By Kevin Whitehead
What was once the 1st jazz checklist? Are jazz solos quite improvised? How did jazz lay the foundation for rock and state track? In Why Jazz?, writer and NPR jazz critic Kevin Whitehead offers vigorous, insightful solutions to those and plenty of different attention-grabbing questions, delivering an pleasing advisor for either amateur listeners and long-time enthusiasts.
equipped chronologically in a handy query and resolution layout, this remarkable source makes jazz obtainable to a large viewers, and particularly to readers who've came upon the tune bewildering or top left to the specialists. but Why Jazz? is even more than an informative Q&A; it concisely strains the century-old background of this American and worldwide artwork shape, from its beginnings in New Orleans up during the present postmodern interval. Whitehead presents short 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. additionally highlighted are the construction blocks of the jazz sound--call and reaction, rhythmic contrasts, custom-made functionality suggestions and improvisation--and dialogue of ways visionary musicians have reinterpreted those parts to repeatedly redefine jazz, ushering within the swing period, bebop, cool jazz, not easy bop, and the avant-garde. alongside the best way, Why Jazz? presents valuable plain-English descriptions of musical terminology and methods, from "blue notes" to "conducted improvising." and in contrast to different histories which haphazardly hide the stylistic branches of jazz that emerged after the Sixties, Why Jazz? teams latter-day musical tendencies through decade, the higher to put them in historic context.
even if learn in self-contained sections or as a continuing narrative, this compact reference offers a trove of crucial details that belongs at the shelf of somebody who's ever been drawn to jazz.