Jazz Institute of Chicago

Reviews

Visions of Jazz: The First Century/The Playboy Guide to Jazz/The Chronicle of Jazz

Visions of Jazz:
The First Century
By Gary Giddins
Oxford, 690 pages, $35

The Playboy Guide to Jazz
By Neil Tesser
Plume, 288 pages (paper), $13.95

The Chronicle of Jazz
By Mervyn Cooke
Abbeville, 256 pages, $45
Reviewed by Don Rose

Trumpet Blues: The Life of Harry James & LOUIS ARMSTRONG IN HIS OWN WORDS

Trumpet Blues:
The Life of Harry James
By Peter J. Levinson
Oxford, 384 pages, $30

LOUIS ARMSTRONG
IN HIS OWN WORDS
By Louis Armstrong
Edited by Thomas Brothers
Oxford, 288 pages, $25

Reviewed by Don Rose
[This review appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, November 7, 1999.]

The Thelonious Monk Reader

The Thelonious Monk Reader
Edited by Rob van der Bliek
Oxford, 286 pp., $30
Reviewed by Don Rose

The eminent French musicologist Andre Hodeir posed an intriguing hypothesis back in 1959:

It is not unthinkable that in the eyes of posterity Monk will be THE Jazzman of our time, just as Debussy is now seen to have been THE composer of the period immediately preceding the first World War.

THE OXFORD COMPANION TO JAZZ

THE OXFORD COMPANION TO JAZZ
Edited by Bill Kirchner
852 pages, Oxford. $49.95
reviewed by Don Rose

There's something for everyone in this fat volume of jazz writing, from sophisticates like you and me to the newcomer just getting interested in the music. It's the latest in Oxford's notable "companion" series on history and the arts and a welcome addition it is.

The NPR Curious Listener’s Guide to Jazz

By Loren Schoenberg
Perigee, August 2002, 285 pages, paper, $13.95
reviewed by Don Rose

The New York Times Essential Library: Jazz—a critic’s guide to the 100 most important recordings

The New York Times Essential Library:
Jazz—a critic’s guide to the 100 most important recordings
By Ben Ratliff
Times Books/Holt, November 2002, 249 pages (paper), $16
Reviewed by Don Rose

The Future of Jazz

The Future of Jazz
By Will Friedwald, Ted Gioia, Jim Macnie, Peter Margasak, Stuart Nicholson, Ben Ratliff, John F. Szwed, Greg Tate, Peter Watrous, K. Leander Williams;
edited by Yuval Taylor
A Capella (Chicago Review Press), May 2002, 241 pages, $16.95
reviewed by Don Rose

Yuval Taylor, who did such a fine job at Da Capo Press with its program of reissuing jazz books, has come up with one very neat idea: get an interesting assortment of jazz critics and writers (some of whom are musicians) and have them interact on a series of issues relating to where this music may be going.

The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz

The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz
Edited by Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler
Oxford, 718 pages, $49.95
Reviewed by Don Rose
(This review first appeared in the November 7 Chicago Sun-Times.)

The Best of Jackson Payne: A Novel

The Best of Jackson Payne: A Novel
by Jack Fuller
Knopf, 321 pp., $25.00
reviewed by Jim Linduff

In The Best of Jackson Payne, Jack Fuller has written a brilliant description of jazz, perhaps the most vivid I have ever read. The novel centers on the chaotic life of Jackson Payne, a Black sax player who struggles with many demons and Charlie Quinlan, a middle-aged, white musicologist and biographer who desperately is trying to understand Payne's life.

The Antioch Review—Special Jazz issue

The Antioch Review—
Special Jazz issue
Antioch University, Summer 1999
442 pages, $8.50
reviewed by Don Rose

The Antioch Review, one of the nation's leading literary magazines, published a special issue this summer devoted entirely to jazz—with a special focus on the music's relationship to and effects on the other arts. This is apparently the first time any journal of comparable stature has given jazz this extended attention, and the editors have come up with some genuine winners among the 14 wide-ranging pieces it gathered.

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