Synopses & Reviews
The Jazz Standards
, a comprehensive guide to the most important jazz compositions, is a unique resource, a browser's companion, and an invaluable introduction to the art form. This essential book for music lovers tells the story of more than 250 key jazz songs, and includes a listening guide to more than 2,000 recordings.
Many books recommend jazz CDs or discuss musicians and styles, but this is the first to tell the story of the songs themselves. The fan who wants to know more about a jazz song heard at the club or on the radio will find this book indispensable. Musicians who play these songs night after night now have a handy guide, outlining their history and significance and telling how they have been performed by different generations of jazz artists. Students learning about jazz standards now have a complete reference work for all of these cornerstones of the repertoire.
Author Ted Gioia, whose body of work includes the award-winning The History of Jazz and Delta Blues, is the perfect guide to lead readers through the classics of the genre. As a jazz pianist and recording artist, he has performed these songs for decades. As a music historian and critic, he has gained a reputation as a leading expert on jazz. Here he draws on his deep experience with this music in creating the ultimate work on the subject.
An introduction for new fans, a useful handbook for jazz enthusiasts and performers, and an important reference for students and educators, The Jazz Standards belongs on the shelf of every serious jazz lover or musician.
"Jazz pianist and historian Gioia (Delta Blues) surveys 250 influential 20th-century compositions, including Broadway show tunes, movie songs, and original pieces by Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and other composers. Each two-page entry serves up a chatty, fact-filled review of the tune's birth pangs Louis B. Mayer almost cut 'Over the Rainbow' from The Wizard of Oz! and a breezy analysis of its musicological mojo. ('Someone to Watch over Me,' the author avers, draws its wistful warmth from the all-black-keys pentatonic scale.) But Gioia is interested less in a melody's first incarnation than in its afterlife as a template for jamming, riffing, and free-form stylistic variation, epitomized by John Coltrane's saxy reinvention of 'My Favorite Things.' He therefore includes critical appreciations of each standard's best and most emblematic arrangements, along with a list of recordings. Gioia writes with an endearing blend of erudition and opinionating 'Come Rain or Come Shine'Â 's spare tune 'isn't a melody, it's a musical starvation diet' that makes the book both a delightful browse and a handy reference and roadmap for jazzophiles. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Written by award-winning jazz historian Ted Gioia, this comprehensive guide offers an illuminating look at more than 250 seminal jazz compositions. In this comprehensive and unique survey, here are the songs that sit at the heart of the jazz repertoire, ranging from "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Autumn in New York" to "God Bless the Child," "How High the Moon," and "I Can't Give You Anything But Love." Gioia includes Broadway show tunes written by such greats as George Gershwin and Irving Berlin, and classics by such famed jazz musicians as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, and John Coltrane. The book offers vibrant discussions of each song, packed with information about how the song was written, who recorded it, the song's place in jazz history, and much more. Gioia includes recommendations for more than 2,000 recordings, with a list of suggested tracks for each song. Filled with colorful anecdotes and expert commentary, The Jazz Standards will appeal to a wide audience, serving as a fascinating introduction for new fans, an invaluable and long-needed handbook for jazz lovers and musicians, and an indispensable reference for students and educators.
About the Author
is a musician, author, jazz critic and a leading expert on American music. His previous books The History of Jazz
and Delta Blues
were both selected as notable books of the year in The New York Times
. He is also the author of West Coast Jazz
, Work Songs
, Healing Songs
and The Birth (and Death) of the Cool
Table of Contents