405

Jazz: An Introduction to the History and Legends Behind America's Music

By

Sign in to view read count
Jazz: An Introduction to the History and Legends Behind America's Music
Bob Blumenthal
Paperback; 192 pages
ISBN: 0061241792
Collins Discover
2007

Distinguished critic Bob Blumenthal offers up an intelligent, concise history in his book Jazz: An Introduction to the History and Legends Behind America's Music. While writing such an overview is certainly a formidable task that many have attempted with varying success, Blumenthal, a former Boston Globe columnist who has won numerous awards for his writing including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jazz Journalists Assocation, lives up to the challenge.

Grouped in sections each covering approximately 20 years, the 192-page book takes readers through the evolution of jazz, from its nascent days in New Orleans up to modern times. Not only does Blumenthal write authoritatively about the music, he also places the musical phenomena of the day in their proper historical, sociological and economic perspectives, and thus conveying the complex role the development of jazz played in a larger landscape. For instance, Blumental explains how after World War II many of the nation's ballrooms went out of business, greatly affecting the popularity and viability of the Swing-era big bands, leading, in turn, to the development of smaller ensembles and, ultimately, the bebop revolution.

Blumenthal introduces the reader to many jazz greats; Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and Ella Fitzgerald are just a few of the names he touches on. For those already knowledgeable about the music, most of the information presented here won't be new, though it's always helpful to have it presented in an organized fashion. For the neophyte, on the other hand, Blumenthal's book is a perfect introduction, especially with its listening suggestions. One could easily picture it used successfully as a textbook in classrooms around the world.

Post a comment

Tags

View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

More

Popular Articles

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.