Jazz History and Criticism
Featured Items
Rat Pack Confidential: Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey and the Last Great Show Biz Party
Rat Pack Confidential
Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey and the Last Great Show Biz Party
Paperback      ISBN: 0385495765
For the first time, the full story of what happened when Frank brought his best pals to party in a land called Vegas

January 1960. Las Vegas is at its smooth, cool peak. The Strip is a jet-age theme park, and the greatest singer in the history of American popular music summons a group of friends there to make a movie. One is an insouciant singer of Italian songs, ex-partner to the most popular film comedian of the day. One is a short, black, Jewish, one-eyed, singing, dancing wonder. One is an upper-crust British pretty boy turned degenerate B-movie star actor, brother-in-law to an ascendant politician. And one is a stiff-shouldered comic with the quintessential Borscht Belt emcee's knack for needling one-liners. The architectonically sleek marquee of the Sands Hotel announces their presence simply by listing their names: FRANK SINATRA. DEAN MARTIN. SAMMY DAVIS, JR. PETER LAWFORD. JOEY BISHOP. Around them an entire cast gathers: actors, comics, singers, songwriters, gangsters, politicians, and women, as well as thousands of starstruck everyday folks who fork over pocketfuls of money for the privilege of basking in their presence. They call themselves The Clan. But to an awed world, they are known as The Rat Pack.

They had it all. Fame. Gorgeous women. A fabulouse playground of a city and all the money in the world. The backing of fearsome crime lords and the blessing of the President of the United States. But the dark side-over the thin line between pleasure and debauchery, between swinging self-confidence and brutal arrogance-took its toll. In four years, their great ride was over, and showbiz was never the same.

Acclaimed Jerry Lewis biographer Shawn Levy has written a dazzling portrait of a time when neon brightness cast sordid shadows. It was Frank's World, and we just lived in it.
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."

Buddy Rich -- Jazz Legend (1917-1987): Transcriptions and Analysis of the World's Greatest Drummer
Buddy Rich -- Jazz Legend (1917-1987)
Transcriptions and Analysis of the World's Greatest Drummer
Paperback      ISBN: 0769216900

In addition to being a collection of transcriptions of the Buddy Rich solos featured on the Buddy Rich Jazz Legend DVD (00-903792), this publication concentrates on the specifics of "The World's Greatest Drummer's" playing. The techniques covered include left-handed/bass drum coordination, drumset crossovers, cymbal patterns, left-hand/right-hand singles, left-hand time patterns, hi-hat work, blisteringly fast alternating single strokes, and various nuances that made Buddy so special. Together with the videos, or by itself, this book is a must for any drummer's library.

Jazz: From Its Origins to the Present
Jazz
From Its Origins to the Present
Paperback      ISBN: 0135121957

This entertaining one-volume comprehensive history of jazz and the artists who made it popular contains musical examples so that students who do not read music will not be inhibited. Combines a rich detail of the origins of jazz with insightful biographies and contributions of jazz legends, including Duke Ellington, Count Bassie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davies, John Coltrane, and the jazz bands of the 30's, 40's, 50's, and 60's. Ideal for for all Introduction to Jazz and Jazz History courses in Music, as well as African-American Studies, and the 20th Century American Studies at the undergraduate level.

Showman: The Life and Music of Perry George Lowery
Showman
The Life and Music of Perry George Lowery
Paperback      ISBN: 1578065569

Biography -- Music -- African American Studies

Long before the recognized birth of ragtime and jazz such hard-working travelers as Perry George Lowery blew their horns and led their bands throughout America, shaping the sound of modern music while performing in cities and towns across the nation.

An exhausting on-the-road life caused Lowery's name to fade from music history. Even after dazzling America as a marquee soloist and the leader of minstrel and circus bands, Lowery (1870-1942) ended up in an unmarked grave in Cleveland, Ohio.

This biography, the only book-length study of this groundbreaking African American cornet player, resurrects his name. It is the story of a quiet maverick who became the standard that shook American music.

Lowery came from hardscrabble black settlers in Kansas. His family created an environment in which he could develop his musical talent. His life follows the evolution of American music via the circus, minstrelsy, and the vaudeville stage. From 1895 through 1942, he made his name not only as a musician but also as an author, columnist, teacher, showman, and entrepreneur. H. C. Brown of the Boston Conservatory called him the "World's Greatest Colored Cornet Soloist."

