Jazz History and Criticism
Featured Items
Blue Note: Album Cover Art
Blue Note
Album Cover Art
Paperback      ISBN: 0811836886

Smaller in trim size, greatly expanded in content, this compendium of Chronicles classic "Blue Note" books (50,000 copies sold) is now an appealingly chunky paperback. Blue Note remains one of the most influential jazz labels of all time, and its cover art is a virtual time-capsule of cool. Now comprehensive, " Blue Note: Album Cover Art" gathers nearly 400 of the legendary covers, spanning the 40s to the 70s, and features the greatest work of legendary Blue Note art director Reid Miles. Simple and sophisticated, moody and alluring, these covers continue to influence designers and excite jazz aficionados today. "One glance," as "Esquire" said of the original edition, "and youll know where the essence of cool remains."

Blue: The Murder of Jazz
Blue
The Murder of Jazz
Paperback      ISBN: 0306809257

Once a thriving body of innovative and fluid music, jazz is now the victim of destructive professional and artistic forces, says Eric Nisenson. Corruption by marketers, appropriation by the mainstream, superficial media portrayal, and sheer lack of skill have all contributed to the demise of this venerable art form. Nisenson persuasively describes how the entire jazz "industry" is controlled by a select cadre with a choke hold on the most vital components of the music. As the listening culture has changed, have spontaneity and improvisation been sacrificed? You can agree or disagree with Nisenson's thesis and arguments, but as Booklist says, "his passion is engrossing."

Sassy PB
Sassy PB
Paperback      ISBN: 0306805782
"A deeply felt portrait of an artist whose influence on a generation of vocalists was profound."--New York Times Book Review

Sarah Vaughan possessed the most spectacular voice in jazz history. In Sassy, Leslie Gourse, the acclaimed biographer of Nat King Cole and Joe Williams, defines and celebrates Vaughan's vital musical legacy and offers a detailed portrait of the woman as well as the singer. Revealed here is "The Divine One" as only her closest friends and musical associates knew her.

By her early twenties Sarah Vaughan was singining with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Billy Eckstine, helping them invent bebop. For forty-five years thereafter, she reigned supreme in both pop and jazz, with several million-selling hits (among them "Broken Hearted Melody," "Make Yourself Comfortable," and "Misty").
But life offstage was never smooth for Sarah Vaughan. Her voluptuous voice was matched by her exuberant appetite for excess: three failed marriages, financial difficulties through many changes in management, late-night jam sessions, liquor, and cocaine. In Sassy, though, we also see the feisty and unpretentious woman who worked hard all her life to support her parents and adopted daughter, and who came to savor the hard-won independence and worldwide acclaim she achieved as the greatest jazz singer of her generation.
Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn
Lush Life
A Biography of Billy Strayhorn
Paperback      ISBN: 0865475121

A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award

Billy Strayhorn (1915-67) was one of the greatest composers in the history of American music, the creator of a body of work that includes such standards as "Take the 'A' Train." Yet all his life Strayhorn was overshadowed by his friend and collaborator Duke Ellington, with whom he worked for three decades as the Ellington Orchestra's ace songwriter and arranger. A "definitive" corrective (USA Today) to decades of patchwork scholarship and journalism about this giant of jazz, David Hajdu's Lush Life is a vibrant and absorbing account of the "lush life" that Strayhorn and other jazz musicians led in Harlem and Paris. While composing some of the most gorgeous American music of the twentieth century, Strayhorn labored under a complex agreement whereby Ellington took the bows for his work. Until his life was tragically cut short by cancer and alcohol abuse, the small, shy composer carried himself with singular style and grace as one of the few jazzmen to be openly homosexual. Lush Life has sparked an enthusiastic revival of interest in Strayhorn's work and is already acknowledged as a jazz classic.

