird" Parker and trumpeter John "Dizzy" Gillespie make music together, they toss notes back and forth like a game of tag and chase each other with sounds. As Dizzy’s cheeks puff out like a frog with glasses, the t An award-winning author and a Caldecott Medalist improvise a playful tribute to the creators of bebop—Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. When sax player Charlie "Bird" Parker and trumpeter John "Dizzy" Gillespie make music together, they toss notes back and forth like a game of tag and chase each other with sounds. As Dizzy’s cheeks puff out like a frog with glasses, the two friends beep and bop and push each other to create a new kind of music—a thrilling fast jazz full of surprises. Blending a playful, rhythmic narration with expressive illustrations as fluid and dynamic as their subjects, this tribute to the masters of bebop by acclaimed biographer Gary Golio and beloved artist Ed Young will have readers hankering to listen for themselves.

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3.5/5

Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century by Nate Chinen

One of jazz's leading critics gives us an invigorating, richly detailed portrait of the artists and events that have shaped the music of our time. Grounded in authority and brimming with style, Playing Changes is the first book to take the measure of this exhilarating moment: it is a compelling argument for the resiliency of the art form and a rejoinder to any claims about One of jazz's leading critics gives us an invigorating, richly detailed portrait of the artists and events that have shaped the music of our time. Grounded in authority and brimming with style, Playing Changes is the first book to take the measure of this exhilarating moment: it is a compelling argument for the resiliency of the art form and a rejoinder to any claims about its calcification or demise. "Playing changes," in jazz parlance, has long referred to an improviser's resourceful path through a chord progression. Playing Changes boldly expands on the idea, highlighting a host of significant changes--ideological, technological, theoretical, and practical--that jazz musicians have learned to navigate since the turn of the century. Nate Chinen, who has chronicled this evolution firsthand throughout his journalistic career, vividly sets the backdrop, charting the origins of jazz historicism and the rise of an institutional framework for the music. He traces the influence of commercialized jazz education and reflects on the implications of a globalized jazz ecology. He unpacks the synergies between jazz and postmillennial hip-hop and R&B, illuminating an emergent rhythm signature for the music. And he shows how a new generation of shape-shifting elders, including Wayne Shorter and Henry Threadgill, have moved the aesthetic center of the music. Woven throughout the book is a vibrant cast of characters--from the saxophonists Steve Coleman and Kamasi Washington to the pianists Jason Moran and Vijay Iyer to the bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding--who have exerted an important influence on the scene. This is an adaptive new music for a complex new reality, and Playing Changes is the definitive guide.

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4.7/5

The B Side: The Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Song by Ben Yagoda

From an acclaimed cultural critic, a narrative and social history of the Great American Songwriting era.   Everybody knows and loves the American Songbook. But it’s a bit less widely understood that in about 1950, this stream of great songs more or less dried up. All of a sudden, what came over the radio wasn’t Gershwin, Porter, and Berlin, but “Come on-a My House” and “How From an acclaimed cultural critic, a narrative and social history of the Great American Songwriting era.   Everybody knows and loves the American Songbook. But it’s a bit less widely understood that in about 1950, this stream of great songs more or less dried up. All of a sudden, what came over the radio wasn’t Gershwin, Porter, and Berlin, but “Come on-a My House” and “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?” Elvis and rock and roll arrived a few years later, and at that point the game was truly up. What happened, and why? In The B Side, acclaimed cultural historian Ben Yagoda answers those questions in a fascinating piece of detective work. Drawing on previously untapped archival sources and on scores of interviews—the voices include Randy Newman, Jimmy Webb, Linda Ronstadt, and Herb Alpert—the book illuminates broad musical trends through a series of intertwined stories. Among them are the battle between ASCAP and Broadcast Music, Inc.; the revolution in jazz after World War II; the impact of radio and then television; and the bitter, decades-long feud between Mitch Miller and Frank Sinatra.   The B Side is about taste, and the particular economics and culture of songwriting, and the potential of popular art for greatness and beauty. It’s destined to become a classic of American musical history.

