Jazz 101 is a fascinating entree into the world of jazz, for the beginner, novice, or jazz enthusiast. Szwed takes listeners on a tour of the varied and nonlinear history of jazz, exploring how it developed from an ethnic music to become America's most popular music and then part of the avant-garde in less than fifty years. Szwed's complete overview includes the major types of jazz and significant jazz musicians of the twentieth century; the roots of jazz, including its European and African influences; and recommended listening, plus appendixes on jazz singers, record guides, and more. Infinitely readable and highly entertaining, Jazz 101 is a vital tool in understanding and appreciating jazz.
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John F. Szwed is professor of music and director of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University. As a jazz musician, he played professionally for more than a decade. He is the author of sixteen books, including So What: The Life of Miles Davis, Space Is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra, and Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World.
Grover Gardner is an award-winning narrator with over eight hundred titles to his credit. Named one of the "Best Voices of the Century" and a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, he has won three prestigious Audie Awards, was chosen Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly, and has earned more than thirty Earphones Awards.From AudioFile:
In this idiosyncratic introduction to jazz, John Szwed's tone is refreshing--he's not ideological (jazz writers have a tendency to be dismissive of certain styles or artists), he recognizes that jazz didn't end in 1960 (see Ken Burns), and his notes on landmark recordings are concise gems. Grover Gardner's reading is entirely competent, but he's like a pianist with great chops and no swing. To be fair, he's hindered by the book's disorganized structure and by the editorial decision to include the CD catalog numbers in the narration. A more creative production would have brought out the strengths of this book. D.B. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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