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I came to this book with a small amount of Jazz knowledge, but I wanted to expand my understanding of the styles and find a way in to pieces that I found difficult to appreciate.
This book does just that. It gives you and good oversight of all the main sub-genres, players and the history of the music. But most importantly for this sort of book, it gave me the enthusiasm to seek out the suggestions and go deeper than I had before. I would recommend this to anyone that is on the begining of their Jazz journey.
The narrator has a smooth but slow delivery, and I was quite happy to turn him up to 1.5x speed.
Ps. He still hasn't sold me on Ornette Coleman!
Most of the best insights are at the beginning and end. In between is a history of jazz and jazz artists which has been done better by Shipton and others, in much more detail. He doesn't actually get around to saying what his criteria for excellence are! A bit disappointing, but still worthwhile.