Author: 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 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.
I Am Jazz
Author: Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings
The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere "This is an essential tool for parents and teachers to share with children whether those kids identify as trans or not. I wish I had had a book like this when I was a kid struggling with gender identity questions. I found it deeply moving in its simplicity and honesty."—Laverne Cox (who plays Sophia in “Orange Is the New Black”) From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz's story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers.
Author: Kevin Whitehead
Publisher: Oxford University Press
What was the first jazz record? Are jazz solos really improvised? How did jazz lay the groundwork for rock and country music? In Why Jazz?, author and NPR jazz critic Kevin Whitehead provides lively, insightful answers to these and many other fascinating questions, offering an entertaining guide for both novice listeners and long-time fans. Organized chronologically in a convenient question and answer format, this terrific resource makes jazz accessible to a broad audience, and especially to readers who've found the music bewildering or best left to the experts. Yet Why Jazz? is much more than an informative Q&A; it concisely traces the century-old history of this American and global art form, from its beginnings in New Orleans up through the current postmodern period. Whitehead provides brief profiles of the archetypal figures of jazz--from Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington to Wynton Marsalis and John Zorn--and illuminates their contributions as musicians, performers, and composers. Also highlighted are the building blocks of the jazz sound--call and response, rhythmic contrasts, personalized performance techniques and improvisation--and discussion of how visionary musicians have reinterpreted these elements to continually redefine jazz, ushering in the swing era, bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, and the avant-garde. Along the way, Why Jazz? provides helpful plain-English descriptions of musical terminology and techniques, from "blue notes" to "conducted improvising." And unlike other histories which haphazardly cover the stylistic branches of jazz that emerged after the 1960s, Why Jazz? groups latter-day musical trends by decade, the better to place them in historical context. Whether read in self-contained sections or as a continuous narrative, this compact reference presents a trove of essential information that belongs on the shelf of anyone who's ever been interested in jazz.
Author: Toni Morrison
In the winter of 1926, when everybody everywhere sees nothing but good things ahead, Joe Trace, middle-aged door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, shoots his teenage lover to death. At the funeral, Joe’s wife, Violet, attacks the girl’s corpse. This passionate, profound story of love and obsession brings us back and forth in time, as a narrative is assembled from the emotions, hopes, fears, and deep realities of black urban life.
Author: Diana Abu-Jaber
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Jordanian immigrant Matussem Ramoud and his two daughters live in a poor, mostly white town in upstate New York, where "ethnics" are few and far between, in this story about the individual search for self and for home. A first novel. Reprint.
Jazz: the Basics
Author: Christopher Meeder
Jazz: The Basics gives a brief introduction to a century of jazz, ideal for students and interested listeners who want to learn more about this important musical style. The heart of the book traces jazz's growth from its folk origins through early recordings and New Orleans stars; the big-band and swing era; bebop; cool jazz and third stream; avant-garde; jazz-rock; and the neo-conservative movement of the 1980s and 1990s. Key figures from each era including: Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Wynton Marsalis are highlighted along with classic works. The book concludes with a list of the 100 essential recordings to own, along with a timeline and glossary. Jazz: The Basics serves as an excellent introduction to the players, the music, and the styles that make jazz 'America's classical music.'
Blue Like Jazz
Author: Donald Miller
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Inc
A popular minister recounts his zealous early life pursuit of the Christian life and his experiences of emptiness and spiritual detachment, tracing his quest to connect with a God he perceived as distant.
The Jazz Theory Book
Author: Mark Levine
Publisher: "O'Reilly Media, Inc."
The most highly-acclaimed jazz theory book ever published! Over 500 pages of comprehensive, but easy to understand text covering every aspect of how jazz is constructed---chord construction, II-V-I progressions, scale theory, chord/scale relationships, the blues, reharmonization, and much more. A required text in universities world-wide, translated into five languages, endorsed by Jamey Aebersold, James Moody, Dave Liebman, etc.
