The History of Jazz, Second Edition

Customer Reviews

104 Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars
By Bleep on 04-05-16

Music should accompany text

The book is fantastic but it would have been bolstered by having examples of the described music played in the proximity of the comments about the music.

As I am already familiar with the music, the authors descriptions added meaning. If I did not already know the music I don't think that the descriptions would have been meaningful to me.

There was one mispronunciation which was repeated several times.. Camarillo was pronounced Camarillo and not Cama-rio.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Greg on 01-29-15

Not perfect, but the best available

Not perfect, but the best available on the subject and impressive in its own right. Sometimes repetitive in many ways, but absolutely worth it.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Kindle Customer on 02-02-15

An Exciting Opportunity Missed

This book contained a tremendous amount of information about the jazz genre and its artists. As an Audible Book however, it missed the opportunity to provide audio snippets as the author would mention the impacts of a jazz innovator and mentioned specific recordings where the unique rhythms or innovative dynamics or outstanding technical mastery of an instrument was demonstrated, yet there was no example shared with the listener. This Audiobook failed to meet my expectations as there was not a single example of jazz included. The narrator presented the work in a dry monotone with very little change in delivery or dynamics. Audiobooks offers a special feature to use one's auditory facilities to experience the music as well as text.

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26 of 29 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Daniel M Edwards on 05-19-15

Great place to start in exploration of jazz

Great book lots of info and insight into the how and why. The narrator wasn't quite my cup of tea, a little too monotone. If I didn't come in to this book with a great deal of interest it might have turned me off. As I got deeper in it mattered less and less though.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Rob G. on 06-10-15

Does exactly what it says on the cover.

As a long time student of jazz, I've seen many works attempt to make sense of the long and varied history of the music. This audiobook, which was an impulse purchase, comes about the closest I've experienced to covering everything in one,tidy, work. What really impressed me was that Gioia accomplished this without leaving many, if any, notables out and with as close to a complete absence of personal bias you are likely to find in jazz writing. Even styles on the farthest edge of jazz such as acid jazz and smooth jazz are given respectful consideration, rather than outright dismissal, to say nothing of the serious treatment of fusion and avant garde, both of which are too often ignored or treated with distain bordering on disgust by many of the modern day jazz archivists.

My only complaint is a slight one. I found the language to be a little too flowery at time. Not unbearably so, but there's too much French sprinkled in and it sounds a little pretentious in places. (I think I've heard the word "oeuvre" enough to last a lifetime.) Bob Souer's narration is unobtrusive mostly, which I mean as a good thing, though I question his pronunciation for some of the names, but it could also be I've been doing it wrong all these years.

Regardless if you're a neophyte or long time fan, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a better, more complete, single history of jazz.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By brian on 03-16-15

Great book

I really love this. book has a lot of good stores and history of the best music America has developed. There are a few things I didn't like was it was a little difficult to follow would go for. The 60's to the 40's to the 80's then back to the 30 or 40's then to the 50's the dates were all over the place. But other then that a great book. Very well worth reading

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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