"Comprehensive and intelligently organized. . . . Jazz aficionados . . . should be grateful to have so much good writing on the subject in one place."--The New York Times Book Review"Alluring. . . . Capture[s] much of the breadth of the music, as well as the passionate debates it has stirred, more vividly than any other jazz anthology to date."--Chicago TribuneNo musical"Comprehensive and intelligently organized. . . . Jazz aficionados . . . should be grateful to have so much good writing on the subject in one place."--The New York Times Book Review"Alluring. . . . Capture[s] much of the breadth of the music, as well as the passionate debates it has stirred, more vividly than any other jazz anthology to date."--Chicago TribuneNo musical idiom has inspired more fine writing than jazz, and nowhere has that writing been presented with greater comprehensiveness and taste than in this glorious collection. In Reading Jazz, editor Robert Gottlieb combs through eighty years of autobiography, reportage, and criticism by the music's greatest players, commentators, and fans to create what is at once a monumental tapestry of jazz history and testimony to the elegance, vigor, and variety of jazz writing. Here are Jelly Roll Morton, recalling the whorehouse piano players of New Orleans in 1902; Whitney Balliett, profiling clarinetist Pee Wee Russell; poet Philip Larkin, with an eloquently dyspeptic jeremiad against bop. Here, too, are the voices of Billie Holiday and Charles Mingus, Albert Murray and Leonard Bernstein, Stanley Crouch and LeRoi Jones, reminiscing, analyzing, celebrating, and settling scores. For anyone who loves the music--or the music of great prose--Reading Jazz is indispensable. "The ideal gift for jazzniks and boppers everywhere. . . . It gathers the best and most varied jazz writing of more than a century."--Sunday Times (London)...
|Title||:||Reading Jazz: A Gathering of Autobiography, Reportage, and Criticism from 1919 to Now|
|Number of Pages||:||1088 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Reading Jazz: A Gathering of Autobiography, Reportage, and Criticism from 1919 to Now Reviews
I picked up this book at a friend's house--I've just started learning about jazz music (even though I worked at a jazz station as a news announcer in my younger days). I found some of it boring but most of it was interesting, even captivating. In particular, I enjoyed the sections written or narrated by the artists themselves--for instance, Miles Davis explaining why Charlie Parker was really kind of a "motherfu**er".
As this is an anthology, and as is directly acknowledged in the Introduction, this book naturally contains pieces of varying quality. Some are better-written, or more interesting, than others. Some of the writing is pretentious or dull, while other pieces are more accessible. Some is crude, some is tasteful. Certainly, this work is comprehensive.
It took me a long time to sort through this book but it was well worth the time. The book contains a great assortment of writings which is appropriate because jazz reflects a wide and diverse assortment of characters, styles and interpretations. I consider it an excellent addition to my library.
After year’s of receiving their accusing stares from my bookshelf, I committed to myself that I would finish both Visions of Jazz by Gary Giddens and Reading Jazz. The latter is an anthology of Autobiography, Reporting, and Criticism from the major jazz musicians, reporters and critics of the 20th century. Like Visions of Jazz, it is a bit short-sighted in its coverage of music after the 60’s (nothing about Keith Jarrett or Wayne Shorter or Joe Henderson among others), but for the period it covered, it had some essential writing. Here you have selections by Louis Armstrong about his arrival in Chicago to meet up and play with King Oliver in 1922, from Mile’s autobiography about his time with Cannonball, Trane, Bill Evans and later with Charlie Parker, interviews with Duke Ellington and Milt Gabler…all fascinating reading. This is truly a unique collection and pushed me to explore the biographies of my favorite musicians further. The reporting was fascinating as it was almost like being in the crowd at shows of Dizzy Gillespie or Fats Waller. I think there is a movie script in the chapter about the International Sweethearts of Swing. Lastly, the criticism section rounds up the major critical essays and even one classic one disparaging jazz criticism in general by the legendary Orrin Keepnews. I think that the school of thought that unites Giddens and Stanley Crouch against fusion and other last 20th C jazz phenomena was over-represented here and I would have appreciated a more open, inclusive approach. We all know that it will be hard to match Bird, Diz, Miles, Trane, Duke, Satch, etc but music did not end with In a Silent Way or Crescent. Jazz is a living, breathing thing and anthologies of this sort should be more even handed as to the developments in jazz of the 70’s through the 2000s.If you have the stamina and want to really learn about jazz from its inception at the dawn of the 20th C through the 60s, this is a necessary book in your jazz library. Just do not stop there and explore beyond the limits of this book the more recent developments in jazz as well.
1000pp of writing on jazz music and musicians, organized into three sections: autobiographical excerpts, reportage, and criticism. the autobiographies are a gold mine, the reportage often dated but sometimes delightful, the criticism worth reading. 5 stars for the first section alone; the other two might get 4 stars for uneven quality. huge, essential tome.
Reading Jazz is a compendium of superb writings on jazz musicians. It is divided by musician and is a reference book I treasure. Anyone of significant influence in the jazz world from 1919 to the early 90's is here. I particularly enjoy the actual reportage included from the musicians' heydays.
Inevitably uneven, but still a classic.
If you like Jazz, you will love this book!