Author: Jazz Jennings
Jazz Jennings is one of the youngest and most prominent voices in the national discussion about gender identity. At the age of five, Jazz transitioned to life as a girl, with the support of her parents. A year later, her parents allowed her to share her incredible journey in her first Barbara Walters interview, aired at a time when the public was much less knowledgeable or accepting of the transgender community. This groundbreaking interview was followed over the years by other high-profile interviews, a documentary, the launch of her YouTube channel, a picture book, and her own reality TV series--I Am Jazz--making her one of the most recognizable activists for transgender teens, children, and adults. In her remarkable memoir, Jazz reflects on these very public experiences and how they have helped shape the mainstream attitude toward the transgender community. But it hasn't all been easy. Jazz has faced many challenges, bullying, discrimination, and rejection, yet she perseveres as she educates others about her life as a transgender teen. Through it all, her family has been beside her on this journey, standing together against those who don't understand the true meaning of tolerance and unconditional love. Now Jazz must learn to navigate the physical, social, and emotional upheavals of adolescence--particularly high school--complicated by the unique challenges of being a transgender teen. Making the journey from girl to woman is never easy--especially when you began your life in a boy's body.
Author: Maurice Jackson, Blair A. Ruble
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
The familiar history of jazz music in the United States begins with its birth in New Orleans, moves upstream along the Mississippi River to Chicago, then by rail into New York before exploding across the globe. That telling of history, however, overlooks the pivotal role the nation's capital has played for jazz for a century. Some of the most important clubs in the jazz world have opened and closed their doors in Washington, DC, some of its greatest players and promoters were born there and continue to reside in the area, and some of the institutions so critical to national support of this uniquely American form of music, including Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., are rooted in the city. Closer to the ground, a network of local schools like the Duke Ellington High School for the Performing Arts, jazz programs at the University of the District of Columbia and Howard University, churches, informal associations, locally focused media, and clubs keeps the music alive to this day. Noted historians Maurice Jackson and Blair Ruble, editors of this book, present a collection of original and fascinating stories about the DC jazz scene throughout its history, including a portrait of the cultural hotbed of Seventh and U Streets, the role of jazz in desegregating the city, a portrait of the great Edward "Duke" Ellington’s time in DC, notable women in DC jazz, and the seminal contributions of the University of District of Columbia and Howard University to the scene. The book also includes three jazz poems by celebrated Washington, DC, poet E. Ethelbert Miller. Collectively, these stories and poems underscore the deep connection between creativity and place. A copublishing initiative with the Historical Society of Washington, DC, the book includes over thirty museum-quality photographs and a guide to resources for learning more about DC jazz.
First Book Of Jazz
Author: Langston Hughes
An introduction to jazz which focuses on its historical development.
Author: Geoff Dyer
Publisher: North Point Press
"May be the best book ever written about jazz."—David Thomson, Los Angeles Times 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 greats: Lester Young fading away in a hotel room; Charles Mingus storming down the streets of New York on a too-small bicycle; Thelonious Monk creating his own private language on the piano. However, music is the driving force of But Beautiful, and wildly metaphoric prose that mirrors the quirks, eccentricity, and brilliance of each musician's style.
Author: Wendy Garofoli
"Describes jazz dance, including history and basic steps"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
Blutch riffs on two quintessentially American art forms in this collection of jazz-themed comics. In this freewheeling collection of short stories and vignettes, the famed French cartoonist examines not only the music, but the nature of the jazz sub-culture. The grumpy festival goer, the curmudgeonly collector, and many other fan “types” are the targets of his unerring gimlet eye. Drawn in a range of styles as improvisational as Coltrane and Mingus ― everything from loose linework to tight pen and ink to gestural pencils ― Blutch captures the excitement of live performance, the lovelorn, and the Great Jazz Detective, who is out but not down.
How to Listen to Jazz
Author: Ted Gioia
Publisher: Basic Books
An Economist Best Book of the Year "A radiantly accomplished writer . . . Gioia conveys his passion for the music with vivid description and shrewd judgements."-Wall Street Journal In How to Listen to Jazz, award-winning music scholar Ted Gioia presents a lively introduction to the art of listening to jazz. He tells us what to listen for in a performance and includes a guide to today's leading jazz musicians. From Louis Armstrong's innovative sounds to the exotic compositions of Duke Ellington, Gioia covers everything from the music's history to the building blocks of improvisation. A true love letter to jazz by a foremost expert, How to Listen to Jazz is a must-read for anyone who's ever wanted to understand America's greatest contribution to music. "Gioia could not have done a better job. Through him, jazz might even find new devotees."-Economist "How to Listen to Jazz is a packed and useful introduction to the medium. . . . You feel you are in good hands."-Weekly Standard