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4/5

Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong by Lesa Cline-Ransome , James E. Ransome

He was born "black, poor, and lucky." The glowing story of "Satchmo"--the great jazz musician, Louis Armstrong. Louis Armstrong has been called the most important improviser in the history of jazz. Although his New Orleans neighborhood was poor in nearly everything else, it was rich in superb music. Young Louis took it all in, especially the cornet blowing of Joe "King" Oli He was born "black, poor, and lucky." The glowing story of "Satchmo"--the great jazz musician, Louis Armstrong. Louis Armstrong has been called the most important improviser in the history of jazz. Although his New Orleans neighborhood was poor in nearly everything else, it was rich in superb music. Young Louis took it all in, especially the cornet blowing of Joe "King" Oliver. But after a run-in with the police, 11-year-old Louis was sent away to the Colored Waif's Home for Boys where he became a disciplined musician in the school's revered marching band. Ultimately, he was to travel the world from Chicago to Paris and would transform jazz through his improvised singing ("scatting") and masterful trumpet playing. He played with Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and other jazz greats of his day. Armstrong was the first African-American man to host a national radio show, and the first jazz musiciain to write an autobiography. This is a joyful tribute to the virtuoso musician and buoyant personality who introduced much of the world to jazz. The author's note includes a detailed biography and resources to learn more about Louis Armstrong and jazz.

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4.5/5

What Happened, Miss Simone?: A Biography by Alan Light

Inspired by the Academy Award-nominated Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone?, an intimate and vivid look at the legendary life of Nina Simone, the classically trained pianist who evolved into a chart-topping chanteuse and committed civil rights activist.    From music journalist and former Spin and Vibe editor-in-chief Alan Light comes a biography of incandescent Inspired by the Academy Award-nominated Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone?, an intimate and vivid look at the legendary life of Nina Simone, the classically trained pianist who evolved into a chart-topping chanteuse and committed civil rights activist.    From music journalist and former Spin and Vibe editor-in-chief Alan Light comes a biography of incandescent soul singer and Black Power icon Nina Simone, one of the most influential, provocative, and least understood artists of our time. Drawn from a trove of rare archival footage, audio recordings and interviews (including Simone's remarkable private diaries), this nuanced examination of Nina Simone’s life highlights her musical inventiveness and unwavering quest for equality, while laying bare the personal demons that plagued her from the time of her Jim Crow childhood in North Carolina to her self-imposed exile in Liberia and Paris later in life.   Harnessing the singular voice of Miss Simone herself and incorporating candid reflections from those who knew her best, including her only daughter, Light brings us face to face with a legend, examining the very public persona and very private struggles of one of our greatest artists.

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4.3/5

Fish Jam by Kylie Howarth

A clever, light-hearted story about a scat-singing, bebopping fish! Meet one little scat-singing, bebopping fish who can’t seem to make friends—everyone thinks he’s too noisy! All he wants to do is sing, but the other animals in the ocean keep telling him to be quiet. One day, a whale comes along and eats him, and to his surprise he finds a full jazz band in its belly! He’l A clever, light-hearted story about a scat-singing, bebopping fish! Meet one little scat-singing, bebopping fish who can’t seem to make friends—everyone thinks he’s too noisy! All he wants to do is sing, but the other animals in the ocean keep telling him to be quiet. One day, a whale comes along and eats him, and to his surprise he finds a full jazz band in its belly! He’ll never have to scat alone again.

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4.4/5

Miles: The Autobiography by Miles Davis , Quincy Troupe

For more than forty years Miles Davis has been in the front rank of American music. Universally acclaimed as a musical genius, Miles is one of the most important and influential musicians in the world. The subject of several biographies, now Miles speaks out himself about his extraordinary life.Miles: The Autobiography, like Miles himself, holds nothing back. For the first For more than forty years Miles Davis has been in the front rank of American music. Universally acclaimed as a musical genius, Miles is one of the most important and influential musicians in the world. The subject of several biographies, now Miles speaks out himself about his extraordinary life.Miles: The Autobiography, like Miles himself, holds nothing back. For the first time Miles talks about his five-year silence. He speaks frankly and openly about his drug problem and how he overcame it. He condemns the racism he has encountered in the music business and in American society generally. And he discusses the women in his life. But above all, Miles talks about music and musicians, including the legends he has played with over the years: Bird, Dizzy, Monk, Trane, Mingus, and many others.The man who has given us some of the most exciting music of the past few decades has now given us a compelling and fascinating autobiography, featuring a concise discography and thirty-two pages of photographs.

