Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Dirk Sutro, obviously, is madly in love with jazz and its foremost players. It is also more than obvious that he knows what he's talking about." —"Chubby" Jackson, jazz bassist
"When asked, "What is Jazz?" the great Louis Armstrong replied, 'If you have to ask, you'll never know.' With Jazz For Dummies, now you can know one of...America's greatest contributions to world culture." —Jon Faddis, jazz trumpeter
"Dirk Sutro has done an excellent job of conveying to the layman the intricacies and subtle nuances involved in the playing of jazz music. Well done!" —Charles McPherson, jazz saxophonist and composer
"Not only is Jazz For Dummies educational, it's fun to read. This book provides an important stepping stone to understanding this complex, profound music. After all, Jazz is America's only true art form. It's about time someone did Jazz For Dummies. Thanks to Dirk Sutro...It's here! —James Moody, jazz saxophonist
Jazz For Dummies is clear, concise, and a accurate look at the jazz scene, a major step in demystifying the music and making it more accessible. Long overdue, if you could have just one book about jazz, this should be the one." —Bobby Matos, Latin jazz recording artist, percussionist, leader of Bobby Matos & the Afro Cuban Jazz Ensamble
"Now you can finally know about one of...America's greatest contributions to world culture." —Jon Faddis, Jazz Trumpeter
- Your Swingin' Guide to the World of Jazz — from New Orleans to Bebop to Fusion to Acis Jazz
- Hear the Lowdown on the Jazz Scene Through Interviews with the Masters
- Expert Recommendations for Building Your Own Cool Collection
"Not only is Jazz For Dummies educational, it's fun to read. This book provides an important stepping stone to understanding this complex and profound music." —James Moody, Jazz Saxophonist
Dirk Sutro is madly in love with Jazz and...he knows what he's talking about." —"Chubby" Jackson, Jazz Bassist
Get into the Swing of Jazz...
Written in style that's as hip as the music itself, this ever-so-copacetic guide lays down the rich history and soulful sounds of jazz. Take a behind-the-scene look at the masters and their music — from Duke Ellington to Charlie Parker to Wynton Marsalis. Tune into the different jazz styles and become a more savvy listener. Whether you're getting into the rhythm for the first time or a hep cat solid in the scene, Jazz For Dummies will keep you bopping!
Stay in the Groove
- Get the lowdown firsthand from today's freats
- Appreciate the different types of jazz — from the big bands to funk jazz
- Assemble your own library of great jazz music
- Keep those fingers snappin' — recommended online and newsstand jazz resources
- Treat your ears to some of the hottest jazz on CD
Exclusive CD Feature Many of the Coolest Jazz Tunes Ever Recorded!
Includes bibliographical references (p. -325), filmography (p. 325-328), discography (p. 336-340), and index.
About the Author
Dirk Sutro, former jazz writer for the Los Angeles Times, was baptized into live jazz at San Francisco's legendary Keystone Korner. He has written about jazz for more than 15 years and has profiled or reviewed major players ranging from Branford Marsalis, Sonny Rollins, and Pat Metheny to Mose Allison, Milt Hinton, and Chick Corea. Sutro also interviews jazz musicians as regular guest host of the "These Days" on public radio.
Table of Contents
Part I: What Is Jazz?
Chapter 1: Listening to Jazz: Altered Ears.
Chapter 2: Birth of an American Music: Jazz to the 1920s.
Chapter 3: The Rise of Big Band Swing: The 1930s and Beyond.
Chapter 4: Bebop to Cool: The 1940s and 1950s.
Chapter 5: Fractured Forms: The 1960s and 1970s.
Chapter 6: Latin Jazz: Seven Decades of Spicy Seasonings (1930s to the 1990s).
Chapter 7: Jazz Now.
Part II: Up Front.
Chapter 8: Saxophonists: Jazz's Main Guard.
Chapter 9: Trumpeters: Jazz's Bright, Brassy Showstoppers.
Chapter 10: Vocalists: Swinging without an Axe.
Part III: Keyboards.
Chapter 11: Piano and Other Keyboards: Black and White Keys to Jazz.
Chapter 12: Organists: Cool, Laid-Back Peacekeepers.
Part IV: Percussion.
Chapter 13: Drummers: Swingin' through Time.
Chapter 14: Vibraphonists: Jazz's Musical Rhythm Makers.
Part V: Strings.
Chapter 15: The Bassists: Boomers of the Beat.
Chapter 16: Guitar: Strung Out on Jazz.
Part VI: More Brass and Reeds.
Chapter 17: Clarinetists: Leading Licorice Men.
Chapter 18: Flutists: Mellow Pipers of Jazz.
Chapter 19: Trombonists: Sliding to the Beat.
Part VII: The Part of Tens.
Chapter 20: Ten Trustworthy Jazz Labels.
Chapter 21: Catching Real Live Jazz.
Chapter 22: Resources for Further Jazz Enlightenment.
Appendix A: Starting a Collection.
Appendix B: What's on the CD?
Book Registration Information.