Myers explains the rise of hard-bop, the effect of the civil rights movement on jazz, and the embracing of a greater spiritualism in the music in lucid manner. Another chapter relates the enormous impact of the Beatles, when once again jazz's audience shrunk as record labels, radio stations and clubs rushed to jump on the Brit-pop bandwagon. The rise of the avant-garde is explained as a reaction to conformity and dissatisfaction with the status quo, socially and musically. Jazz-rock and jazz-fusion were, Myers says, jazz's response to electrification, mass amplification and the explosion in rock bands, huge record sales and vibrant audiences.
In the final chapter, the author summarizes trends in jazz since the 1970s, and concludes a highly engaging, thoroughly researched book thus: "Jazz's challenge going forward will be to attract new musicians who are able to find new ways of expressing the music that not only pay tribute to jazz's past but also interpret contemporary life in a way that resonates with new listeners." Recommended.
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.