Jazz : a history of America's music

by Geoffrey C. Ward

Paper Book, 2000




New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2000.


Read by LeVar Burton 6 cassettes/ 9 hours Continuing in the tradition of their previous, critically acclaimed collaborations, Ken Burns and Geoffrey Ward now bring us the history of the quintessential and first indigenous American music.  This dynamic and powerful narrative is brought to life by the remarkable men and women who have made their mark on the music and left a lasting imprint on our culture.  In words, we meet these larger-than-life personalities, including Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Bix Biederbecke, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Sara Vaughan, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, and many more.  Essays by Winton Marsalis, Dan Morgenstern, Gerald Early, Stanley Crouch, and Gary Giddins put the evolution of jazz in historical and cultural context.  Jazz, like the music itself is an exploration of the American experience.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member bongo_x
I had intended to skim though this huge book, but once I started I got sucked in. It's totally fascinating and you don't need to be interested in jazz to enjoy it. It really shines in giving a picture of America in the first half of the 1900's. There were so many things I didn't know or hadn't connected the dots on.
LibraryThing member jasoncomely
Informative and highly entertaining account of key jazz players and the many mutations jazz has made since the 1920s. This never got dull, even for a moment.


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