Visions of Jazz: The First Century

by Gary Giddins

Hardcover, 1998

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Available

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Publication

New York : Oxford University Press, 1998.

User reviews

LibraryThing member rocketjk
Visions of Jazz is a collection of 49 essays, each one describing a different jazz musician or group, moving more or less chronologically through the 20th century. Giddins is a very good writer, which of course helps a lot, and really brings these musicians and their art alive nicely. The only flaw for the non-musician (like me) reading these essays is that Giddins is not shy about including a lot of technical musical information. That can be a bit daunting, but that sort of writing appears only in relatively small bits and never wholly overwhelms any of the chapters.

The casual music/jazz fan will not of heard of all of the musicians covered here, but a good two thirds of them will be familiar names, at least. It's easy for the reader to choose whether to cherry pick familiar/famous musicians to learn more about or to also gain an introduction to some new jazz artists.

All in all, a terrific, well-written jazz primer and/or reference book.
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