Every jazz lover’s got his or her favorites. For some, it’s John Coltrane’s breathy, bitter-sweat ballad, “Naima.” For others, it’s Duke Ellington’s hard-jiving swing opus “Take the A Train.” Then there’s Miles Davis’s epic-making Kind of Blue, the improv tour de force in which Miles, Trane, and Cannonball trade solos and achieve sheer melodic transcendence. Whether you like it hip or mellow, hot or cool, Dixieland or avant garde, jazz is a vast and many-faceted sound space (and soul space) that you could spend a lifetime exploring. And it couldn’t hurt to have a savvy guide like former Los Angeles Times jazz critic and author Dirk Sutro to help you navigate its many depths and riches.
In Jazz For Dummies, Sutro takes you deep into the history and soulful sounds of jazz. From Sachmo to Bird, Mingus to Weather Report, you get a rare behind-the-scenes look at the masters and their music, and you:
- Get the lowdown on jazz, firsthand, from today’s greats
- Get inside the different types of jazz—from big band to bee-bop to funk
- Get a handle on the concepts, terms, and conventions that distinguish jazz from other forms of music
- Get a perspective on the history of jazz
- Put together a fine jazz collection of your own
- Recognize the key characteristics of particular players’ sounds
Whether you’re getting into jazz for the first time or you’re been in the scene for years, Jazz For Dummies is a treasure trove of facts, insights, and guidance on:
- One hundred years of jazz—from Dixieland to fusion and beyond
- Great front men and women, on sax, trumpet vocals
- Keyboard geniuses of jazz from ragtime to the present
- Percussionists, bassists, and guitarists of note
- Shopping for jazz recordings and finding live jazz in your area
The bonus CD features a sampling of vintage recordings, including cuts by Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Art Tatum, and others.
Your swingin’ guide to the world of jazz, Jazz For Dummies lets you tune into the different jazz styles and help you become a more savvy listener.