Synopses & Reviews
In a swinging improvisation with poster artist Paul Rogers, Wynton Marsalis celebrates the spirit of twenty-six stellar jazz performers, from Armstrong to Dizzy and showcases the same number of poetic forms.
A is for "almighty" Louis Armstrong, whose amazing artistry unfolds in an accumulative poem shaped like the letter he stands for. As for sax master Sonny Rollins, whose "robust style radiates roundness," could there be a better tribute than a poetic rondeau? In an extraordinary feat, Pulitzer Prize-winning jazz composer Wynton Marsalis harmonizes his love and knowledge of jazz's most celebrated artists with an astounding diversity of poetic forms from simple blues (Count Basie) to a complex pantoum (Charlie Parker), from a tender sonnet (Sarah Vaughan) to a performance poem snapping the rhythms of Art Blakey to life.
Matching Wynton Marsalis's musical cadences note for note is the bold, poster-style art of Paul Rogers, highlighted in two phenomenal foldout spreads. The art's vibrant nostalgic feel is echoed in an exquisite design, with its size simulating an old 78 LP and its endpapers die-cut to mimic a vintage record sleeve. Complete with a discography and brief biographies of the featured musicians as well as notes on the various poetic forms, this is truly an incomparable gift book for older children learning about jazz, longtime jazz aficionados, lovers of poetry, and readers of all ages who appreciate the finest in book design.
"This electric collaboration between Marsalis and Rogers is an insider's A to Z guide through the greats of jazz. The recognizable giants are all here Miles Davis with a stunning portrait in hues that call to mind his legendary Kind of Blue, and John Coltrane with a list song that conjures his 'cascading through closely clustered chord changes.' But to get all the subtle asides or to understand why Joe 'King' Oliver's tribute ('the Kaiser of cornet') seems almost more laudatory than Louis Armstrong's, newcomers will have to read the brief bios at the book's close (the King took Satchmo under his wing) by jazz historian Phil Schaap. The poster-like portraits pay homage to each larger-than-life personality. Davis gets a close-up but Sonny Rollins's painting in shades of black, yellow and white backs up so readers can see him swinging with his sax. Marsalis picks a poetic style suited to each subject: haiku for minimalist pianist Thelonious Monk, while a three-page foldout for percussionist Abdullah Ibn Buhaina (Art Blakey) rolls out like a drum score. Each poem brims with words that showcase the letter in the alphabet and the accomplishments of its subject (e.g., Armstrong with his 'angular aural arabesques aplenty'). This is a must for anyone who has ever been drawn to a scat by Ella or a riff from Miles or who has whirled around the dance floor courtesy of Count Basie. The passion for jazz shared by this book's creators emanates from every spread and it's contagious. All ages." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Celebrating the spirit of 26 stellar jazz artists, this full-color book is designed like an old 78 LP, with endpapers and two foldouts simulating a vintage record sleeve. Ideal for older children and jazz aficionados.
The award-winning book by celebrated jazz composer Wynton Marsalis includes an exclusive art print by Paul Rogers. Celebrating the spirit of 26 stellar jazz artists, this book is designed like an old 78 LP, with endpapers and two foldouts simulating a vintage record sleeve. Full color. Consumable.
WYNTON MARSALIS, trumpeter, composer, and tireless champion of the art of jazz, has been instrumental in bringing the musical genre back to center stage in the United States. The first jazz musician to win a Pulitzer Prize in music — for his epic oratorio on slavery, BLOOD IN THE FIELDS — he has won nine Grammy awards for his jazz and classical recordings, which have sold nearly five million copies worldwide. Wynton Marsalis serves as artistic director for the renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center program in New York, where he created the popular series Jazz for Young People. A recipient of numerous awards around the world as well as several honorary degrees, he was named one of America's "25 Most Influential People" by TIME magazine. JAZZ A B Z is Wynton Marsalis's first book for children.
PAUL ROGERS has worked as an illustrator for twenty years. An ardent admirer of the great poster artists of the twentieth century, he has created everything from old-fashioned billboard portraits at Dodger Stadium to vintage-style neon signs. A longtime jazz buff, he says that one of the best things about being an illustrator is working on jazz-related projects, including prints and program covers for jazz festivals. Recently he was commissioned to create a limited-edition silkscreen portrait of Wynton Marsalis for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. JAZZ A B Z is Paul Rogers's first book.
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