404

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.


Shop

More Articles

Read The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1: 1920-1965 Book Reviews The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1: 1920-1965
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 11, 2017
Read Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge Book Reviews Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 21, 2017
Read Paul Morley: The Age of Bowie Book Reviews Paul Morley: The Age of Bowie
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 25, 2016
Read Charles Lloyd: A Wild, Blatant Truth Book Reviews Charles Lloyd: A Wild, Blatant Truth
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 25, 2016
Read Man Of The Light: The Life And Work Of Zbigniew Seifert Book Reviews Man Of The Light: The Life And Work Of Zbigniew Seifert
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Stevie Ray Vaughan: Day By Day, Night After Night" Book Reviews Stevie Ray Vaughan: Day By Day, Night After Night
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 7, 2016
Read "Bowie: Photographs by Steve Schapiro" Book Reviews Bowie: Photographs by Steve Schapiro
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: April 30, 2016
Read "Stan Levey: Jazz Heavyweight" Book Reviews Stan Levey: Jazz Heavyweight
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 24, 2016
Read "Dafnis Prieto: A World Of Rhythmic Possibilities" Book Reviews Dafnis Prieto: A World Of Rhythmic Possibilities
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "The Band Photographs 1968-1969" Book Reviews The Band Photographs 1968-1969
by Doug Collette
Published: March 26, 2016
Read "The Real Dixieland Book / Tunes Of The Twenties" Book Reviews The Real Dixieland Book / Tunes Of The Twenties
by Budd Kopman
Published: April 3, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!