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4.6/5

The History of Jazz by Ted Gioia

Jazz is the most colorful and varied art form in the world, and it was born in one of the most colorful and varied cities, New Orleans. From the seed first planted by slave dances held in Congo Square and nurtured by early ensembles led by Buddy Bolden and Joe "King" Oliver, jazz began its long, winding odyssey across America and around the world, giving flower to a thousa Jazz is the most colorful and varied art form in the world, and it was born in one of the most colorful and varied cities, New Orleans. From the seed first planted by slave dances held in Congo Square and nurtured by early ensembles led by Buddy Bolden and Joe "King" Oliver, jazz began its long, winding odyssey across America and around the world, giving flower to a thousand different forms - swing, bebob, cook jazz, jazz-rock fusion - and a thousand great musicians. Now, in "The History of Jazz, " Ted Gioia tells the story of this music as it has never been told before, in a book that brilliantly portrays the legendary jazz players, the breakthrough styles, and the world in which jazz evolved.

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3.2/5

Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original by Robin D.G. Kelley

THELONIOUS MONK is the critically acclaimed, gripping saga of an artist’s struggle to “make it” without compromising his musical vision. It is a story that, like its subject, reflects the tidal ebbs and flows of American history in the twentieth century. To his fans, he was the ultimate hipster; to his detractors, he was temperamental, eccentric, taciturn, or childlike. Hi THELONIOUS MONK is the critically acclaimed, gripping saga of an artist’s struggle to “make it” without compromising his musical vision. It is a story that, like its subject, reflects the tidal ebbs and flows of American history in the twentieth century. To his fans, he was the ultimate hipster; to his detractors, he was temperamental, eccentric, taciturn, or childlike. His angular melodies and dissonant harmonies shook the jazz world to its foundations, ushering in the birth of “bebop” and establishing Monk as one of America’s greatest com­posers. Elegantly written and rich with humor and pathos, Thelonious Monk is the definitive work on modern jazz’s most original composer.

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3.7/5

But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz by Geoff Dyer

In eight poetically charged vignettes, Geoff Dyer skillfully evokes the music and the men who shaped modern jazz. Drawing on photos, anecdotes, and, most important, the way he hears the music, Dyer imaginatively reconstructs scenes from the embattled lives of some of the world's greats: Lester Young fading away in a hotel room; Charles Mingus storming down the streets of N In eight poetically charged vignettes, Geoff Dyer skillfully evokes the music and the men who shaped modern jazz. Drawing on photos, anecdotes, and, most important, the way he hears the music, Dyer imaginatively reconstructs scenes from the embattled lives of some of the world's greats: Lester Young fading away in a hotel room; Charles Mingus storming down the streets of New York on a too-small bicycle; Thelonius Monk creating his own private language on the piano. However, music is the driving force of But Beautiful, and Dyer brings it to life in luminescent and wildly metaphoric prose that mirrors the quirks, eccentricity, and brilliance of each musician’s style.

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4.8/5

Beneath the Underdog by Charles Mingus , Erroll McDonald (Editor)

The legendary jazzman recounts his life and career, from his childhood in Watts and his apprenticeship with jazz musicians, to his recordings with Duke Ellington and others, and more.

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5/5

John Coltrane: His Life and Music by Lewis Porter

John Coltrane was a key figure in jazz, a pioneer in world music, and an intensely emotional force whose following continues to grow. This new biography, the first by a professional jazz scholar and performer, presents a huge amount of never-before-published material, including interviews with Coltrane, photos, genealogical documents, and innovative musical analysis that o John Coltrane was a key figure in jazz, a pioneer in world music, and an intensely emotional force whose following continues to grow. This new biography, the first by a professional jazz scholar and performer, presents a huge amount of never-before-published material, including interviews with Coltrane, photos, genealogical documents, and innovative musical analysis that offers a fresh view of Coltrane's genius. Compiled from scratch with the assistance of dozens of Coltrane's colleagues, friends, and family, John Coltrane: His Life and Music corrects numerous errors from previous biographies. The significant people in Coltrane's life were reinterviewed, yielding new insights; some were interviewed for the first time ever. The musical analysis, which is accessible to the nonspecialist, makes its own revelations--for example, that some of Coltrane's well-known pieces are based on previously unrecognized sources. The Appendix is the most detailed chronology of Coltrane's performing career ever compiled, listing scores of previously unknown performances from the 1940s and early 1950s. Coltrane has become a musical inspiration for thousands of fans and musicians and a personal inspiration to as many more. For all of these, Porter's book will become the definitive resource--a reliable guide to the events of Coltrane's life and an insightful look into his musical practices. ". . . well researched, musically knowledgeable, and enormously interesting to read. Porter is a jazz scholar with deep knowledge of the tradition he is studying, both conceptually and technically." --Richard Crawford, University of Michigan "Lewis Porter is a meticulous person with love and respect for Afro-American classical music. I applaud this definitive study of my friend John Coltrane's life adn achievements." --Jimmy Heath, jazz saxophonist, composer, educator Lewis Porter is Associate Professor of Music, Rutgers University in Newark. A leading jazz scholar, he is the author of Jazz Readings from a Century of Change and coauthor of Jazz: From Its Origins to the Present. He was a project consultant on The Complete Atlantic Recordings of John Coltrane, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Historical Reissue, and an editor and assisting author of the definitive Coltrane discography by Y. Fujioka. 

