A New History of Jazz

by Alyn Shipton

Hardcover, 2001





London ; New York : Continuum, 2001.


Alyn Shipton is on the editorial board of the new Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz, to be released in late 2006, and this new edition of "A New History of Jazz" will be referenced throughout to tracks in this new multi-CD collection of essential jazz recordings. ¿ Brand New Edition Featuring Over 20% Entirely New Material Praise for the first edition of A New History of Jazz:"The most outstanding single-volume history of jazz around."-Don Rose, Jazz Institute of Chicago "No jazz writer, scholar, teacher, musician, or fan should be without it on his or her desk. Yes, it really is that good."-W. Royal Stokes, Jazz Notes "Shipton has taken on the big on here and come up trumps...More trustworthy and less sentimental than many similar efforts...it achieves something approaching an essential text." - Mojo "A marvelously balanced yet passionate history of a protean cultural form. Not only is the book encyclopedic in the breadth of its coverage, but it has a thesis - or, more accurately, a set of interlocking theses - about how the music has developed." - History Today "Shipton's done his homework, and he knows how to tell a story." - Blender ¿ In this major update of the acclaimed and award-winning jazz history, Alyn Shipton challenges many of the assumptions that surround the birth and growth of jazz music. How was it that it took off all over the United States early in the 20th century, despite the accepted wisdom that everything began in New Orleans? Shipton also re-evaluates the transition from swing to be-bop, asking just how political this supposed modern jazz revolution actually was. He makes the case for jazz as a truly international music from its earliest days, charting significant developments outside the USA from the 1920s onwards. All the great names in jazz history are here, from Louis Armstrong to Miles Davis and from Sidney Bechet to Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. But unlike those historians who call a halt with the death of Coltrane in 1967, Shipton continues the story with the major trends in jazz over the last 40 years: free jazz, jazz rock, world music influences, and the re-emergence of the popular jazz singer. This new edition brings the book completely up-to-date, including such names as John Medeski, Diana Krall, Django Bates, and Matthias Ruegg. There are also important new sections on Latin Jazz and the repertory movement.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member datrappert
Jazz was always a mystery for me, but I made a concerted effort a few years ago to understand it better. I have read a couple of more basic introductions (the NPR Guide, the Complete Idiot's Guide) before this one, and I found Shipton's book to be very well written and researched. It provides a great background, not only on the music, but also on the environment that created jazz. He takes pleasure in debunking some of the myths that have grown up around the music (sometimes too much pleasure), but his arguments are always backed up with research. While giving ample coverage to the giants of jazz, he also introduces the reader to many other figures who have shaped the music. Shipton is opinionated, but it always clear where he is stating an opinion. All in all, I would highly recommend this book for anyone looking to deepen their understanding and curiosity about jazz. The only real shortcoming is that the book only has a small section of photographs. The Ken Burns jazz book lacks the breadth and depth of this one, but you do get to see great pictures of many of the people and places Shipton refers to in this very good book.… (more)



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