Swing That Music
Swing That Music
Paperback      ISBN: 0306805448
Not only biography, but also one of the earliest American attempts to trace the development of jazz."--from the foreword by Dan Morgenstern

The first autobiography of a jazz musician, Louis Armstrong's Swing That Music is a milestone in jazz literature. Armstrong wrote most of the biographical material, which is of a different nature and scope than that of his other, later autobiography, Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans (also published by Da Capo). Satchmo covers in intimate detail Armstrong's life until his 1922 move to Chicago; but Swing That Music also covers his days on Chicago's South Side with "King" Oliver, his courtship and marriage to Lil Hardin, his 1929 move to New York, the formation of his own band, his European tours, and his international success. One of the most earnest justifications ever written for the new style of music then called "swing" but more broadly referred to as "Jazz," Swing That Music is a biography, a history, and an entertainment that really "swings."
Eric Dolphy: A Musical Biography and Discography
Eric Dolphy
A Musical Biography and Discography
Paperback      ISBN: 0306805243
"Eric Dolphy was a saint--in every way, not just in his playing."--Charles Mingus

In his tragically short life (1928-1964), Eric Dolphy was a titanic force in the development of the sixties avant-garde (or "new thing") from the hard bop of the late fifties. The searing intensity and sonic exploration of his work on alto sax, clarinets, and flute derived in part from the concurrent innovations of Coltrane, Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, and Andrew Hill, among others; previous jazz styles such as New Orleans and bop; various non-Western musics; and modern classical music (e.g., Varese). Dolphy pioneered extended solo jazz compositions, was prominent in the "third stream" movement (led by John Lewis and Gunther Schuller), and remains a major influence on musicians today for the personal, speech-like inflections of his playing. Jazz scholars Simosko and Tepperman examine every aspect of this stunning musical achievement from Dolphy's early big band work and association with Chico Hamilton to his own last groups in Europe, emphasizing the rich legacy of his recordings. Now completely updated to include the most recent discoveries concerning his life and recordings, this book will long stand as the definitive treatment of Eric Dolphy's music.
Open Sky: Sonny Rollins and His World of Improvisation
Open Sky
Sonny Rollins and His World of Improvisation
Paperback      ISBN: 0306809885

Sonny Rollins is one of jazz's great innovators, arguably the most influential tenor saxophonist, along with John Coltrane, in the history of modern jazz. He began his musical career at the age of eleven, and within five short years he was playing with the legendary Thelonious Monk. In the late forties, before his twenty-first birthday, Rollins was in full swing, recording with jazz luminaries such as Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Max Roach, Art Blakey, and Miles Davis, and he was hailed as the best jazz tenor man alive in the mid-fifties. Still active today, Rollins and his compelling sound reach a whole new generation of listeners with his eagerly anticipated live appearances. Now renowned jazz writer Eric Nisenson provides a long-overdue look at one of jazz's brightest, and most enduring, stars.

Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters
Can't Be Satisfied
The Life and Times of Muddy Waters
Paperback      ISBN: 0316164941

Muddy Waters invented electric blues and created the template for the rock and roll band and its wild lifestyle. Gordon excavates Muddy's mysterious past and early career, taking us from Mississippi fields to postwar Chicago street corners.

All Solos & Grooves for Jazz Guitar: Position Studies, Scales & Patterns [With CD]
All Solos & Grooves for Jazz Guitar
Position Studies, Scales & Patterns [With CD]
Paperback      ISBN: 0786660031
Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life
Louis Armstrong
An Extravagant Life
Paperback      ISBN: 0767901568

Louis Armstrong was the founding father of jazz and one of this century's towering cultural figures, yet the full story of his extravagant life has never been told.

Born in 1901 to the sixteen-year-old daughter of a slave, he came of age among the prostitutes, pimps, and rag-and-bone merchants of New Orleans. He married four times and enjoyed countless romantic involvements in and around his marriages. A believer in marijuana for the head and laxatives for the bowels, he was also a prolific diarist and correspondent, a devoted friend to celebrities from Bing Crosby to Ella Fitzgerald, a perceptive social observer, and, in his later years, an international goodwill ambassador.

And, of course, he was a dazzling musician. From the bordellos and honky-tonks of Storyville--New Orleans's red light district--to the upscale nightclubs in Chicago, New York, and Hollywood, Armstrong's stunning playing, gravelly voice, and irrepressible personality captivated audiences and critics alike. Recognized and beloved wherever he went, he nonetheless managed to remain vigorously himself.

Now Laurence Bergreen's remarkable book brings to life the passionate, courageous, and charismatic figure who forever changed the face of American music.