Friday, October 17, 2008

Five best books on jazz

John Edward Hasse, curator of American Music at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, founder of national Jazz Appreciation Month, and author of Beyond Category: The Life and Genius of Duke Ellington, named a five best list of books on jazz for the Wall Street Journal.

Number One on his list:
by Bob Blumenthal
Collins, 2007

When I agreed to review the manuscript of music critic Bob Blumenthal's "Jazz: An Introduction to the History and Legends Behind America's Music" for the publisher, I was unsure what to expect. A book attempting an overview of a subject with nearly a century of rich history and with three- quarters of a million recordings is a daunting undertaking. But as I began reading, I soon recognized that Blumenthal had produced the single best compact introduction to jazz currently available. And he did it in fewer than 200 pages of engaging, clearly written prose, accompanied by handsome illustrations and a short but useful glossary. Blumenthal's "Jazz" is the ideal starting point for anyone drawn to the music for the first time.
Read about all five titles on Hasse's list.

--Marshal Zeringue