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4.5/5

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Alternate Cover Edition ISBN: 0743273567 (ISBN13: 9780743273565) THE GREAT GATSBY, F. Scott Fitzgerald's third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story is of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his new love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Alternate Cover Edition ISBN: 0743273567 (ISBN13: 9780743273565) THE GREAT GATSBY, F. Scott Fitzgerald's third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story is of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his new love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted "gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession," it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s. The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature. (back cover)

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3.1/5

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

In 1986, Henry Lee joins a crowd outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has discovered the belongings of Japanese families who were sent to internment camps during World War II. As the owner displays and unfurls a Japanese parasol, Henry, a Chinese American, remembers a young Japanese Ame In 1986, Henry Lee joins a crowd outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has discovered the belongings of Japanese families who were sent to internment camps during World War II. As the owner displays and unfurls a Japanese parasol, Henry, a Chinese American, remembers a young Japanese American girl from his childhood in the 1940s—Keiko Okabe, with whom he forged a bond of friendship and innocent love that transcended the prejudices of their Old World ancestors. After Keiko and her family were evacuated to the internment camps, she and Henry could only hope that their promise to each other would be kept. Now, forty years later, Henry explores the hotel's basement for the Okabe family's belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot even begin to measure. His search will take him on a journey to revisit the sacrifices he has made for family, for love, for country.

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4.8/5

Kind Of Blue: The Making Of The Miles Davis Masterpiece by Ashley Kahn

This critically and commercially acclaimed tribute to the most popular jazz album of all time is now available in paperback. With transcriptions of the unedited session tapes; in-depth interviews with musicians; freshly discovered Columbia Records files; never-before-seen photographs; and a foreword by the last surviving member of the band, drummer Jimmy Cobb, Kind of Blue This critically and commercially acclaimed tribute to the most popular jazz album of all time is now available in paperback. With transcriptions of the unedited session tapes; in-depth interviews with musicians; freshly discovered Columbia Records files; never-before-seen photographs; and a foreword by the last surviving member of the band, drummer Jimmy Cobb, Kind of Blue is a vital piece of music history—and will be essential for fans and scholars for years to come.

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3.6/5

Visions of Jazz: The First Century by Gary Giddins

Poised to become a classic of jazz literature, Visions of Jazz: The First Century offers seventy-nine chapters illuminating the lives of virtually all the major figures in jazz history. From Louis Armstrong's renegade-style trumpet playing to Sarah Vaughan's operatic crooning, and from the swinging elegance of Duke Ellington to the pioneering experiments of Ornette Coleman Poised to become a classic of jazz literature, Visions of Jazz: The First Century offers seventy-nine chapters illuminating the lives of virtually all the major figures in jazz history. From Louis Armstrong's renegade-style trumpet playing to Sarah Vaughan's operatic crooning, and from the swinging elegance of Duke Ellington to the pioneering experiments of Ornette Coleman, jazz critic Gary Giddins continually astonishes the reader with his unparalleled insight. Writing with the grace and wit that have endeared his prose to Village Voice readers for decades, Giddins also widens the scope of jazz to include such crucial American musicians as Irving Berlin, Rosemary Clooney, and Frank Sinatra, all primarily pop performers who are often dismissed by fans and critics as mere derivatives of the true jazz idiom. And he devotes an entire quarter of this landmark volume to young, still-active jazz artists, boldly expanding the horizons of jazz--and charting and exploring the music's influences as no other book has done.

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3.6/5

Straight Life: The Story Of Art Pepper by Art Pepper , Laurie Pepper

Not for the faint-hearted, Art Pepper's autobiography is painfully honest as the great saxophonist describes a life of drugs, alcohol and the occasional foray into crime, having spent five of his best years incarcerated in San Quentin.

