"Here is the largest, most comprehensive, and most stimulating collection of writings on jazz ever published." "The first of Reading Jazz's three parts is autobiographical, and in it such central jazz figures as Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Art Pepper, Count Basie, Anita O'Day, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, and Cab Calloway reveal their lives and ideas in their highly charged and very persuasive first persons." "Part two is reportorial, encompassing formal profiles - Whitney Balliett's of Earl Hines and Peewee Russell, and Gene Lees's of Bill Evans and Dizzy Gillespie; Lillian Ross's hilarious account of the first Newport Jazz Festival; Ralph Ellison remembering Minton's Playhouse; and both Hampton Hawes and Miles Davis reminiscing about Charlie Parker." "Part three is critical, presenting a wide spectrum of opinion and approach, beginning with the famous 1919 essay by Ernst-Alexandre Ansermet (he conducted the premiere of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring) about jazz in general and Bechet in particular, and proceeding to such eminent writers as Nat Hentoff (on John Coltrane), Gunther Schuller (on Sarah Vaughan), Dan Morgenstern (on Louis Armstrong), Gary Giddins (on "Body and Soul"), Philip Larkin, Albert Murray, Stanley Crouch, LeRoi Jones, and many others."--Jacket.