A road-weary show veteran, Lowery landed a spot in the Ringling Brothers Sideshow Band at the height of the golden age of circuses.

At a time when the nation slammed the doors on African American travel and opportunity, his work with the Ringling Brothers changed the music scene. By 1910, as a result of his performances, there were fourteen circus acts that employed African American bands.

Clifford Edward Watkins is professor of music at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. His work has been published in the Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and Feel the Spirit: Studies in Nineteenth-Century Afro-American Music.

Off Beat: Collaborating With Kerouac
Off Beat
Collaborating With Kerouac
Hardcover      ISBN: 1560253622

From painters lofts and bohemian haunts in the Greenwich Village of the 1950s to funky clubs and Bowery bars like the Five Spot, jazz musician David Amram retraces in this engaging memoir the creative paths he followed through restless days and long, exhilarating nights with his collaborator and friend Jack Kerouac. With candor and humor, Amram re-creates the moments that shaped a mutually stimulating relationshiplike the jazz-poetry reading, the first ever in New York, he performed with Kerouac, whose On the Road had recently made him an overnight literary success; or like the 1959 film, Pull My Daisy, they hilariously made with fellow Beats Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Peter Orlovsky, and Larry Rivers. Amram illuminates the private side of Kerouac, too, his extraordinary intellect and his ardent pursuit of music and literature long after the critics had turned on him and many of his old friends had abandoned him. Among the last of a generation that altered the style and substance of the arts in its time, Amram also celebrates in this at once wise and affecting book the renascence of interest in Kerouacs work three decades after his death. For the beat indeed goes on. And so does the collaboration.

High Times, Hard Times
High Times, Hard Times
Paperback      ISBN: 0879101180

"...in the tradition of the best jazz autobiographies...a fascinating travelogue through the jazz world, filled with vivid images of Gene Krupa, Stan Kenton, Roy Eldridge and Billie Holiday...Her prose is as hip as her music." -The New York Times Book Review

Chicago Blues: The City and the Music
Chicago Blues
The City and the Music
Paperback      ISBN: 0306801450

Chicago has always had a reputation as a "wide open town" with a high tolerance for gangsters, illegal liquor, and crooked politicians. It has also been the home for countless black musicians and the birthplace of a distinctly urban blues-more sophisticated, cynical, and street-smart than the anguished songs of the Mississippi delta-a music called the Chicago blues. This is the history of that music and the dozens of black artists who congregated on the South and Near West Sides. Muddy Waters, Big Bill Broonzy, Howlin' Wolf, Elmore James, Tampa Red, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Otis Rush, Sonny Boy Williamson, Junior Wells, Eddie Taylor-all of these giants played throughout the city and created a musical style that had imitators and influence all over the world.

Visions of Jazz: The First Century
Visions of Jazz
The First Century
Paperback      ISBN: 0195132416

Poised to become a classic of jazz literature, Visions of Jazz: The First Century offers seventy-nine chapters illuminating the lives of virtually all the major figures in jazz history. From Louis Armstrong's renegade-style trumpet playing to Sarah Vaughan's operatic crooning, and from the swinging elegance of Duke Ellington to the pioneering experiments of Ornette Coleman, jazz critic Gary Giddins continually astonishes the reader with his unparalleled insight. Writing with the grace and wit that have endeared his prose to Village Voice readers for decades, Giddins also widens the scope of jazz to include such crucial American musicians as Irving Berlin, Rosemary Clooney, and Frank Sinatra, all primarily pop performers who are often dismissed by fans and critics as mere derivatives of the true jazz idiom. And he devotes an entire quarter of this landmark volume to young, still-active jazz artists, boldly expanding the horizons of jazz--and charting and exploring the music's influences as no other book has done.

A Cool Yule: Ten Jazzy Christmas Songs, Intermediate, Advanced
A Cool Yule
Ten Jazzy Christmas Songs, Intermediate, Advanced
Paperback      ISBN: 0769264956

Pianists who are looking for new and exciting Christmas arrangements will love to see these renditions by Steve Calderone. Writing club date arrangements with a jazz flair, Calderone uses hip chord changes to bring new life to 10 traditional carols. Perfect for holiday parties.