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3.6/5

Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn by David Hajdu

A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award Billy Strayhorn (1915-67) was one of the greatest composers in the history of American music, the creator of a body of work that includes such standards as "Take the 'A' Train." Yet all his life Strayhorn was overshadowed by his friend and collaborator Duke Ellington, with whom he worked for three decades as the Ellingto A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award Billy Strayhorn (1915-67) was one of the greatest composers in the history of American music, the creator of a body of work that includes such standards as "Take the 'A' Train." Yet all his life Strayhorn was overshadowed by his friend and collaborator Duke Ellington, with whom he worked for three decades as the Ellington Orchestra's ace songwriter and arranger. A "definitive" corrective (USA Today) to decades of patchwork scholarship and journalism about this giant of jazz, David Hajdu's Lush Life is a vibrant and absorbing account of the "lush life" that Strayhorn and other jazz musicians led in Harlem and Paris. While composing some of the most gorgeous American music of the twentieth century, Strayhorn labored under a complex agreement whereby Ellington took the bows for his work. Until his life was tragically cut short by cancer and alcohol abuse, the small, shy composer carried himself with singular style and grace as one of the few jazzmen to be openly homosexual. Lush Life has sparked an enthusiastic revival of interest in Strayhorn's work and is already acknowledged as a jazz classic.

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3/5

The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings by Richard Cook , Brian Morton

The leading guide to recorded jazz, now extensively revised Music fans have been turning to this established reference through seven editions as a source of intelligent and insightful criticism. Fully updated to incorporate thousands of additional recordings, the eighth edition features artist biographies, detailed recording information with labels and catalog numbers, re The leading guide to recorded jazz, now extensively revised Music fans have been turning to this established reference through seven editions as a source of intelligent and insightful criticism. Fully updated to incorporate thousands of additional recordings, the eighth edition features artist biographies, detailed recording information with labels and catalog numbers, reliable and authoritative ratings, the authors' personal selection of the essential recordings for every collection, an index of artists, and more.

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3.6/5

Space is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra by John Szwed

Sun Ra, a.k.a. Herman Poole "Sonny" Blount (1914–1993), has been hailed as "one of the great big-band leaders, pianists, and surrealists of jazz" (New York Times) and as "the missing link between Duke Ellington and Public Enemy" (Rolling Stone). Composer, keyboardist, bandleader, philosopher, poet, and self-proclaimed extraterrestrial from Saturn, Sun Ra led his "Intergala Sun Ra, a.k.a. Herman Poole "Sonny" Blount (1914–1993), has been hailed as "one of the great big-band leaders, pianists, and surrealists of jazz" (New York Times) and as "the missing link between Duke Ellington and Public Enemy" (Rolling Stone). Composer, keyboardist, bandleader, philosopher, poet, and self-proclaimed extraterrestrial from Saturn, Sun Ra led his "Intergalactic Arkestra" of thirty-plus musicians in a career that ranged from boogie-woogie and swing to be-bop, free jazz, fusion, and New Age music. This definitive biography reveals the life, philosophy, and musical growth of one of the twentieth century's greatest avant-garde musicians.

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4.1/5

Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker by Stanley Crouch

Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker is the first installment in the long-awaited portrait of one of the most talented and influential musicians of the twentieth century, from Stanley Crouch, one of the foremost authorities on jazz and culture in America. Throughout his life, Charlie Parker personified the tortured American artist: a revolutionary per Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker is the first installment in the long-awaited portrait of one of the most talented and influential musicians of the twentieth century, from Stanley Crouch, one of the foremost authorities on jazz and culture in America. Throughout his life, Charlie Parker personified the tortured American artist: a revolutionary performer who used his alto saxophone to create a new music known as bebop even as he wrestled with a drug addiction that would lead to his death at the age of thirty-four. Drawing on interviews with peers, collaborators, and family members, Kansas City Lightning recreates Parker’s Depression-era childhood; his early days navigating the Kansas City nightlife, inspired by lions like Lester Young and Count Basie; and on to New York, where he began to transcend the music he had mastered. Crouch reveals an ambitious young man torn between music and drugs, between his domineering mother and his impressionable young wife, whose teenage romance with Charlie lies at the bittersweet heart of this story. With the wisdom of a jazz scholar, the cultural insights of an acclaimed social critic, and the narrative skill of a literary novelist, Stanley Crouch illuminates this American master as never before.

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